Szadvar castle project and youth camp, Hungary

by Friends of Szadvar (Szadvarert Barati Kor)
450 YEAR AGO - REMEMBER OF THE SIEGE OF SZADVAR
450 YEAR AGO - REMEMBER OF THE SIEGE OF SZADVAR

Poverty, hunger, wars, earthquakes these are not from the past but are existent in our present. What has changed since 1567?

Many tragic events like above take place in the World and here we are an enthusiastic, quick to act, diligent association – like many others – who are asking support on GlobalGiving. At least three times a year we visit that little village which is so far from everything, to cut out some unneeded brushes from top of a mound of stones where there used to be a castle. But what is the main reason for getting together from time to time?

This winter is so long and very cold, just like it was in January, 450 years ago. A woman, Zsofia Patocsy, had been left in Szadvar castle (alone which used to be her home) with civilians, servants, old and young people and of course with some armed men. Her husband, Gyorgy Bebek was gone for a while due to some kind of political discussion. He changed his point of view and started supporting the opposite political power he turned from the Habsburgs to the Transylvanian Principality. Of course the Habsburgs became angry for him. Gyorgy Bebek left his wife alone in the castle and the Habsburg’s troops took advantage. Szadvar was an important strategical castle in those times. The main road which joined two big cities Kassa (Kosice) and Miskolc together, ran beneath Szádvár’s castle.

The siege took a week. It was very strange in those times because in winter nobody went to war, especially in January. The usual time for this was from spring to autumn. She did her best as she could, fought like a brave man to protect people and to save her own property from the enemies. She believed her husband could come home with an army. But in Szadvar castle there were not enough soldiers and food and also the north side of walls became weakened, a week later she gave up the castle. The enemy let her go to Transylvania but she could never return to the castle and she lost her husband in the same year.

She was an extraordinary woman. Her beauty was famous. She had ebony black hair and white skin like porcelain. She always tried to protect civilians, the weak and the needy. She was an expert of herbs could cure many kinds of illnesses with her creams and teas. Girls around from noble families came to her for some pieces of advice because Zsófia was very intelligent and clever.

We try to save and preserve the memory of Szadvar, the repute of a brave woman, so our Association is organizing a memory weekend to keep up Zsofia’s remembrance for the following generation on the 450th anniversary of the siege on 11-12 March. In the programme there are going to be musicians who play medieval music. The castle is going to be lit up with torches after a march for Zsofia. We also invited artists who make handmade medieval things from clay and woods. An expert will deliver a lecture and render some useful and practical advice about herbs. We are also managing an exhibition from the artefact of Szadvar.

The Friends of Szadvar believe that we can make the World better but, to reduce the number of wars, poverty and also create a better life if we can, we must learn from the tragic events of history. Our mission is also to show the good example of our small heroes. We ask your support to show Zsofia Patocsy’s life and also invite everybody who would love to take part in a medieval experience.  

RUINS IN WINTER
RUINS IN WINTER
FROZEN FOREST - SZADVAR 2017 JANUARY
FROZEN FOREST - SZADVAR 2017 JANUARY
LONELINESS
LONELINESS
REMEMBER TO ZSOFIA PATOCSY
REMEMBER TO ZSOFIA PATOCSY
SZOGLIGET - 2017 JANUARY
SZOGLIGET - 2017 JANUARY
SZADVAR IS WAITING FOR YOU
SZADVAR IS WAITING FOR YOU
ZSOFIA PATOCSY
ZSOFIA PATOCSY'S SARCOPHAGUS
SCHWENDI LAZARUS - HABSBURG
SCHWENDI LAZARUS - HABSBURG'S GENERAL

Links:

The First Ten
The First Ten

The First 10 years

Ten years, twenty-one “Save the Castle Days” events, nine archaeological sessions and uncountable memories. This is the ten years’ summary of Friends of Szadvar. This report evaluates our latest, jubilee event which was held early in October as usual in Szogliget beneath Szadvar Castle.

Before we started our anniversary commemorations we had a meeting with the director of Herman Otto Museum at Miskolc. We both asserted and declared in an agreement that we would like   to maintain the cooperation in connection with the work for Szadvar.

Drawing Competition

The program started on 7th October with the announcement of the winners of the drawing competition which was initiated by Friends of Szadvar for the local elementary school students. The most talented children happily received the prizes which were books, pendrives and mock-ups. The school organised an exhibition with the best paintings as well.

