Szadvar castle project and youth camp, Hungary

by Friends of Szadvar (Szadvarert Barati Kor)
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Szadvar castle project and youth camp, Hungary
Szadvar castle project and youth camp, Hungary
Szadvar castle project and youth camp, Hungary
Szadvar castle project and youth camp, Hungary
Szadvar castle project and youth camp, Hungary
Szadvar castle project and youth camp, Hungary
Szadvar castle project and youth camp, Hungary
Szadvar castle project and youth camp, Hungary
Szadvar castle project and youth camp, Hungary
Szadvar castle project and youth camp, Hungary
Szadvar castle project and youth camp, Hungary
Szadvar castle project and youth camp, Hungary
Szadvar castle project and youth camp, Hungary
Szadvar castle project and youth camp, Hungary
Szadvar castle project and youth camp, Hungary
Szadvar castle project and youth camp, Hungary
Szadvar castle project and youth camp, Hungary
Szadvar castle project and youth camp, Hungary
Szadvar castle project and youth camp, Hungary
Szadvar castle project and youth camp, Hungary
Szadvar castle project and youth camp, Hungary
Szadvar castle project and youth camp, Hungary
Szadvar castle project and youth camp, Hungary
Szadvar castle project and youth camp, Hungary
Szadvar castle project and youth camp, Hungary
Szadvar castle project and youth camp, Hungary
Szadvar castle project and youth camp, Hungary
Szadvar castle project and youth camp, Hungary
Szadvar castle project and youth camp, Hungary
Szadvar castle project and youth camp, Hungary
Szadvar castle project and youth camp, Hungary
Szadvar castle project and youth camp, Hungary
Szadvar castle project and youth camp, Hungary
Szadvar castle project and youth camp, Hungary
Szadvar castle project and youth camp, Hungary
Wearing our new T-shirts
Wearing our new T-shirts

Even at the last minute, it was doubtful that we could held our long-awaited summer event named "Save the Castle" Week. Future changes of the epidemic situation were unpredictable, but after the previous cancelled programme in March, we definitely wanted to organize the summer excavation. Fortunately, this has been realized successfully.

Our "Save the Castle" Weeks are often held on the first week of August, when the weather is generally perfect for an outdoor work. This year, the first participants had arrived the Sunday before, and the last ones stayed until next Friday. As we had met in person only in last October, everyone was happy to see each other. All the more so, as new people came to participate among the good-known "old ones". This was the first time that one of our members, Adam, brought his 4-year-old son with himself. Marci really enjoyed the excavation, as many of other children did.

On the first morning, after arriving at the top of castle hill, everyone was highly surprised about the view in front of them. We knew that the works of the National Castle Programme are in progress, but the actual state of the stone walls was astonishing. Never seen parts of the castle showed up from underground, plus new wooden elements (stairs, storage boxes for the stones etc.) impressed us. Then, due to the temporary built lift, we did not have to carry our heavy tools with us, but put them into a basket. It was a huge relief, we are grateful for the help! The change was really spectacular, as other tourists also remarked. We are really looking forward to viewing the results!

Long before the excavation, in consultation with the museum, it was decided that we could excavate on the southwest area of the castle. No previous researches were conducted in this part, so the volunteers were curious about it. According to some old engravings and elderly people, one of the castle's bastions stood here in the past centuries. The other part of the volunteers worked not so far from here, in search of a long-lost basement.

With the kind help of Miklos, "Chef of Szadvar Castle", there were no hungry volunteers during lunch breaks. When we stopped for a while as the Sun shined strongly, we could offer our freshly printed issue, fridge magnet and Szadvar Castle-model for the visiting tourists in return for a little donation. Here I would like to express my gratitude for our donators, also on GlobalGiving, who have contributed to this success.

Among the volunteers, there were students of Central European University, who made a local podcast for CEU Medieval Radio about the castle and the present "knights" of it. We hope that the listeners will enjoy it very much!

By the end of the week, new friendships were made, and new information have come to the light in connection with the building's history. We hope that everyone felt comfortable and good during this week and we are really looking forward to meeting again in October, on the "Save the Castle" Days.

Working in summer hot
Working in summer hot
Fighting the brush
Fighting the brush
Chill out
Chill out
The Chef of Szadvar cooks for us
The Chef of Szadvar cooks for us
Search for the basement
Search for the basement

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.In the last report, were were looking forward to meeting in March as usual. Unfortunately, Covid-19 overwrote our plans as every event was cancelled to prevent the spreading of the epidemic. During the quarantine, all of us had to get used to the new circumstances and continue the project at home. Let's see what have our members done!

