This October, Friends of Szadvar has arrived to an important milestone: the association has reached its 15th birthday. After beeing formed in 2006, members and volunteers meet three times every year, which means this last event taking place between 23 and 24 October was the 29th of such occasions.
After the successful summer excavation camp, time arrived to start organizing the 15th birthday celebration of the association. Leaders have considered important to celebrate the fifteen years of volunteering with a special commemoration and a small and elegant gift for the actual and past members. The preparation process was kept in secret, so the whole event and also the gifts were total surprise for everyone. It was really a touching moment when our President of the association read all the names who joined the organization during the years and gave them an engraved metal medallion and a card as a thank you gift for all the contribution. I think this gest may strengthen the connection among the group which is very important in the management of such an association.
During the last 'Save the Castle' days, a group of 30 students joined us in cleaning a huge area of Szadvar. The students led by their enthusiastic teacher traveled across the country to help us and they did an amazing work. The two sides of the castle became clean again, after they got rid of the unnecessary vegetation which had covered all the stone walls. Finally, they felt very proud and said it was worth to travel hundreds of kilometres by bus. We owe a huge thank you to them!
A couple of weeks ago, we could get excited together as the renovation of the castle got included in the finalists of the Media Architecture Award. The Media Architecture Award, founded by the Architects' Forum (Építészfórum in Hungarian), presents the most outstanding and exciting works of contemporary Hungarian architecture for seventeen years. A jury of international experts has selected the best of more than 160 works this year. The professional jury invited by the Architects' Forum selected the story of the renewal of our beloved castle as one of the finalists in the “Built Environment” category. The winner was chosen by the public by voting online. Finally, on the evening of the award ceremony, the architect-designer of the renovation of Szadvar has won the award, as it was the most popular project among the voters. Our happiness is endless, as more and more people know the castle and our activities, so this shows the increasing popularity of Szadvar castle and its environment.
On the 13th of November, some of our members joined a conference in Szentendre which was dealing with methods and result in Public Archaeology. One of our Leaders gave a presentation about the challenges and results appearing during our work. It was very interesting to see how others fight with such obstacles here in Hungary and in Europe as well. The conference was broadcast live via online, so all who was interested could join.
In the background, we are working on some future projects in small groups, in the hope of presenting them next year. Until then, we would like to thank you for your donation and attention. We'll meet next time!