After long years of reconstruction work, the beautiful Wenckheim Castle in Szabadkígyós opens to the public on Sunday, 20 March.
Our previous article about the Wenckheim Castle was written when it was still closed. As we reported, the Wenckheim Castle has been renewed and upgraded as a tourist attraction within the framework of the National Castle Programme which started in 2019.
The Wenckheim manor house, located 10 kilometres from Békéscsaba and 15 kilometres from Gyula, is one of the most significant Neo-Renaissance manor houses in Hungary. It was built between 1875 and 1879 according to the design of famous Hungarian architect Miklós Ybl.
The castle park was created at the same time as the castle itself was built and it remained open to the public even during the past years of reconstruction. The park has been a nature reserve since 1954.
The fairytale-like main building of the castle is decorated with turrets and loggia terraces, and a total of 365 windows, which refers to the number of days in a year. In addition, the building has 52 rooms, which is a symbol of the number of weeks in a year.
A baroque French garden with a fountain pool stretches out in front, while the extensive 25-hectare English garden is enchanted with romantic bridges and an artificial lake, as we can read in Funzine’s article.
According to Index, the castle was nationalised after World War II and later became a vocational school for agriculture and food. The ground floor was used for offices, teachers’ rooms, a library and a gym. The first floor was used for a girls’ college and the annexes for classrooms.
The former carriage house was converted into a kitchen while the stables into a dining room and the gas house into a bus garage. A new boys’ dormitory was built on the site of the hangar and a football pitch was constructed in the park clearing.
Now, an interactive exhibition is open in the renovated castle. The exhibition “Visiting the Wenckheims” recalls the times when well-known members of the aristocracy visited Szabadkígyós.
The castle is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm. However, the website of the National Heritage Development Nonprofit Ltd. (NÖF) recommends that, because of the high level of interest, visitors should plan to visit on Tuesday-Wednesday-Thursday, otherwise there will be a waiting time.
Source: Index, Funzine, Travelo