First of all, the saddest moment of the year so far was when we had to cancel the "Save the Castle!" days in March. During this event, there would have been our annual general meeting which was postponed due to Covid-19. As time went by, we decided to organize a digital voting on last year's reports instead of meeting by person. In general, there is a Skype.conversation in the beginning of every month whose role have been enchanced in this new situation. We have used all kind of digital platforms to keep in touch and prepare for a better future. 

Our next important project is to design and create new types of T-shirts, baseball caps, fridge magnets and other small objects with the images of our association and Szadvar castle, which can be given to people who decide to donate some amount of money. Also the completion and refreshment of our little publication is due recently, but fortunately, the preparation work can be done on-line.

In February, we informed our Donators that a new article about our activity is set to be finished. We are glad to tell that the article was published also in English language on the page of Hungarian Archaeology, in the issue 1 of 2020. (see the link bottom)

One of our members decided to renew the information board standing near to the castle, so he repainted the wood frame. The board looks like new again!

We are pleased to report on the reconstruction works of the National Castle Programme, which are going really well. As the situation became safer, some of our members visited the castle all alone, and wrote reports and sent photos of the actual state. All of us were truly happy to see our beloved castle awakened. 

Now, it looks like that we can organize the excavation week in August, so the preparation process has started. We hope that there will be at least as many enthusiastic participants as in the last few years. Let's see!

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In the last few months, so many little events and programs were organized by the members of Szadvar Castle Association. During the winter months, it is more important to keep in touch on-line, because we can not meet in the castle phisically. Last October, four new members joined our group, who started to take part in organizing programs, searching for new possibilites or writing applications.

We are looking forward to meeting again during the "Save the Castle"-days, but we should wait till 27th of March. Until then, we should make preparations for this event, especially because based on preliminary information, around 25 volunteers will join then. There will be an annual general meeting, where we will discuss and accept last year's working reports. Usually, this event takes place by 15th March, but this year we chose to postpone it to the end of the month in the hope of the better weather.

On 14th January, there was the 453th anniversary of the battle of Szadvar castle. To pay tribute, some of our local members decided to place a wreath on Zsófia Patócsy's statue in Szögliget. She was the heroine commander of the castle during the battle.

Last October, we were glad to welcome Karen, alumna of the Central European University, who wrote her thesis about voluntary works throughout Europe. She decided to involve Szadvar Castle Association in her writing, and kindly chose to meet us last year. This January, she offered us a great possibility: to take part in a podcast made for the Medieval Radio of CEU. She held a brainstorming about her ideas where some of her colleagues and our members discussed the structure of a similar event. Karen will join us in March too, where she starts realizing her idea.

In the last few weeks, our members were asked to make a presentation about our work on a national conference, as well as to write an article about it to the online issue of Hungarian Archaeology. The article has already been sent to proofreading, we are looking forward to seeing it finished.

Our next adventure will take place in Szögliget, where we will meet for the 28th time and make preparations for the National Castle Programme. Let's meet up there!

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Friends of Szadvar 2019 Oct.
Friends of Szadvar 2019 Oct.

First of all, let me introduce the Pulley of Szadvar. It was mentioned in the castle inventories (inventarium) in the 17th century that the peasants had to serve “…with 2 horses at the Pulley…” as part of their obligation to their lord. It meant that they had to operate the pulley which was used to pull up the water and other contributions, tithes from the village to the upper castle. Thus, the pulley served the inhabitants of the castle for centuries as the lower station of a medieval elevator.

Now, the partial reconstruction of the lower castle will be realized as part of the National Castle program, and it will serve as the main entrance to the castle in the future. Friends of Szadvar offered the help to clean the area and prepare the ground for the construction works.

The team of volunteers gathered in the beautiful village of Szögliget on a Thursday night on 24th October, 2019. Old friends were greeting each other with great pleasure and there were new faces as well. We were happy to have a volunteer from England, who had been working on her thesis on volunteering by the way. Also, our association has become stronger this weekend by joining 4 new members!

Next morning, after the fog had risen, the still energizing autumn sun had found the team in the lower castle. After the mandatory safety training and administration, the work had begun. The goal was to make the ground even and plain next to the walls for the scaffolding which will be built for the construction. Everyone had to wear a helmet, the old walls did not seem to be stable and safe anymore. That is our mission to make it a safe place for children and families who will be visiting the castle in the future.

