Hunting in Hungary: The Lions of Budapest

Growing up in California, I went to Disneyland just about every year. I loved riding through the canon ball attack in Pirates of the Caribbean, singing along with the toucans in The Tiki Room, and sitting with a ghost in my car at the end of the Haunted House ride. One of my favorite things to do in the park was to hunt for Hidden Mickeys. These are images of Mickey Mouse that Disney imagineers concealed in attractions, buildings, gates – anywhere. In Budapest, there’s an animal that hides all around the city, too. It’s not a mouse, but a lion.

Throughout the city, images of lions appear on facades, doors, fountains, bridges, balconies. And just like at Disneyland, I like to hunt for them. Here are some that I’ve discovered so far:




















7 thoughts on “Hunting in Hungary: The Lions of Budapest

  1. While not as subtle as hidden Mickeys they are great to see none the less! Next time we visit we’ll be looking for them! We did see many of those you showed photos of above.

  2. Hi,
    these “domestic” animals represent the Hungarian spirit fairly well. They are products of a society that can only live in its past (which once was victorius indeed, until 1456), and is not able to do anything for the present, has amazing capacity to choose the worst partners (e.g. in both WWs), and thinking about the furture is absolutely out of question. The lions are manifestation of “living in the past”, and are symbols of the “glorious past”.

  3. The one lion in the cemetery reminds me of Aslan in “The Chronicles of Narnia”. Some lions have nearly “human” features and some are scary. Thank you for opening our eyes to “lion beauty”!

  4. Saw few comments, saw few lions. Photos are just great, and as a matter of fact these lions are really something that tells something about great history and style of this great country and this great city. As a young adult I went few times to Budapest. Experience of wandering around old streets with a bit of fear in my head, but still knowing that I am not in danger. It’s hard to explain but great to experience. Thank you again for great photos, teacher Phil!!!

  5. But you didn’t share why the Lion is everywhere in Hungary :) . The Lion (9 of them) was the family crest of the House of Arpad, the royal dynasty from 1000 – 1300. It’s a symbol of strength, fairness, and a protector of the “family”. Not a bad symbol if you ask me!

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