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City Hotel Mátyás ***

March 15th

National holiday

March 15th is a national holiday in Hungary.

It stands for democracy and freedom and it commemorates the Hungarian Revolution of 1848, which grew into a war for independence from Habsburg rule.

The revolution started on March 15th, 1848, following a series of uprisings throughout Europe. Lajos Kossuth, a famous journalist at the time, emerged as a leader and the revolution seemed to be very successful. A new, independent and democratic government was elected with Hungary’s first Prime Minister, Lajos Batthyány. As Vienna faced its own revolution, the Habsburg Empire first accepted the new government and its demands. However, after the Austrian revolution was defeated, troops were sent to dissolve the newly elected Hungarian parliament, turning the revolution into a war between Austria and Hungary.

The war for independence lasted until August 1849. Initially the Hungarian forces achieved several victories, which led to Hungary’s complete independence from Austria and Lajos Kossuth was named Governor-President. This prompted the Habsburgs to ask for help from their most powerful ally, the Russian Czar. His army invaded Hungary and the revolution was eventually defeated. Kossuth resigned and fled into exile. He even visited the US, where he was widely honored for his achievements. Kossuth County in Iowa was named after him.

Following the war of 1848–49, Lajos Batthyány, the first Hungarian Prime Minister was executed on present-day Szabadság Square and 13 other leaders were executed in the city of Arad.