The Hungarian National Museum occupies an emblematic location in Hungarian history. In 1848, Hungary was not a sovereign state but was ruled and governed by the Habsburg Empire. The advent of the so-called Hungarian Reform Era in the 1820s brought about a yearning for national independence culminating here, on the steps of the museum, on 15 March 1848, when (the legend goes) young romantic poet Sándor Petőfi recited his revolutionary poem Nemzeti dal (“National Song”) to an enthusiastic crowd. In reality, he addressed his gathered compatriots in a fiery speech rather than a recital, but the legend was born. However it happened, the Hungarian National Museum is regarded as an outstanding historical site by every Hungarian man and woman.