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Bory Castle, the Hungarian Taj Mahal

What do the buildings of Taj Mahal in India and Bory Castle in Hungary have in common? It’s just that they’ve been built for decades? Or that the end result was a very richly decorated complex of buildings? Not only these two, but there’s also another connecting link, which is love. In addition, both palaces were erected by men as a sign of their married and never-ending love for the future generation.

When you’re about to visit a castle, you’re usually prepared to climb up the top of a hill, but at least on some high ground. Castles have always played a defensive role in history. It was important to have a good view of the enemy’s approach from afar, so they were usually built in a higher mountain. For Bory Castle, this explanation doesn’t apply. Apart from being located in the Old Hill district of Székesfehérvár, it is practically next to family houses, which makes it Hungary’s one of the most extraordinary castles.

Jenő Bory, an architect, is credited with the creation of the castle, who began its construction in 1912 to commemorate the love and artistic ambitions of his marriage. He has been built the castle carefully for 40 years by his own hands. This makes him one of the few people in Hungary who was able to make their dream come true in their lifetime and completed their main work before death. Despite I have been working in Székesfehérvár for four years, I haven’t seen the Bory Castle, so I made up for this shortcoming on a nice spring weekend. After the redemption of the entrance ticket, visitors arrive in a spacious garden with plenty of statues. Thus, the motto “stones speak” immediately makes sense, which greets people arriving in the castle, translated into several languages and posted on the wall.

In fact, Jenő Bory was not only an architect but also a sculptor. His handiwork is praised by the countless works adorning Bory Castle, most of which have been given a place in different parts of the castle according to certain thematic conditions. For example, on the upper terrace along the arcade row, pairs of works modeled on the famous historical person. Another special place inside the castle is the elephant courtyard, named after an elephant standing on a sphere. Murals on the left and right next to it illustrate the four significant architectural epochs of mankind: Greco-Roman (classicism), Christianity, Despotism and Socialism. Speaking of architecture, I’d like to mention here that Bory Castle has been included in the Guinness Book of World Records. This castle is the largest structure in the world, built by one man on his own, with his own hands.

With this knowledge, I continued my walk through the castle gate, which led to a beautiful French park. The regular rectangular space is decorated with many nice bushes, and with a gargoyle frog in the middle. Under the arcade row, there are 103 surrounding pillars and it is resting our eyes on the dozens of statues. If someone suddenly has a déjà vu feeling, it’s not a coincidence. All the statues under the arcade line can be found somewhere in Hungary as the handiwork of Jenő Bory. In fact, the artist collected plaster samples of the original ones from all over the country and recreated them in a studio to exhibit the later under the arcade.

For me, the most extraordinary experience was visiting the towers of Bory Castle. Not surprisingly I read many tales when I was a little child dreaming about being a princess who waits for her savior in the tower of the castle, locked away from the world. So if you’re waiting for your Mr. Big there are two towers, where you can carry out your childhood dreams. But it’s not just worth going up to the tower to play princess or prince.

On the one hand, from the top of the tower, there is a magnificent view not only of the French courtyard but also of the whole city. On the other hand, the flag tower, one of Bory Castle’s main attractions with its painted spiral staircase, offers fantastic views even for those, who are less susceptible to architecture and art. I’ve proven to be quite receptive, because I’ve taken at least 50 photos of the staircase from every possible angle, but now I’m just showing you only these two.

My tour is slowly coming to an end at Bory Castle. I enter the chapel of contrite love and admire the woman who had such an influence on her husband that he built an entire castle for her as a sign of his love. I’m going to sigh like it’s a fairy tale, and I’m still the princess in the tower, and then I take a forget-me-not-forget-it-all when I leave.

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