Szadvar castle project and youth camp, Hungary

 
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Exhibition Cabinet of the Friends of Szadvar
Exhibition Cabinet of the Friends of Szadvar

Friends of Szadvar gathered again on the castle hill for the 18th Save the Castle Days on March 12-14th. The weather was again not in our favor so the volunteers had to wear their raincoats every day. It does not take away the enthusiasm as much because the landscape is still spectacular and the fresh air is still something which keeps the city people taking deep breaths the whole day…

But the paths become muddy and the walls become slippery which makes the work not only harder but even more dangerous. Since the castle is on the top of the hill it is not safe to stay during thunderstorms. That is why after a few hours of hard work the volunteers were asked to leave the castle on both days.

Still we had managed to pile up the loose stones around the outer castle bailey. It not only looks better now but it makes easier and safer for the visitors to walk up to the the walls on the North side of the outer bailey. It is also important to pile up the stones for the forthcoming conservations works.

The other team had cut the twigs and sprigs from the walls. The remaining roots growing in the walls and between the rocks under the walls provide us work to do every time we go back to the ruins.

The bad weather on the other hand provided an opportunity for us to take the time and fill the cabinet in the exhibition hall in the oldest building in Szögliget, the ‘Governor’s house’. Now the visitors can see the awards and some other interesting photos, prints from the past of ‘Friends of Szadvar’. Later this year the most interesting findings from the Szadvar excavations will be placed in the other Cabinet next to it.

Now we are preparing for our next event which is going to be the summer excavation between August 3-9th. We expect up to 50-60 people to join us during this week. This year we will continue exploring the eastern buildings of the inner bailey which we started to dig out last year.

If you have the chance you should come and visit Szadvar next to the village Szögliget, Hungary. We will proudly show you the achievements we have already made – with your help of course. We appreciate all your support and we do our best to use your money to save the most of what remained of Szadvar.

Remember: the Castle is Yours!

Pile up stones!
Pile up stones!
Pile up more stones!
Pile up more stones!
Pile up stones for construction.
Pile up stones for construction.
Cutting twigs from the walls
Cutting twigs from the walls
Lunchtime!
Lunchtime!
The Team of the 18th
The Team of the 18th 'Save the Castle Days'

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Szadvar
Szadvar's walls from the South

Regular report of the Szadvarert Barati Kor (Friends of Szadvar) association

 

 Wintertime is usually not active for the castle savers. This is the time of preparation and making plans for the next year. But one may also go up to the castle hill and take some beautiful shots of the ruins covered with snow. Let us take you on a walk to the breathtaking snow-capped Szadvar.

 The 2nd phase of the preservation of the Csonka Tower has been finished. Now the walls are reinforced and the tower got a roof which does not let the rain and the snow get into the building and wear down the old structure. The planned lookout and the tools storage in the building was still not realized due to the limited funds. Now we are preparing the plans what should be the next step. You can also see some pictures of the Csonka Tower attached.

 Friends of Szadvar have planned to install benches and information boards around the castle as well. There are quite a few people hiking around the area that may or may not know about the castle. So we believe it will help a lot to make Szadvar better known. Now it is under preparation and we hope that we can set them up during this year.

 Our forthcoming event is the 18th Save the Castle Days on March 12-14th. It is traditionally the time to cut the bushes from the walls and we will also collect the loose stones around the castle bailey to prepare for this year’s conservations works.

 If you have the chance you should come and visit Szadvar next to the village Szögliget, Hungary. We will proudly show you the achievements we have already made – with your help of course. We appreciate all your support and we do our best to use your money to save the most of what remained of Szadvar.

 Remember: the Castle is Yours!

Approaching Szadvar
Approaching Szadvar's gate from SE
The outer bailey from the Castle
The outer bailey from the Castle's former gate
View to the south towards the village Szogliget
View to the south towards the village Szogliget
The south wall (this part was reinforced in 2012)
The south wall (this part was reinforced in 2012)
The 2 storey Cybilla cellar
The 2 storey Cybilla cellar
The top of the Csonka Tower from the south
The top of the Csonka Tower from the south
The Csonka Tower from the East
The Csonka Tower from the East

Links:

Regular report of the Szadvarert Barati Kor (Friends of Szadvar) association

11/17/2014

 The castle hill of Szadvar is surrounded by beautiful mountains and peaceful valleys which stand guard not only against the enemies but against extreme weather sometimes. Well, it was not the case on the long weekend of 23 - 26th October when the people gathered for the 17th Save the Castle Days event in Szögliget.  Although we did not have to worry that some enemy would reach the village or the castle but a strong cyclone brought extreme rainy weather around the area for a couple of days.

 So the people who arrived to work on the Castle had some time to look around and visit the “Intezo haz” (Governor’s House) in the village. This is one of the oldest buildings of Szögliget and it was recently renovated and restored in its 18th century state. The house is very interesting in itself but for us it’s special because this is the place where the exhibition about Szadvar and its excavations will soon be located. The display cabinets which will show the findings and documents are already installed. The Herman Otto Museum at Miskolc agreed to lend some of the most interesting articles we found during the excavations of Szadvar in the last few years. We are really looking forward to seeing the results of our hard work and we believe that the more people will see it the more volunteers may be involved in the future.

 We have also had the opportunity to visit the near village Tornaszentandras where the Romanesque style Church of Saint Andrew built in the 12th century is known as the location of the wooden altar of Szadvar’s former chapel. So this time the volunteers could see and touch something which was once part of that great castle they are trying to save for the future.

