Year after year, the number of visitor groups is increasing at the Fiumei Road Cemetery, the Salgótarjáni Street Jewish Cemetery, and the National Park of Mourning, the maintainer, the National Heritage Institute (NÖRI), announced on Thursday.
More and more members of the younger generation are visiting the historical cemeteries in Budapest, showing an interest in the nation’s past, the statement said.
NÖRI’s goal from the outset has been to make the nation’s history appealing to young people as well through its programmes and cultural events at the three key locations, which provide a comprehensive overview of modern Hungarian history. Thematic walks are becoming increasingly popular among young people, and last year saw a record number of visitors registered–the statement said. Since 2017, the number of visitors at the three locations has been steadily increasing, and
after experiencing a decline during the pandemic, a record number of visitors were registered in 2023:
17,345 participants attended 577 walks.
Of the registered groups, 83 per cent were former student groups (397 groups with 12,040 participants), most of whom were secondary school students (62 per cent), but there were also primary school students (32 per cent) and university students (six per cent) who visited NÖRI’s sites in significant numbers. The number of school groups visiting the Fiumei Road Cemetery has increased significantly, indicating that the national memorial site with its versatile character, spatial impact, and thematic profile has a strong appeal to student groups interested in the life’s work of eminent personalities buried there, as well as those seeking a venue for school community programmes related to fine arts, architecture, botany, or historical backgrounds.
NÖRI not only attracts young people by hosting student groups but also by organizing special cultural programmes. On Memorial Sites Day, Museum Night, Cultural Heritage Days, and numerous historical anniversaries, hundreds of people fill the unique space of the Fiumei Road Cemetery as audiences for concerts and performing arts productions. The increasing number of visitors confirms that large-scale cultural events held in the cemetery’s monumental space significantly enhance the site’s visibility and tourist appeal, the statement concluded.
Director General Gábor Móczár explained in the statement that last year’s data confirm the principles of their National Memorial Pedagogy Programme, launched in 2022, which aims to integrate national and historical memorial sites with high school education: at historically significant locations, extracurricular learning, experiential learning, and a growing interest in Hungarian history coexist for participants in public education and vocational training.
Sources: Hungarian Conservative/NÖRI/MTI