Corvin Lane, Budapest, 1956

National Széchényi Library

An exhibition on a legendary site of the 1956 Hungarian revolution

Corvin Movie Theatre and Around
The Corvin Lane with a cinema in the middle is a little U-shaped street with blocks of houses around. It is located at the crossroads of the long and wide Üllői Road that historically connected Pest to rural Hungary in the Southeast, and József Boulevard that circles the city centre.   

Corvin Lane was in a strategically excellent location. From here one could control both the Boulvard and the long and wide Üllői Road from where attacks could be expected.

To the narrow lane surrounded by blocks of houses, in contrast, it was difficult to enter with tanks. There were an underground canteen in a neighboring street where revolutionaries were fed, and a gas station was also nearby.

Further, Corvin Lane was just opposite to Kilián Barrack of the Hungarian Army (to the right). On 23 October civil protesters entered the barracks looking for rifles. Then and in the following days soldiers, who were themselves divided, and revolutionaries repeatedly clashed.

Fights at Corvin Lane
Initially, when the Hungarian government's official statements regarded the uprising as "counterrevolutionary," there were armed conflicts between soldiers of the Hungarian Army and the protesters. On 28 October, when Imre Nagy reinterpreted the events as a national democratic movement, revolutionaries and soldiers became allies.

Cooperation was not smooth: Officers of the revolutionaries and the barracks did not trust each other. The revolutionary forces were also divided by internal power struggles.

Radio Free Europe is calling for nationwide cooperation despite any conflicting views

By that time, however, Corvin Laners established their fame: they successfully fought the Soviet tanks and assault guns in the early hours of 28 October. By making advantage of their well-choosen position and the force of surprise, revolutionaries could manage to destroy or capture several Soviet assault guns.

RFE celebrating the teenager revolutionaries, who fought predominantly at Corvin Lane

From 4 November, when Soviet troops started their second, more powerful assault, Corvin Laners fought bravely, but could not resist long to the military action named "Tornado." Still, without their contribution the Hungarian Revolution could have had a different, and much shorter, story.

National Széchényi Library
Credits: Story

This exhibition and videos were created by the working group of the "Hungary 1956" digital humanities project at National Széchényi Library in collaboration with Google.

The Project (to be launched on 23 October 2016) is about creating a georeferenced online living archive of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution with a particular emphasis on its visual heritage (films and photos) by making advantage of GoogleMaps.

Creators would like to thank the MANDA Archive (http://mandarchiv.hu/), Fortepan (www.fortepan.hu), and the 1956 Institute (now integrated into the National Széchényi Library, see www.rev.hu) for supporting the Project. Their materials are used in these exhibitions and videos.

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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