Lenin and friends in iron in the park

BUDAPEST -- Psst, comrade: If you're looking for a Budapest excursion that provides a little glimpse behind the former Iron Curtain, a good suggestion is Szoborpark -- Statue Park.

While most Eastern Bloc nations destroyed the Socialist statues that stood along the streets and town squares, Hungarians moved their statues to a location about 20 minutes outside Budapest. The result is an eerie and unique reminder of the region's recent past.

A giant statue of Lenin greets visitors at the entrance. Inside, or rather outside, since Statue Park is little more than a collection of statues surrounded by a brick wall, visitors walk down gravelly paths beneath gigantic cast-iron party figures. Gun-toting Soviet soldiers loom 20 to 30 feet tall.

If you're looking for maximum ambience, go when it's chilly and overcast.

The park is open daily from 10 a.m. to sunset; the entrance fee is around $1, but agents can arrange for special tours.

For more information, visit the park's Web site at www.szoborpark.hu.

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