 The 2nd day the rain stopped in the morning so volunteers could climb up to the castle and start cutting the plants off the walls. But only after a few hours of work the rain started to pour again so we had to leave the castle with some remaining bushes. But some of the volunteers could stay and went up on the 3rd day as well. At least we could clean the cellars and the bushy places which made us satisfied.

 Due to the weather conditions the restoration of the Csonka tower was also processing slowly. But we could see the walls were already reinforced on the inside (to the south) and on the adjacent walls. It will be standing when we go back next year and it will look just as the plans showed in the previous report.

 Please see the attachments for more details.

Links:

This summer Szadvar continued to reveal its hidden secrets buried more than 300 years ago.

 As reported earlier, the 2nd phase of the Csonka tower’s conservation started in June with the excavation inside and around the building. The weather was not perfect as there were some rainy days in the area that time so the bastion could not completely cleaned from the ruins inside the walls.

 The wall which closed the building from the inner bailey (south side) was found and the different construction phases could be identified. Connecting walls were also found with the possible entrance but the stones of the door-step did not show (if there were at all). The adjacent wall on the eastern side was also cleaned and prepared for conservation. Due to the weather conditions there were remaining ruins which had to be removed from the tower on the next event. Now the tower is prepared for the conservation and reinforcement which should conclude this year.

 We opened the summer excavation camp on August 4th, 2014. Up to 60 volunteers – including archeology students and children, arrived to the Szalamandra tourist house under the castle hill. These people were going to work on the excavations to help the archeologist Viktor Gal who had set out 7 different locations to dig.

 This year the excavations were focusing on the areas around the remaining walls which are still standing around the inner bailey. These walls are not protected by the ground so they lie under the wearing effects of the rains and winds. We hope to receive fund and more sources in the forthcoming years to enforce these walls so we had to prepare for that with the excavations.

 The most exciting location was probably the wall of the gate tower which once defended the entrance to the inner bailey. We have most probably found the remains of the vaulted gate and a brick floor in the adjacent building which may have been the kitchen. We were also digging in the Lakatos bastion where we found large beam holes in the walls showing once there was a strong wooden building there. We have dug out many ruins from the prison house but there were not much findings in those ruins. Still, we have found many ceramics, some nails and 2 coins during the week which made the people excited and enthusiastic to complete the hard work every day.

 Hopefully we will have the opportunity to report about an exhibition soon where we plan to show these findings to the local people and to everyone who travels in the small village of Szögliget.

 Now we are going to prepare for the Save the Castle days in October when we are going to need to cut the bushes from the walls again…

 Please see the attachments for more details.

Links:

We held our 16th ‘Save the Castle days’ in March 2014. This was a 2-day event started on Friday and despite the fact that the national holiday, March 15th was on Saturday this year still many volunteers travelled from around the country to Szadvar. More than 25 people left their workplaces and took a holiday to help and contribute.

The trees in the forest were still not leafy so the walls were clearly shining and everyone could see them from the village. It is not the case in the summer when the trees cover the majority of the walls since the building was demolished in 1688. So it was nice to come back and see the castle walls smiling at us from the top of the mountain. Even though that smile is not perfect yet…

But this time we didn’t have to cut the weeds and bushes around the walls. The goal was to collect as many loose stones as we could around the inner bailey, of course without removing any parts of the remaining walls. These stones then will be used as building material for the conservation of the Csonka (Truncated) tower. We even pushed up 3 wheelbarrows to the castle to be more effective and we were. The volunteers managed to collect a quite big pile of rocks and stones next to the construction area.

It was an important achievement because the 2nd phase of saving the Csonka tower is about to start in a few days with the excavation inside and around the building. The adjacent wall on the eastern side will be conserved and eventually a wooden roof will be built to cover the walls and to prevent the water flowing through the bastion from the inner bailey. This project is expected to be completed in the beginning of June. You can see the original status in 2006 and a preview of the final state on the attached photos.

Another important mission of our association is to propagate Szadvar around and even outside the country. Since this castle is located near to the Slovakian border it had been a restricted area and it was not allowed to freely visit the castle before Hungary joined to the EU. So just a few people came here between 1920 and 2006 and the castle was more or less forgotten. It was a great opportunity that the nationwide known Hungarian association, Castrum Bene (www.castrumbene.hu) accepted the invitation of Szögliget village and the Friends of Szadvar and they held their annual conference at Szadvar this year. Close to a hundred people, archeologists, historians and architects came to the village not only from Hungary but from Slovakia, too. They were staying in Szögliget between May 2-4th and they visited some places in Slovakia. The presentations were in Hungarian and in Slovakian, too, helped by interpreters. The conference was successful and we hope that this event will provide good publicity of our efforts and results in saving Szadvar.

Friends of Szadvar asked graphic artist Frigyes König, President of the Hungarian University of Fine Arts to draw the castle as it may have looked like in the 17th century. He was kind to accept the challenge and after studying old prints and old inventory data of the castle he created not only one but 12 beautiful drawings! We issued these in our first publication about Szadvar with the support and help of Civertan Bt. (www.civertan.hu).

Now we are preparing for our most important annual event, the summer excavation camp between August 4-9th 2014. We expect 50+ volunteers to come this year including archeology students and children. In addition to that we can see more and more people and families visit the castle this time of the year, because they are welcome to join in the excavation activities which is a great experience for not only the small children but for their parents, too.

Thank you for your generous help which made all this possible!

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Szadvar Castle

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San Jose, CA United States

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Map of Szadvar castle project and youth camp, Hungary