The other day, I was cycling on the Danube embankment, and I saw that a girl was taking a photo of something small next to the railing. I thought I’d stop and check what might be so interesting in a piece of concrete. Well, the piece of concrete concealed a tiny metal statue, namely a maggot. Do you remember which fairy tale he was starring in? And who was the b-handed handyman?
Budapest hides many special attractions that tourists do not know. In fact, most of those living in the capital only know from hearse that there are tiny statuettes hidden in the streets. Their common feature is that they all came out of the hands of the Carpathian artist Mikhail Kolodko and appear in many parts of the city without prior notice. Most of them are so small that we walk past them undetected every day without paying attention to them. But the statues do exist, and I shared many stories about them on my Instagram page (you can follow me here). After finding the maggot, I was so incited that I hopped on two wheels and cycled around the city until I found traces of all 19 little figures. Unfortunately, one has already been stolen, but for the record, it will be included in the blog post too.
Me cycling on the roads of Budapest. Source: Hungarian Cycling Chic FacebookIf you want to have a special program in Budapest and want to be Indiana Jones for one day, then find the Kodolko statues for which I have brought the treasure map. But to give everyone the joy of finding them, I won’t tell you all the behind-the-scenes, but I’ll add a compass and guide to where and what exactly to look for.
1. Rubik cube
One of the most famous Hungarian inventions, Ernő Rubik’s cube, does not need to be presented separately. Putting up a magic cube of 27 elements has always puzzled me, but true fanatics can decipher its secret in 4.22 seconds. I don’t want to compete with this world record, I was happy to find the cube at Bem embankment, near Batthyány Square. While you are there, let also admire the panorama of the Danube with the Parliament in the background.
Tip: between the lower and upper embankment ways, the cube is hidden, look for the hatchway.
2. Noah’ ark
Probably everyone in the Bible knows the story that Noah diverted a couple from every animal from the self-water to his ark to save the earth’s wildlife from extinction. In style, where else than next to the Veterinary University received instead of this statue, on István Street in the 7th district.
Tip: as Noah’s ark was caught up on Mount Ararat, the statue was placed at a high point.
3. Balloon dog with a bone
Balloons can be folded into many figures, even those who know how to do it, but the most common form of these is the dog. Jeff Koons’s Balloon Dog may be the source of inspiration, but the balloon dog rests on one of the most beautiful points of the Danube walkway, the Belgrád embankment. It’s not easy to see it, I caught my eye first on the bone.
Tip: if you walk along tram tracks 2 and in front of the big hotels, you will soon be sniffing around.
Kermit, known from the Muppet Show, the green puppet character was a regular on TV screens from 1976 to 1981 and has become a favorite of many in recent decades. A statue of him was made in Budapest, and so that Kermit does not get cold, sometimes passers-by wrap a small scarf around his neck in Szabadság Square.
Tip: frogs love green spaces, look for them at the base of lower fences.
Exactlywhatthebackgroundandmeaningofthistinytoiletbowlare, I’ve been researching for a long time. To be sure,its creator was inspired by the work of Duchamp, whose final was rejected in 1917andwasnotconsideredworthyofexhibitioninNewYork.TheBudapestversionwasluckier,itfoundaplaceinVárosliget.
Tip: in front of the Castle of Vajdahunyad, look for it on a wall near the water, speaking of a urinal statue.
6. Said tank
On Bem embankment, opposite the Parliament, there is a tank, which is completely harmless, especially if you look closely. Poor thing’s tube’s all down. Earlier, a passer-by painted Russki home! subtitles. I haven’t seen that since I was there, it is probably worn off in the last few years
Tip: where the Kossuth Bridge used to stand, there’s the tank.
7. Scuba diver
Oneofmypersonalfavoritesafterthefairy tale sculptures was the diving figure wearing old diving equipment and holding the key.According to stories, when the famous café opened in 1894,the key to the front door was thrown into the Danubesothatthecaféwouldalwaysbeopen.Thediverbroughtupfromthedepthsthekeytotheworld’s most beautiful café, which is now a luxury hotel in the 7th district.
Tip: you should look for the diver and key not on the boulevard, but on a column next to the hotel.
8. The rabbit with checkered ears
One of my childhood favorites twisted his long ears and flew across Budapest like a propeller. The rabbit in the tale always solved a problem and watched those who were up to something bad. He’sholding a telescope right now so that nothing can avoid his attention and intervene immediately if necessary.
Tip: the rabbit is not afraid of the Buda Castle cogwheel railway. In fact, he’s getting very close to it.
