The garden park of the Hungarian Geographical Museum was re-landscaped after the renovation of the building in 2001. The purchase of the benches and the lamp posts was funded by the citizens and businesses of the town and plaques recognising the donors are displayed on the garden furniture. The flora of the garden park boasts an impressive diversity of species, with the most striking of all being a horse chestnut whose foliage dominates the garden. Other species of trees worthy of mention are Norway maple, fir and walnut; shrubs include cherry laurel, berberis julianae and snowberry.
Statues of Hungarian travellers are also on display in the garden park. There is a full size statue of Sándor Kőrösi Csoma along with 11 other statues and a sundial. All the statues were funded by contributions from members of the public.
Statues in the garden park in the chronological order of their erection:
1984 – Sándor Kőrösi Csoma (1784-1842) (by Károly Antal)
1989 – Sámuel Teleki (1845-1916) (by Béla Domonkos)
1990 – Aurél Stein (1862-1943) (by Béla Domonkos)
1991 – Ervin Baktay (1890-1963) (by Béla Domonkos)
1992 – Mór Déchy (1851-1917) (by Béla Domonkos)
1993 – Pál Teleki (1879-1941) (by Béla Domonkos)
1993 – Gyula Prinz (1882-1973) (by Béla Domonkos)
1994 – Antal Reguly (1819-1858) (by Béla Domonkos)
1995 – László Almásy (1895-1951) (by Béla Domonkos)
1999 – Dénes Balázs (1924-1994) (by Béla Domonkos)
2005 – László Sáska (1890-1978) (by Béla Domonkos)
2007 – Ármin Vámbéry (1832-1913) (by Béla Domonkos)
Founder of our Museum – Dr Dénes Balázs
Dr. Dénes Balázs (1924 – 1994) was a Hungarian geographer of exceptional will power. The researcher of Sekler origin considered Sándor Kőrösi Csoma as his role model.
Few scientists did so much for science as Dénes Balázs, who committed himself to searching nature for life. First, while he was still a student, he familiarised himself with the landscapes of the Carpathian Basin: travelling 5,000 kilometres, he toured Hungary and Transylvania by bicycle. Later on he carried out his research in caves, the realms of eternal night, fascinated by dripping stalactites. He also explored the Szabadság Cave. He never recoiled from danger, but voluntarily undertook and accomplished great missions.
As a geographer, he considered the exploration of the limestone areas, caves, deserts, volcanos and jungles of the Earth as the purpose of his life. As a lonely backpacker, he reached some of the most inaccessible regions of the globe.
In the space of three decades he performed field research in physical geography in about 130 countries on five continents. He travelled around the world twice (in 1977-78 and 1984-85) and based on these travels, he published 27 books, several hundred scientific studies and awareness raising articles. His books were published in five languages and sold several million copies. He paid special attention to the preservation of natural values, and spoke up for the protection of geological treasures.
He played a key role in the Hungarian Karst and Cave Research Association as well as the Hungarian Geographical Society. Following several years of committed work, in 1983 he established the Hungarian Geographical Museum and the single public collection of the town of Érd. In 2014, on the 90th anniversary of the birth and the 20th anniversary of the death of Dénes Balázs, the third permanent exhibition of our museum (3,276 Days Spent in Exploration; or a Re-reading of Dénes Balázs, Geographer and Museum Founder) in memory of the work of the museum founder.