Szadvar in Medieval Lighting
It was quite cold winter this year in Hungary. It also brought hard times 450 years ago to the people of Szadvar when the Austrian forces attacked it surprisingly during wintertime. But when we arrived this March to the village Szögliget under the castle, the well known beautiful landscape waited us in warm sunshine and tempted us to climb up to the hill again. The volunteers, or as we call them, the ‘Saviors of the Castle’ were cutting the bushes from the southwest walls and slopes with great enthusiasm.
But in the afternoon, when we arrived back to the Szalamandra house where the volunteers stayed, a new adventure has started for the Friends of Szadvar. Some of us went back to the village to gather the people for a procession with torches. The local folk singers’ group called ‘Páva Kör’ (Peacock Circle) has opened the series of events which we organized for the weekend of March 11-12 in the memory of the siege of Szadvar in 1567.
Some of us in the meantime went back up to the hill and lit 35 torches around the south walls of the Castle. After a few minutes, the folks marching on the streets of Szögliget saw something they may have never seen in their lives before. It was a touch of the Middle Ages. Szadvar was shining in the night. The people in the village probably saw something similar if they looked up to Szadvar - but only more than 300 years ago.
The night concluded with a medieval concert in the Szalamandra house. We were listening and dancing to traditional medieval music performed by a Hungarian band.
The next day, on March 12th we held the first Szadvar Siege Day. In spite of the cold and windy weather many people (up to 300) have decided to come and see the traditional performers and joined the archers or just have a nice time below the walls of Szadvar and hear the sound of the cannons and muskets fired.
It was really a breathtaking experience though! One could imagine how frightening it must have been when the sound of much bigger cannons was echoing in these valleys. How brave the defenders under the siege must have been to face those cannons for 2 weeks!
It was also the day when the Szadvar Exhibition was opened in the village (Szögliget). A great collection of the findings we have been digging out during the excavations over the past 10 years is shown in three dedicated cabinets. The archeologist, Gal Viktor explained that the artifacts shown were selected to help us to see and understand some of the everyday activities in the Castle during the Middle Ages. It was nice to see the familiar objects we picked up from the dirt in the Castle after the restorers took care of them. It was a proud moment for all of us.
On Monday, March 13th we have got a great help. 45 people arrived from Gyor - the other side of the country and joined us to help cleaning off the weeds and bushes from and under the walls of the castle. It was humbling to see how even the retired people took their secateurs and were busy cutting the branches.
Let us proudly show you how we used the funds to save and publicize Szadvar.
(Photos by Gabor Bubenko, Janos Dobos, Tamas Molnar, Gabor Nagy, Aron Pergel, Tamas Vigvari)
Thank you again for your help!
The Saviors of the Castle (1)
Szadvar lit by torches
Procession in the village
Siege Day Performers
Saviors of the Castle (2)