Time Capsule and Work

Later in the afternoon we went up to the castle to place a time capsule. We put the following into the time capsule: a letter to the future finder, a coin from this year, a brochure about our Association, and of course a daily newspaper. The time capsule was inserted into the wall of the inner part of the castle. After this uplifting moment of course we worked hard too. The weed was   large enough, so we cleaned up three parts of the castle. We cut bushes and grasses at the inner part of the palace, the south part of the walls and at Csonka Bastion on Friday and also on Saturday. At this time some public workers also joined us to help.

Next Generation

Our group was complemented with high school students from a very far city. The pupils from Hild Jozsef Grammar School in Gyor are one of the best hope of the rejuvenation of the Association. Seven enthusiastic young students and their leaders – in spite of the long journey and the cold weather – they participated in all the programmes. They carried a drone and took some beautiful photos above the monument. They also made some measurements and survey for a study about it. Some teenagers said they want to come back to the castle for the summer archaeological week.

Jubilee Assembly

Saturday night was the highlight of the weekend. We held a jubilee assembly where our old members, our partners and the people from the village were invited. The local    council awarded the Friends of Szadvar with a medal for the long and hard work.

The chairman of the Association held a presentation about the ten years targets and results and the secretary showed a video composition with the most unforgettable moments. After that we cut the delicious cake and we listened to folk-songs from Szogliget’s women consort called Pávakör  .

Summary

At the end of the day we summed up not just the weekend but the excellent ten years, too. Our group has contributed to saving an almost forgotten medieval castle. We haven’t even finished the meeting but we already started to pursue our next goal. The 450th anniversary of the only known single siege is going to be in January next year. We are planning   some special features on this occasion on our next event in March to remember our heroes and talk about the unfortunate devastation and despair of our beloved castle.

Drawing Competition
Drawing Competition
Time Capsule
Time Capsule
An Uplifting Moment
An Uplifting Moment
Local Council
Local Council's Award
Memorable Moments
Memorable Moments
Jubilee Assembly
Jubilee Assembly
Happy Birthday
Happy Birthday
Most Enthusiastic Worker
Most Enthusiastic Worker
Before Starting Work
Before Starting Work
Artefacts
Artefacts

The 9th archaeological week was an eventful and successful one which ended a few days ago. The association organised the annual digging session early in August. This week is going to be memorable for all of us because everybody found particular artefacts. This time, however, weather was a bit hectic. Sometimes it was boiling under the sun and a few hours later we had to run down from the top of the digging site because a heavy shower approached from the hills.

As usual this session was under the leadership of Herman Otto Museum which is the competent authority for archaeology in Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén County and in Szádvár Castle. On the first day the chief archaeologist assigned six trenches but Mother Nature limited them to five because next to the trench of Esterhazy’s Palace was a vespiary. On the following days we continued our work in five places. Already the very first day was interesting because the first finds were beginning to emerge. This year we found ten coins, all of which were located around the castle. All of the coins are currently undergoing scientific analyses in the Museum and we are anxiously waiting for more information about them.

Another interesting location was trench No 38 which was believed to be empty for a long time but on the third day many stove tiles had been found. These tiles originate from at least 2-3 stoves. Some of them were very colourful yellow-green-brown-blue others had heart or flower figure. Many pottery, iron nails and charcoal were found but a ring and pipe fragments were also recovered. On the last day in trench No 40 we found plenty of tiles presumably we found a complete stove. Hopefully next year we will be able to dig out the whole.

After working for 8 hours we chilled in a lovely, renovated old cottage and listened to interesting presentations. The owner of the Castle Park Miniature in Dinnyés talked about the story of the park. On the following day Róbert BÓNIZS – who’s fist book’s story take place around Szádvár - presented his new historical novel. György TEREI chief archaeologist from Budapest History Museum described researches from a small medieval village around Buda. One of our members talked about Hungarian memorials around Turkey.

We closed a hard-working and successful week and now we are already focusing on the next meeting in October when we will be celebrating our 10th jubilee commemorating the establishment of the association. We would like to say thank you for everyone who supported Friends of Szádvár and helped us to continue our work to preserve our beloved Castle.

