FrancisII Rákóczi, leader of the rebel Hungarian armies against the Habsburgs and last duke of Transsylvania, stayed in Tekirdağ for one and a half decade. He passed away in the Turkish city on 10th April 1735. His court was an important diplomatic meeting point, while his huge library a proof of his interest in culture. Tekirdağ thus became a relevant cultural centre for Hungarians in the first half of the 18th century. The memory of Rákóczi is not only preserved in his museum, but also on the seashore, with his statue in the Peace and Freedom Park (Barış ve Özgürlük Parkı). The statue is the work of Turkish sculptor Sait Rüstem, and was inaugurated on 4th July 1994.