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!