Your Favourite American Detective Has A Columbo Statue In Budapest – On my trip to Budapest earlier this year, I set out to exploring some new weird and offbeat places throughout the city. Years back, I’d experienced the invisible exhibition where you learn firsthand how life can be for the visually impaired and I even ran on a spaceship with aliens on the now closed, Area 51 Project. This time round, I checked out the Ronald Reagan statue and continued with the Michael Jackson memorial tree.
Next up on my list was the Columbo statue.
The Columbo Statue In Budapest
In Budapest, you’ll find America’s most beloved television homicide detective, Frank Columbo, immortalized with a life-bronze statue. With his trademark cigar in hand, messy hair, and rumpled raincoat, accompanied by his faithful canine companion “Dog”, one’s left to wonder why – why does this statue even exist and why is it here? Columbo was a longtime staple of American television – it debuted in 1968, aired 69 episodes over 11 seasons (with some gaps along the way), and finally wrapped up in 2003. The charming detective, known for quips like “Just one more thing”, had an uncanny ability to solve the LAPD’s most complex murder cases.
Such a statue would seem more likely to be located in a bustling American city like New York or Los Angeles, right? Just how did a statue of Columbo come to be a fixture along Falk Miksa Utca in Budapest’s District V.? While the Michael Jackson memorial Tree and the Ronald Reagan statue have way more obvious reasons for being in Budapest, the placement of the Columbo statue is definitely lacking in sound logic.
Recommended reading: Read how others have answered the question about why there’s a Columbo statue in Budapest with – What’s the story behind this statue of Columbo and his dog in Budapest? Or watch this video from Atlas Obscura.
While it’s known that Columbo actor Peter Falk has Hungarian roots, rumour has it that he’s also related to 19th century politician, journalist, and author, Miksa Falk. The Colombo statue’s even located on a street of the same name. Many think the familial connection is a stretch though, with no one ever having proven it’s actually true.
The statue was unveiled in 2014 as part of a local rejuvenation project, three years after the death of Peter Falk. With the delay between his death and the building of the statue, many have questioned whether it’s really a meaningful tribute or memorial at all. It’s suspected that the local mayor at the time, Antal Rogán, pushed for the building of the statue to gain votes for an upcoming election. The basset hound statue isn’t really a tribute to Dog either, as it was modelled after a local canine, Franzi – who was actually attended the statue’s unveiling ceremony in real life.
Whatever the reason this statue exists and whether or not Columbo has legit ties to Hungary, this quirky, cute, and delightful statue is still something to be enjoyed. If you’re a hunter of the weird and offbeat like me, go out of your way to visit the Columbo statue while you’re visiting Budapest.
So that’s the story of the Columbo statue in Budapest. What other weird and offbeat things to do can you recommend in Budapest? Let us know in the comments below.
Good To Know
1) Visiting the statue is free of course, as it’s open to the public 24/7.
2) If you like weird and offbeat statues or sites, read these other blog posts:
- Weird & Offbeat: Michael Jackson Memorial Tree Budapest
- Weird & Offbeat: Hands Sculpture in the Venice Grand Canal
- Weird & Offbeat: The Bruce Lee Statue in Mostar
3) If you’re looking for other things to do in Budapest, check out these posts:
- Travel to Hungary and Spend A Weekend in Budapest
- Best Budapest Ruin Bar Crawls
- A Tour of District 7: Budapest Street Art
4) Want to experience more of Budapest on a guided tour? Book now.
5) Need a hotel for your time in Budapest? Review options on booking.com.
6) If hotels aren’t for your thing, stay at an Airbnb. First time users, can use this link and score a €34 travel credit.
7) If you’re into road trips, rent a car while you’re hanging out in Hungary.
Budapest, Falk Miksa u., 1055 Hungary
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