New wooden signpost in the forest
At the time of our latest report, we all hoped to meet again in March, on the occasion of the traditional 'Save the Castle' days. Unfortunately, the pandemic situation did not allow us to meet in person, but some of our members found their own way to do something for the Szadvar castle though. Despite of the fact that the annual events cannot be held at this time, we are currently working on several projects in the background.
In January, we celebrated the 454. anniversary of the only known siege of the castle. To commemorate, our members and other volunteers decided to lay a wreath at the statue of Zsófia Patócsy in Szögliget, who defended the castle heroically. Our association considers it important to nurture traditions and keep in mind the memory of the ancestors.
Some months ago, the idea of an own flag has been arisen, and the implementation is finally nearing its end. Among almost a dozen sketches, members have chosen some which will be mixed to get a final version. We are really looking forward to seeing it as done. We hope to have it by August, if the annual excavation week could be held normally.
On our National Day, on the 15th of March, four of us planned a little trip to Szadvar castle, because we wanted to see the final results of the National Castle Programme. Living in Budapest and Jaszbereny, which are hundreds of kilometres far from Szogliget, we decided to leave home at 7 A.M. It was worth waking up early and driving for three hours, because of the sight which was simply impressive. We also took tools with us, and tried to beautify the environment of the castle. Szadvar's latest attraction, the almost 300-steps-long wooden stairs which connects the upper and lower part of the castle, was full of leaves and other plant parts. We decided to clean it with the help of a broomstick and a used old toothbrush. Tourists might have thought that we were completely idiots, but this tool proved useful. In addition, we tried to clean the walls and the main parts from the weed, but fortunately, there were only a few of them. As we were walking towards the castle, seeing dozens of cars and their passengers, as well as walking tourists, we felt fairly proud. It was quite shocking to see how many visitors came here, to nearly the end of the world, to admire the new walls and viewpoints of the castle. We could not believe our eyes really. To help people with orientation in the forest, one of our members carved some pretty wooden signposts which he placed into important crossroads.
Some weeks ago, we have finally received news of the finished and cut version of a podcast made by an alumna of Central European University (Budapest) Cultural Heritage Studies Programme. The episode was recorded in last August when Karen joined our volunteers during the regular excavation week. This episode is a special, one-hour-long documentary style episode of Past Perfect!, CEU Medieval Radio’s show on medieval and early modern history and culture. The podcast can be listened at the link #1 below.
According to the latest news, the opening ceremony of the reconstructed castle will be held on the 23th of May. It is a pleasure to hear that they are counting on our presence as well.
The association has recently appeared on more and more media platforms such as radio podcasts and TV programmes. As one of the important goals of our association is to promote the castle and its environment, these possibilities of performances are really appreciated by our members. Together with professional architect designers and archaeologists, civil volunteers work on researching and conserving the castle, making it more accessible to the general public. That is why it is an honor to be involved in a team which has received the award of the Hungarian National Committee of ICOMOS in 2021. One of the awards was given for the conservation and presentation of the ruins of Szadvar castle in Szogliget.
We would like to thank you for reading this report and we hope that we will welcome you among our visitors soon. Until then, one of our volunteers, Aron has made a new and fresh video for promoting our activities in Szadvar. Please watch it and tell us your thoughts about it! Links for the podcast and the video can be found below.
Cleaning the stairs