The walls of the Lower Castle
Szadvar is a perfect example of places which bring people together. Although it is just a ruin now, it still has the power of building a bridge between villages, other castles and even countries!
In the Middle Ages two noble castles stood high above this area of the Hungarian Kingdom. Today Szadvar is located in Hungary and Torna (Turniansky Hrad) is in Slovakia. The distance between them is just 10 miles but a borderline was drawn to separate them. But they are not separated anymore.
Both buildings are ruins now and were meant to slowly disappear from the face of the Earth. But just as Szadvar has got its saviors - Friends of Szadvar, the people of Torna have also founded an organization (Castrum Thorna Civil Partnership) and have been working for years to save the remains of that fortress for their grandchildren. This year the international collaboration between us reached the next level: the members of Castrum Thorna Civil Partnership have participated in our ’Save the Caste’ week. Similarly, we have participated in the ’Castles and Castle Ruins Night’ event on the other side of the border in Slovakia.
As we have already proudly reported, our efforts were recognized this year by the Hungarian government by selecting Szadvar to support by the National Castle Program. This led to a longer and more extended excavation in the castle than ever before. This activity of course was controlled and driven by the responsible archeologists of the Herman Otto Museum. The goal of the program is to search, clean and conserve some of the more ‘interesting’ parts of the castle and create spectacular attractions which would bring more tourists to this hidden part of the country.
Due to that, during the ‘Save the Castle week’ this year we had the opportunity to work not only in the upper castle but also in the lower fortress which was a surprisingly huge building and still has 40-50 feet high walls! It was once the fortified lower station of the ’csiga’ – a medieval elevator which had been used to pull water and wood and other supplies to the higher castle. It might have been a wooden ’railroad’ where a horse powered ‘dry mill’ was pulling a carriage from the lower castle. Traces of the wooden rail structure carved in the stone were found on the side of the castle hill.
But most of the volunteers were working uphill, where four new excavation trenches were opened on the northern wall of the outer bailey (this is where the elevator used to arrive). Probably because of the National Castle Program there were many fresh faces among us. We were very happy because many young people became interested in saving a part of our cultural heritage. Everyone had an exciting time finding artifacts such as parts of ceramics, coins, musketeer bullets and other several hundred years old artifacts. The excavation and the conservation works will continue next year. We will keep you posted!
Please see some pictures from the events in Szadvar and in Torna (Slovakia). Both events were wonderful experience and we are sure that this collaboration will be fruitful for both castles and for the people dedicated to save them.
You can find more photos on our website (Hungarian):
Thank you again for your help!
Friends of Szadvar
Volunteers from Torna (Slovakia)
Artifacts from the trenches
Event in Castle Torna (Slovakia)
See you in Szadvar