Despite the harsh economic conditions in Hungary our organization is approching another successful year helping the village of Szogliget through the difficult times. Our success is a result of the dedication of our volunteers and donors who has not stopped coming to help out. Thank you! As a result more tourists visit the village and the castle more people spend nights in the guesthouses and use the local services.
Our effort in previous years concentrated on the outer courtyard, however during an inspection last year we noticed that one of the relatively high standing walls in the inner castle did not have much time left. The wall had become so shaky that a strong wind could blow it down to the Menes valley. This wall belonged to the medieval palace and still had an easily identifiable door and a window. As the archeologists explained the door used to lead to a small room where our predecessors went in need.
The ruined toalette before the restoration
The ruined wall first had to be inspected from an archeological perspective. This work was carried out in July and unearthed several interesting findings. We found objects that people lost while taking care of their business so to speak. We also learnt that there used to be a cellar under the building and found the mostly still intact arches that used to hold the ceiling. Right under the wall the survey uncovered a large whole that could have made the whole whole collapse and this finding spurred the organization to action to speed up the conservation works. Luckily through donations and grants we had enough funds to finance the project that cost more than 6 million forints.
The hole under the wall
The restoration effort took a few weeks and we could not be more proud of the results. The whole under the whole was filled the old door leading to the toalette got a new frame and the whole section is now sure to withstand the weather for another couple centuries.
Above: The medieval toalette after the restoration
In 2012 we are concluding another successful year. We managed to hold another great excavation summer camp where kids and adults alike had a great time and learnt a lot about the castle, history and each other. In addition we saved another piece of history for the future generations of visitors. This is the 5th part of the medival fortress (in bold below) that has been preserved to date. We will not stop here and continue raising the bar and raising more funds to preserve our national heritage and to provide an unparalleled cultural experience for our members.
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!
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!
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.
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!
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