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Petofi Sándor Memorial House and Literary Museum

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Hidden : 9/28/2003
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Altitude: 114 m
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Sándor Petofi
Sandor-Alexander-Petofi (his proper name was Petrovics) was born on the lst of January 1823 in Kiskorös. His father, István Petrovics, was a village butcher, innkeeper, and a Serb, whose family had assimilated with the majority population. Maria Hruz, Petofi’s mother, was a Slovak, whose knowledge of the Hungarian language was not especially good, although Hungarian was used at home.

When Sándor Petofi turned 16 he left high school and his family to become an actor, joining a theatre troup and wandered across the country. In 1839 he became a soldier but after just two years he fell ill and received a discharge from the Austrian Army.

Petofi tried to continue his studies at the Calvinist College of Pápa, but soon quarrelled with his teachers. He then worked as an actor without much success, copied parliamentary document s in Pozsony, lived in poverty in Debrecen, and made some translations. In 1844 Petofi became an assistant editor of the literary periodical Pesti Divatlap. During 1848-49 War of Independence Petofi served as the aide-de-camp of the famous Polish General Jozef Bem. Petofi disappeared during the Battle of Segesvár, on July 31 1849, his body never to be found.

The Memorial House was builtin the 18th century. The family's furniture is kept in the first room, its open-chimney kitchen is equipped with period dishes, while in the back room the relics and documents of the poet's baptism and the time spent in Kiskorös are displayed. In the courtyard the ice-pit and the world 's first public-square Petofi Statue can still be seen. The two museums are joined by the statuary of translators where there are the statues of well-known foreign poets who transleted Petofi's literary works.
The fistory of Kiskorös,a town with a population of some 16.000 can be seen in the new literary museums. Petofi's life's work is also displayed here - both in mass media and traditional adaptations, and it is shown how the poet lives on in the everyday life, thinking and memories of Kiskorös and the world.
Upstairs, in the gallery of the museum, there is an art collection connected with the poet's life and life's work.
In the centre of the town there is Júlia Szendrey's statue and there is also an imposing Petofi statue, treasuring the poet's memory.
The Slovakian Folk Art house is also part of the museum-joint that shows the life-style and the cultural and clothing customs of the Slovaks settled down in Kiskorös at the beginning of the 18th century.
Tickets are available at any of the museums and are valid to visit all the three parts. There ara provided guiding in German, Russian and Slovakian, on demand.
The office hours at Petofi memorial House and Literary Museum are 9-17 Tuesday to Sunday, while the Slovakian Folk Art House are 9-16 Tuesday to sunday.

Sándor Petofi became the author of exquisite lyrics. He composed the national poem “Talpra Magyar” (1848) (National Song) and several epics, including János Vitéz (1845, tr. 1866). His poetry served as an inspiration to the patriots of the Hungarian revolution.

National Song

RISE, Magyar! is the country's call!
The time has come, say one and all:
Shall we be slaves, shall we be free?
This is the question, now agree!
For by the Magyar's God above
We truly swear,
We truly swear the tyrant's yoke
No more to bear!

Alas! till now we were but slaves;
Our fathers resting in their graves
Sleep not in freedom's soil. In vain
They fought and died free homes to gain.
But by the Magyar's God above
We truly swear,
We truly swear the tyrant's yoke
No more to bear!

A miserable wretch is he
Who fears to die, my land, for thee!
His worthless life who thinks to be
Worth more than thou, sweet liberty!
Now by the Magyar's God above
We truly swear,
We truly swear the tyrant's yoke
No more to bear!

The sword is brighter than the chain,
Men cannot nobler gems attain;
And yet the chain we wore, oh, shame!
Unsheath the sword of ancient fame!
For by the Magyar's God above
We truly swear,
We truly swear the tyrant's yoke
No more to bear!

The Magyar's name will soon once more
Be honored as it was before!
The shame and dust of ages past
Our valor shall wipe out at last.
For by the Magyar's God above
We truly swear,
We truly swear the tyrant's yoke
No more to bear!

And where our graves in verdure rise,
Our children's children to the skies
Shall speak the grateful joy they feel,
And bless our names the while they kneel.
For by the Magyar's God above
We truly swear,
We truly swear the tyrant's yoke
No more to bear!

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