The work had continued the next day, too. Since it was not a working day, even more people could join the volunteers, it was again more than 20 people working in the nice fall weather, the leaves were gently falling on the dry ground making a tiny noise which made the people calm and somehow feel at home…

It was also part of the task to create easy access to the castle for the construction workers. For that, some of the team were cleaning the path from leaves and rocks, someone was building a spectacular stair out of the rocks. Soon these pathways and roads got funny names after their creators, like “Great Lajos promenade”, “Zoltan's stairway” or “Hairpin curve of the Castle Saviors”. Apparently, you have to have some fun when you have to work hard and physical.

The top of the cake – literally, too – was the lunch served by the “Chef of Szadvar” as a tradition now. Everyone got a piece of the Hungarian specialty “langos” and the local specialty “Szadvar kelgyo” (which is similar to a hot dog in a spiral of a langos). It was then crowned by sweet mignons which is a rare treat in the middle of the forest.

We were really grateful for this nice weather and beautiful weekend for everyone joined, and for everyone contributed just like you. Thank you for your generous help!

Tree in the wall of the Pulley (will be removed)
Tree in the wall of the Pulley (will be removed)
Ground works in progress
Ground works in progress
Chain of volunteers "on the rocks"
Chain of volunteers "on the rocks"
Treats from the Chef of Szadvar
Treats from the Chef of Szadvar
Guided tour for the new friends
Guided tour for the new friends
Zoltan's Stairway
Zoltan's Stairway
Nice fall in the peaceful Szadvar
Nice fall in the peaceful Szadvar
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Visitors in Szadvar after the guided tour
Visitors in Szadvar after the guided tour

Let us lead you through our summer event which was a bit different this year.

You might be aware that the ruins of Szadvar are located in a National Park near the Slovakian border. That is one reason why it was almost forgotten in the 20th century when it was quite difficult to even get there. However, Szadvar was the center of the manor in the middle ages where the owners of the land were living. Some of those lords of the Szadvar manor were the members of the Bebek family, who owned not only Szadvar but the near castle of ‘Torna’, too. The Bebeks also allowed the Hungarian ‘Palos’ monks to build a monastery on their land which had become the burying place of the family for 2 centuries. That was located in ‘Gombaszög’, also very near.

Both Torna (Turna) and Gombaszög (Gombasek) are in Slovakia today, near the border. You may even remember that some members of the civil association of Torna joined us on our archeology week last year. This was our time to return the favor and join them. So, we decided to go on a ‘Bebek Tour’ over the border.:

July 31st , Szadvar (Hungary): A lot of weeds were growing all over the walls and baileys since our last event in March. The local forestry sent some people and a group of kids were also joining the Friends of Szadvar to clean the castle from the vegetation. It was nice to have some fried bacon at the fire for lunch, too!

Aug. 1st, Gombaszög (Slovakia): There is another excavation site revealing the ruins of the monastery. Only a 20 feet high wall had been visible before but now the foundations of the church and the fortress which was built around it are visible on the surface. We were also able to help in the trenches and move some of the dirt away. There is a summer camping near the site where we spent the evening and the night in a delightful company.

Aug. 2nd Torna (Slovakia): The castle of Torna was another Bebek property. It was built in a beautiful location on a tapered hill providing a breathtaking view for anyone who climbs up. Just like Szadvar, this castle can also be accessed on foot only. But now, we also had to take wooden timbers up to the hill with us! A part of the castle needs repairing and for that the timbers are needed. After taking 2 rounds with the timbers we were also collecting and piling some stones in the inner bailey for the conservation. It was fun to work with our friends in Slovakia and help them in their efforts!

Aug. 3rd Tornabarakony (Hungary): We visited the Hungarian Folk Festival in this small, hidden village. This was just the prize for our hard work and a team building event for us.

One more thing to mention. Just a few days ago a large group of visitors (50+ people) were coming to Szadvar who requested us to provide guided tour in the castle. So, a few members travelled there and showed around the castle, explained what was Szadvar like in the middle ages, what was started in 2006 and how it became a clean grove park where the remains of Szadvar are clearly visible since.

Let us thank all of you for your generous donations which help us to make these great achievements!

Kids having lunch in Szadvar
Kids having lunch in Szadvar
Friends of Szadvar in Gombaszog (Slovakia)
Friends of Szadvar in Gombaszog (Slovakia)
Friends of Szadvar help in Castle Torna
Friends of Szadvar help in Castle Torna
Team in Torna
Team in Torna
'Gomor' Folk Festival in Tornabarakony
'Gomor' Folk Festival in Tornabarakony

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Organization Information

Friends of Szadvar (Szadvarert Barati Kor)

Location: Szogliget, Hungary - Hungary
Website:
Project Leader:
Szadvar Castle
Project Leader
Szogliget, Hungary

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