History

Legendary 1848 Revolution copper cannon displayed in Budapest

The only surviving copper cannon cast by Áron Gábor, a legendary figure of the 1848–49 Revolution, along with another sixty objects of great historical value are being exhibited at the Budapest Military History Institute from the end of November, Hungary Insider reports.

The most valuable item of the exhibition is the copper cannon, an object that was considered lost for decades and made a surprising appearance at a time when no one ever expected this treasure to see the light of day again.

In 1848, troops of the Hungarian Revolution had to confront the effective and well-equipped Austrian artillery. In November, the besieged region of Háromszék in Transylvania faced a seemingly hopeless situation due to a lack of artillery. Áron Gábor, a Szekler Hungarian artillery officer, then reached back to an ancient and simple barrel casting method adapted to local circumstances. The light, three- and six-pound field guns produced using his method matched the strength of opposing forces in the region, making resistance possible. According to existing documentation, more than 60 cannons were produced under Gábor’s supervision.

The cannons disappeared without a trace after the Revolution. The only one identified as carrying Gábor’s “signature” was found on August 18, 1906, during plumbing work in the courtyard of Rudolf Hospital, formerly home to the gun factory, in Kézdivásárhely.

From here, the cannon was transported to the Szekler National Museum in Sepsiszentgyörgy 17 years later, followed by a long journey to Bucharest in 1971 to the National Museum of Romania. The priceless relic returned home to the Szekler National Museum in 2010.

Now, the cannon, along with other artifacts from 1848–49, will be exhibited at the Budapest Military Institute in Budapest until June 30, 2020. Visitors can check out the exhibited items every day between noon and 5 p.m.

Title image: Áron Gábor’s copper cannon in Budapest. Image source: Hunor Kelemen’s Facebook page

Author: István Fekete