Szadvar castle project and youth camp, Hungary

Aug 15, 2012

July wall research at a medieval toalett

Toalett wall
Toalett wall

This summer the association is gearing up for yet another eventful excavation and restoration season. In July our volunteers helped the archeologists from Miskolc to research the only remaining wall of the oldest part of the castle. This wall happens to contain the medieval toalett. The wall is in such bad shape that unless it is conserved it may fall into the valley under it next winter.

We managed to raise enough money to carry out a detailed research on and around the wall as well as strengthen the structure later this year. The research yielded some interesting details we did not know before. The building was at least 2 stories high, the archeologist located the door leading to the toilet as well as the beams holders for the ceiling.

During the week we managed to clean the wall of vegetation and thanks to the research ditch opened just behind the wall now we know that there was a 5-2.5 meter cellar below the building.

In August we will host our international archeologist camp to gain new knowledge of how our predecessors lived in the castle 500 years ago. The work will focus on the outer and middle gate towers, the so called "snail" that was used to transport goods up the hill and in the outer barley.

In September we are scheduled to conserve the toalett wall. We will post pictures when the work is done.

This work could not have been achieved without the help of our donors! Our association greatly appreciates your help!

Diggings around the wall
Diggings around the wall
Apr 12, 2012

New year new dreams

A few dozen volunteers turned out to kick off the 2012 activities at Szadvar castle.

On Thursday March 15th, beautiful weather awaited the association members, who were ready to kick off yet another year of Szadvar castle preservation.

The national holiday provided a long weekend opportunity to spend some time together, take care of official business, carry out the necessary spring cleaning and discover the surroundings.

The spring effort targeted the area around the old military road leading up to the gates as well as the outer courtyard. We wanted to improve the visibility of the ruins as well as prepare the ground for the summer work that is scheduled for August. The efforts will concentrate on conserving the medieval lavatory and continuing the excavation work that we had started last year.

We concluded the March activities with a group trip to the neighbouring hilltop where the ruins of a mysterious castle Ovar are hiding.

We invite all of our donors and castle enthusiast to join a week of excavations in August, it was a blast last year!

Dec 19, 2011

Looking back at 2011 and looking forward to 2012

While the ruins of the castle of Szadvar sleep under the thick layer of white snow we can proudly look back at the 2011 achievements of out 5 year old nonprofit. Despite the worsening economic crisis in Europe with the help of our donors we were able to achieve more than in the year before.

The association was able to sponsor and assist on the preservation efforts of the northern wall where archeologists found and restored 3 medieval loopholes. In addition we organized a wildly successful archeology camp in the summer that gave some unforgettable memories to dozens of participants. Whether it was a 15th century polish coin, a lost bullet or a vase our members still recall the excitement of finding these artifact under four centuries of rubble.

This year we managed to reach another important milestone, in early December our friend Milan from Slovakia donated his time and effort to complete a geodesical survey of the full castle. As a result the current state of the ruins is preserved and can be used for any future restoration effort.

We are anticipating another great year in 2012. While the economic conditions are not favorable and securing grants is more difficult than ever, we believe that our donors will raise enough funds to repeat the archology camp in the summer. In addition using the results of the geo survey we will try to save the remaining wall of the former castle toilet that is about to fall down the hill within a year or two.

We would like to thank all of our donors for enabling us to carry out our mission. We would be also happy to host anyone who is interested in Archeology in the summer of 2012.


Aug 11, 2011

Digging for treasures

The team in August
The team in August

It all started 5 years ago and we wanted to make it a memorable 5th anniversary. This summer we organized not only conservation work but a week of archeology under the supervision of professional archeologists.


On August 1. two dozen volunteers occupied the outer bailey of Szadvar to start the first large scale archeology expedition. No one needed a reminder at 6 am that it was time to wake up. The enthusiasm was tangible in the air, the waiting was over. The lead archeologist designated 7 areas in the outer bailey and assigned a mix of volunteers and professionals to each one. In the following 6 days a total of 50 people dug deeper and deeper looking for walls, artifacts and treasures, locating the foundations of the outer and middle gatehouses and unearting the site of the blacksmith shop. People were thrilled to find Polish coins from the 15th century, parts of a pipe, various dishes, bullets etc.  All of these artifacts bring us closer to understand how people lived in the castle 4-5-600 years ago.


A week of excavation required great physical sacrifice from our team, but as a number of volunteers commented after the event, they couldn't wait for next year do it again.  

Before the excavation started a team of architects, archeologist and builders had begun work on the northern wall of the outer bailey.  Thanks to grants and donations we we able to finance the research and conservation of this part of the walls. The archeologists found and restored three new loopholes and rebuilt a section of the wall before bad weather forced them to suspend the work. Luckily weather condition improved by mid August and the work can be finished in the next two week.

We are going to gather on the castle hill again in October to carry out our semi annual castle ground cleanup as well as take an excursion and spend time together as a team. This event would not have been possible without the donations of our supporters! Thank you and please consider helping us next year again!

The devil is in the detail
The devil is in the detail
Digging, just digging
Digging, just digging


Apr 8, 2011

Our 5 year anniversary

Then and Now
Then and Now

Times passes by so quickly. 

It was already five years ago that a group of people from all over the county ascended to Szadvar to dig out the ruins of the medieval castle from its 300 years Cinderella like dream. 5 years later again a few dozen volunteers gathered again in the valley of the Menes river at the Szalamandra house to clean up the castle from its winter sleep. It was a beautiful relatively warm day. We greeted our old friends and welcomed newcomers. We really appreciate that people spend their time and money to save a piece of medieval history.

The team climbed up the hill and reached the outer gate in 25 minutes. After short orientations smaller teams started cutting the foliage, collecting garbage and stones on the southern side of the castle. 

We were especially pleased to welcome the representatives of Saros castle (Slovakia) whom came to Szadvar for the first time and we have every reason to believe that it is the start of a long term cooperation.  On Monday the joined teams got into their cars and drove up to Saros to check out how the works progress up there. 

Due to the grants and donations we are ready to start the conservation works in the summer on the eastern wall and provided we can raise an additional $3000 we will also conduct our first excavation workshop in July or August. 

We would also love you to join any of these efforts. Please contact us for details if you want to have a medieval experience.

The team
The team
Stone gathering
Stone gathering


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Project Leader

Szadvar Castle

Project Leader
San Jose, CA United States

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Map of Szadvar castle project and youth camp, Hungary