9. Seress Rezső
The singer’s name mostly boiled over with the Gloomy Sunday, also known as the suicide song. Although the song became world-famous, it did not bring any financial benefit to its author, so he was forced to play the piano in the evenings at the famous restaurant on Akácfa Street for the daily food.
Tip: if you look at the shape of the statue, it will answer the name of the restaurant on the wall of which the work is located.
10. Jack of All Trades
The b-handed hero of the popular Hungarian puppet film series caused a lot of trouble for his customers. Jack (or Mekk Elek in Hungarian), the handyman, decorated his house with all sorts of companies, in fact, he doesn’t know anything but was smart. Then, in the final episode, it turns out that the only profession he has not failed in is tailoring. The little statue probably wasn’t the subject of tailoring, but also got a mask in Széll Kálmán Square.
Tip: do not look for the statue near the metro station in the middle of the square, but rather look along the tracks.
István Csukás’s character, the Big Ho-Ho Angler and the main Maggot formed a brilliant pair in the Hungarian fairy tale film series that lived out the two seasons. Now only one of them, the maggot, has been housed next to the Danube on Bem embankment to the delight of the walkers, who also put hats and scarves on him in the cold season. If you’re around, let’s rub the worm’s nose in case it brings us luck.
12. Dead squirrel
Inspector Colombo has fewer known detectives on the ground. It’s no coincidence that a statue was erected for him and his famous dog on Falk Miksa Street. And if it’s a crime, what happened to the squirrel? Did he kill himself or did someone kill him? That’s probably what inspector Colombo’s been up to.
Tip: you should look around the Kieselbach Gallery, near the leafy trees.
13. Szenes Hanna
Anikó Szenes, or Hanna, was one of seventeen Hungarian Jews trained to parachute down to Yugoslavia in an attempt to prevent the deportation of Hungarian Jews. She died by a bullet at the age of 23 after being captured and refused to betray her mission.
Tip: in the 7th district park named after her, the statue is attached to a retaining wall.
14. Lisa Simpson
The emblematic figure of the Simpsons stood in Jászai Mari Square tied to a pole. The bright yellow figure was very appealing to someone, or he was just trying to get Lisa out of the ropes. The operation was successful because the statue disappeared from the square a few months ago. It is worth keeping an open eye because it is possible that the creator will take revenge and soon the Jászai Mari Square will be enriched with a new figure.
This was the original statue. Photo source: Kolodko Art Facebook
15. The fourteen-carat car
The rather large statue pays homage to the work of Jenő Rejtő, which novel was published under the same name in 1940. One of the characters in the novel is an Alfa Romeo sports car, which is two-thirds made of fourteen carats of gold. Although not exactly the same as the parts of the statue that are run with gold, as in the novel, it is still the same vehicle.
Tip: the car was parked near the Hungarian Theatre, it is not difficult to see by its size.
16. Süsü, the dragon
This is the second István Csukás figure, whose mini sculpture was made in Budapest and is also the youngest (at the time of writing the article, it was only 4 days old). In the tale, Süsü is the famous one-headed dragon whose best friend is a prince. The work commemorates Süsü and his Hungarian voice, Gyula Bodrogi, together in Szabadság Square.
Tip: next to the staircase of a famous building is the figure that was once besieged.
17. Herzl Tivadar
The politician and writer lived near the Synagogue on Dohány Street and dreamed of a unified Jewish state, the creation of which he could no longer live to see. I searched for the little bike figure for a long time and found it difficult to find the place that marks the former birthplace of Tivadar Herzl. Why it’s a tricky task to find him, you’ll find out on the spot.
Tip: take a good look at the picture and the details I brought you.
In the early 1970s, an engineer of Hungarian descent was involved in the Apollo program. Ferenc Pavlics designed the rover that researched the surface of the moon. The vehicle sculpture is in style on Moon Street in the 5th district near the Belvárosi Market, where the creative sculptor Kolodko lived for a while.
Tip: just as the moon is round, let’s find something round the little car can stick to.
In Szabadság Square, near the Soviet heroic monument, there was an ushanka originally on the pillow until it was thrown into the Danube for political reasons Kolodko fought back, replacing the ushanka hat with an axe. I walked past it three times on my bike before I found the statue.
Tip: look for it on the north side of Szabadság Square, but not directly at the monument.
20. Liszt Ferenc
After hearing the name, I thought that it was worth looking in Liszt Ferenc Square, which bears the name of the famous composer, but no. Liszt is sitting on a suitcase waiting to be found. Probably at the time of creation, Kolodko didn’t know how symbolic the plane lying on the ground would ever be.
Tip: when you fly abroad, is the joy of departure or arrival the greater? The statue will be there.