According to an unnamed Hungarian historiographer living in the 12th century, and known as Anonymus, when the Magyars arrived in Europe, in the Carpathian Basin, their leader, Árpád, called an assembly of tribal chiefs in the location where the municipality of Ópusztaszer can be found today. Legends tell that it was at this assembly that the Principality of Hungary was founded and the first laws were enacted. With perhaps a little exaggeration, we can say that it was here that the first Hungarian national assembly was held. Starting from the 10th century, the municipality enjoyed continuous growth, but was depopulated by the attacks of the Ottoman Empire in the 16th century. The location where the Principality of Hungary was founded was lost to history until the end of the 19th century. In celebration of the millennial anniversary of the foundation of the Hungarian state and its thousand-year existence, the Árpád memorial was constructed in Ópusztaszer in 1896 in honor of the first “national assembly”. If you would like to experience these more than 1100 years old historic moments, be sure to visit the most important building of the Heritage Park, the Rotunda. It is here that the most interesting painting of Hungary is held. The painting, entitled the Arrival of the Hungarians, is, to this day, the largest Hungarian painting, with a length of 120 meters and a height of 15 meters. Árpád Feszty and his team have finished the monumental artwork in 1894; the painting is interesting because, when stretched out in a circular space, it provides a three-dimensional view of the conquest: the moment when the Magyar tribes, led by Árpád, enter the Carpathian Basin at Verecke Pass. Its spatiality is enhanced by the studio established in front of the painting, making it feel like the scene is taking place in real space. It is a guaranteed time travel to 896! Appearances, of course, can be deceiving, as Árpád’s face hide the features of the painter himself.
The cyclorama was originally exhibited in Budapest and was moved to Ópusztaszer a hundred years later, in 1995, after Polish restaurateurs magnificently restored it.