The Team
The Team
A little Rest
A little Rest
Trench No 38
Trench No 38
Stove Tiles
Stove Tiles
Trench No 39
Trench No 39
Szadvar - I Love You So Much
Szadvar - I Love You So Much
in the miniature park
in the miniature park

In the last few weeks we have been preparing the next archaeological session which is going to be held on the first week of August. We are looking forward this gathering in every single year because this is the most important week for us. We can come together to dig out treasures from trenches. Year by year we work so hard around the Castle from morning to night but still, year by year we are looking forward that exciting week.

2016 is a special year in our life because our Friendship became 10 years old which is a turning point. Many old plans became reality therefore it would be great to evoke them. So now we are organising how to remember the 10th anniversary in August. First of all we are making interviews with our oldest members who tell their stories about the Castle, the group and the friendship. These reminiscences are available in our website in Hungarian (www.szadvar.hu). Our new brochure has been issued. This small illustrated booklet shows a slice from our hard working days, our greatest successes and also our newly estimated goals for short and long terms. The brochure shows our awards which motivate us to carry on our efforts.

In March we had a quiet but very useful weekend around the stronghold. The 20th ‘Save the Castle Days’ were very successful. An enthusiastic group piled up the stones which fell off the walls next to the walking path of the south side of the remains. These stones can be used later to enforce the dangerous remains.

Some members of Friends of Szádvárwent to Slovakia in May for a study tour to visit some renovations. Our group has a friendly cooperation with Kapusany and Nagysáros castles. It was time to look up to them how they moved forward since our last visit. They labour has impressed and inspired us. They give us some good and useful ideas which are achievable in Szádvár, too. We invited our dear friends to come to our archaeological week event.

Than also in May it was a gathering in a small park in Hungary where the most famous historical castle’s miniatures can be found. That was honourable to us to place and show to the public our dearly beloved Szádvár Castle’s miniature too. During our representative stay in the park we also sold some copy from the brochure. This amount is going to be spent to the archaeological excavation.

So we diligently organising our next move in August. We would be delighted to invite as many friends as we could to work to celebrate and make a future together to Szádvár Castle.

in the miniature park
in the miniature park
an enthusiastic group
an enthusiastic group
'Save the Castle' days in March
to wisit our slovakian friend in Kapusany
to wisit our slovakian friend in Kapusany
Szogliget from Szadvar by night (G. Bubenko)
Szogliget from Szadvar by night (G. Bubenko)

The last three months have been silent but active times for the Friends of Szadvar. There is no event organized for the winter but we must be prepared for the forthcoming activities. We sharpen our axes and scissors as well as doing the paperwork in the background.

 It’s going to be 10 years in October since our organization started! We are preparing a brochure about our achievements and the work have been done for Szadvar in these years (in Hungarian). Let us share some facts and numbers which will be mentioned in that publication:

  • Landscaping: cutting the trees in the baileys and bushes off the walls since 2006.
  • Measurements: geodetical and 3D scanning of the ruins and the castle hill since 2008.
  • Archeology: initiate and help the excavations by the Museum in the outer, middle and inner baileys since 2008.
  • Communication: get publicity for the castle in the printed and electronic media. Placing local information signs for the tourists since 2007.
  • Fundraising: donations through Global Giving and other channels since 2008.
  • Conservation: systematically strengthen walls and the remains of buildings since 2008.
  • Connections: coordinate and build fruitful relationship with local authorities, national institutions as well as other similar civil organizations to help each other’s work and achievements.

Feedback: Friends of Szadvar have been awarded 3 times by different National Organizations.

Our next event, the 20th ‘Save the Castle Days’ is coming up between March 12-15th. We are really excited about this as quite a few people thought at the beginning we could make it through these years and get to the 20th consecutive event – not mentioning our summer excavation camps and conferences.

Again, we can touch the stones of the castle and share some beautiful days in work with our friends and supporters who volunteer their time and efforts to our goal. We know we are not alone. When we look around on the castle hill we will know: somewhere beyond those high mountains there are a few who care about Szadvar and its fate. People who are generously willing to help.

You.

Let us thank you with some photos of Szadvar by night (by Gabor Bubenko).

Szogliget through a porthole (G. Bubenko)
Szogliget through a porthole (G. Bubenko)
Szadvar by night (G. Bubenko)
Szadvar by night (G. Bubenko)

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Organization Information

Friends of Szadvar (Szadvarert Barati Kor)

Location: Szogliget, Hungary - Hungary
Website: http:/​/​www.szadvar.hu
Project Leader:
Szadvar Castle
Project Leader
San Jose, CA United States

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