Tuesday, August 02, 2005


Instead of watching the F1 race on Sunday, I got up way too early and drove down to Székesfehérvár. Along with the lovely lady, we went to see a Hungarian friend visiting from the UK.

There were three main activities for the day.
i) Eating lots of ice-cream
ii) Wandering around Székesfehérvár
iii) Exploring Bory Vár

See pics & rest of postThis post concentrates on Bory Vár which I found truly amazing. It's not a castle in the classical sense. Yes there are towers and turrets but it's not proper castle size. The reason why it's impressive even with it's diminutive size (and it's not that small really) is that it was built bit by bit by one man. Well, okay, not sure about the "one man" bit. Perhaps one man and his mates helping out, but definitely not a baron stating his power over the region.

It's been called the Hungarian equivalent to the Taj Mahal as it was built to show how much he loved his wife. Trained as an architect but more inclined as an artist, Mr Bory bought a vineyard in a suburb of Székesfehérvár and set about laying bricks and pouring concrete to create his dream.

It must have been a bit weird for the locals. I have an image in my head of some bloke hefting his wheelbarrow about each summer slowly building a castle from scratch while next door a neighbour trims a hedge. It looks like a normal street as well, house house house castle house house ....

Both he and his wife were talented artists and were absolutely besotted with each other. All the rooms are filled with paintings and sculptures with the couple being the main theme. They must have been full of non-stop energy. Not only did he build the castle but he also found time to create masses upon masses of statues and sculptures which are only a small fraction of the total as the building of the castle was financed by created and selling his work.

Some of the family still live in a private section of the place but we saw plenty of visitors wandering around when we were there. Around the main garden, through the courtyard, up and down the turrents and along the castellations. All taking in the artistic work of the couple which filled the place.

Unfortunately I forgot my proper camera so you'll have to make do with the phone photos below. Or you can try some of the links.


Pics at Organic.hu
Article in Hungarian
Article in English
Another in English


At 9:31 AM, Anonymous Doctor Pockless said...

There's a similar castle (in concept rather than appearance) in Sopron which I visited a few years ago. Some nutjob built it himself, and it's now open to the public. I think it's called something like Torodi var, although I can find no evidence on the web (following a very brief search).

I'd never heard of Bory Var, though. It looks much bigger and in better condition than its Soproni counterpart.


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