President Vladimir Putin laid wreaths at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Heroes' Square and at the Monument to the Soviet Soldiers and Liberators in Freedom Square.
The Heroes’ Square architectural ensemble was built at the end of the nineteenth century to mark the celebrations of Hungary’s millennium in 1896. The square’s construction is linked to the history of Hungarian statehood. At the centre of the square stands the Millennium Monument with the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier alongside it.
The Soviet Army Memorial on Freedom Square is one of the central monuments in Budapest and was erected to honour the heroic feats of the Soviet Army in liberating Hungary from Nazism. It was built at the end of 1945 on the burial site of Soviet soldiers who fell during the battles for the liberation of Budapest. The burial site itself was transferred to the city cemetery in 1958.
According to the visit's schedule, President Vladimir Putin and Hungarian Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany took part in the opening ceremony for an exhibition of the books from the Sarospatak Calvinist College library collection.
The ceremony took place at the National Museum in Budapest.
The Russian President and Hungarian Prime Minister made brief addresses to the guests and then visited the exhibition. President of Hungary Laszlo Solyom was also present at the opening ceremony.
The books from the Sarospatak Calvinist College library were handed back to Hungary by Russia this February. They will be exhibited at the National Museum in Budapest for a several months and will then be taken to the town of Sarospatak.
A special federal law was passed in Russia concerning giving Hungary back the books that had been stored in the Nizhny Novogorod Regional State Universal Scientific Library.
One more cultural event involved awarding Pushkin medals to Hungarian scientists and artists. This award honours contributions in the fields of culture, education, the humanities, literature, and art and recognizes important contributions to studying and preserving cultural heritage, mutually enriching nations and nationalities, and bringing them closer together.
Vladimir Putin personally awarded the Pushkin Medal to the general secretary of the Hungarian Association of Teachers of Russian Language and Literature Istvan Bakon, professor in the Finno-Ugric department at Budapest University Peter Domokos, director of the Budapest Circus Istvan Kristof, deputy of the Hungarian National Assembly Gabor Labod, film director and professor at the Budapest School of Theatre Art and Cinematography Istvan Szabo, head of the centre of Russian philology at Budapest University Dula Svak, and managing director of Russian language and literature at the faculty of arts at Debrecen University Zoltan Hainad.
On that very same day Vladimir Putin met with the leaders of the political parties represented in the State Assembly of Hungary.
At the meeting they discussed political and economic cooperation. The leaders of the Hungarian political parties spoke in favour of active cooperation with Russia.
The meeting also discussed returning the Sarospatak library to Hungary. Mr Putin thanked the Hungarian Parliament for making the decisions that will enable valuable objects belonging to Russia found in Hungary to be returned to Moscow.
At the end of the visit to Hungary, Vladimir Putin visited the Cathedral of the Assumption.
Bishop Hilarion of Vienna and Austria told the Russian head of state about the history of the cathedral. According to the Bishop, the Cathedral of the Assumption and several other Hungarian parishes came under the jurisdiction of the Russian Orthodox Church in 1950. Orthodox believers including Hungarians, Russians and other nationalities visit the cathedral.
The cathedral was constructed in 1799. Around four hundred Orthodox families living in Pest and in Buda took part in fundraising to build the cathedral.
After the end of the official visit to Hungary, Vladimir Putin flew from Budapest to Prague.