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Wounded Bricks: Discovery of a forgotten castle

Wounded Bricks: Discovery of a forgotten castle

September 2023 · 7 min read · Southern Transdanubia

Welcome to Kremsier Castle, a hidden gem nestled between Hungary and the Czech Republic. Join me on an adventure as we uncover the fascinating history and captivating beauty of this once-grand castle. From its humble beginnings to tragic events that unfolded, this castle has a story waiting to be discovered. This ist the long forgotten and tragic story of Kremsier Castle in Hungary

Who’s not seeking will miss the palace
Who's not seeking will miss the palace

The Initial Encounter

On the last days of summer, I found myself in a secluded area near the borderland between Hungary and the Czech Republic. This flat and tranquil region, not very busy with tourists, held a surprise waiting to be discovered. As I wandered near the town of Barcs, my eyes caught sight of an intriguing building standing alone next to a meadow where donkeys peacefully grazed. Half-hidden in a small, wild forest and surrounded by collapsed fences, it beckoned me closer like an invitation.

So nice to see from inside out
So nice to see from inside out

Curiosity piqued, I cautiously approached the structure through waist-high weeds. To my amazement, it revealed itself as an impressive castle in ruins. Despite its dilapidated state, one could still sense the former grandeur and splendor that once graced this place. While entering proved challenging due to incomplete marble steps on the staircase, what awaited inside was nothing short of miraculous – high ceilings adorned with remnants of stucco ornaments and vast rooms that exuded an air of magnificence even with their open roofs.

The castle is empty an forgotten since many years
The castle is empty an forgotten since many years

A Glimpse into History

These mysterious castle ruins are none other than Kremsier Castle - a testament to 19th-century architecture built by landowner Károly Kremsier (1818-1888). Károly hailed from humble beginnings but rose to become a wealthy landowner and patron of the arts in Barcs during his lifetime. He even played a pivotal role in establishing the first Jewish religious community in this region.

A few of the steps are gone
A few of the steps are gone

Kremsier's journey towards success began with him traveling around in his one-horse carriage collecting scrap metal, bones, leather, and glass until he amassed enough capital to lease land. With continued prosperity smiling upon him, he eventually purchased this property in 1866. Between 1873-75 came forth several additions including industrial areas such as distilleries and steam mills which showcased Kremsier's passion for modern technology.

The tower to the sky
The tower to the sky

The castle itself boasted cutting-edge features of its time, equipped with a food elevator, central heating, and even an English toilet. However, tragedy struck when a devastating fire broke out shortly after completion due to a power line short circuit. Despite the valiant efforts of the local community and factory staff, the stables were destroyed and significant damage was inflicted upon the property.

Rise and Fall

Following Károly Kremsier's demise, his family undertook the task of rebuilding both the castle and distillery. Mór Kremsier, Károly's youngest son who had completed his studies in Sopron, Graz, and Zurich, took charge of managing not only the distillery but also a refinery, rum and liqueur factories, dairy farms, and cattle fattening facilities. The distillery reached its pinnacle during this period by producing five percent of Hungary's pure spirits production.

Come in and find out
Come in and find out

However, tragedy befell the Kremsier family with the advent of World War II. In 1939, after Hungary enforced discriminatory laws against Jews known as "Jewish Laws," they lost their property rights and were reduced to tolerated residents within their own home. The eldest member succumbed to despair in 1940 while others met tragic fates such as suicide or death during labor service in Russia. Only two individuals managed to survive by seeking refuge within an order of nuns.

The only resident: A mule
The only resident: A mule

After the war ended, Kremsier Castle fell into communist hands before being acquired by border guards followed by an agricultural cooperative. With each subsequent buyer coming forward with grand plans but limited resources over time decay has taken hold on this once magnificent structure.

Continue reading Part 2: Tragedy Strikes

The great salon
The great salon

Part 2: Tragedy Strikes

As the shadows of war loomed over Europe, Kremsier Castle faced its darkest days. In 1939, Hungary enforced discriminatory laws against Jews known as the "Jewish Laws," which stripped the Kremsier family of their property rights. Reduced to tolerated residents within their own home, they endured immense suffering and despair.

Mother Nature rules
Mother Nature rules

The eldest member of the family succumbed to hopelessness in 1940, while others met tragic fates before the deportations began. Károly Kremsier's son tragically took his own life along with his wife on April 6, 1944. Another devastating blow came when Endre Berger, one of Károly's sons-in-law and a tax officer, also chose to end his life.

Dark rooms under the surface
Dark rooms under the surface

The remaining family members faced deportation in May 1944. Only two individuals managed to escape this horrific fate by finding refuge within an order of nuns. The once-thriving estate that had witnessed prosperity and success was now marred by tragedy and loss.

Part 3: Post-War Era

Following World War II, Kremsier Castle fell into the hands of communist authorities who repurposed it for various purposes. Border guards occupied its premises for a period before it eventually became owned by an agricultural cooperative.

Karoly was in love with Doric columns
Karoly was in love with Doric columns

Over time, neglect took its toll on this magnificent structure as it deteriorated further into disrepair. Despite several buyers coming forward with ambitious plans for restoration, financial constraints prevented these dreams from becoming a reality.

Empty rooms
Empty rooms

Yet amidst this decline and decay, there is still hope lingering in the air surrounding Kremsier Castle—a glimmer of possibility that one day its former glory may be restored.

Part 4: The Future of Kremsier Castle

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While currently trapped in a state of ruinous beauty, there are ongoing efforts to preserve what remains of Kremsier Castle's historical significance. The castle's status as a protected monument in Hungary ensures that its story will not be forgotten.

The ceiling in very different colors
The ceiling in very different colors

Although the path to restoration is challenging, there are whispers of potential collaborations between preservation organizations, local authorities, and passionate individuals who recognize the importance of safeguarding this cultural heritage.

Black and white
Black and white

As travelers and adventurers, we have the opportunity to contribute to the future of Kremsier Castle. By spreading awareness about its existence and supporting initiatives aimed at its preservation, we can help ensure that future generations can experience the magic and allure of this once-majestic castle.

Final Advice Before Visiting Kremsier Castle

Don't Forget: Get Travel Health Insurance!

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In conclusion, exploring Kremsier Castle is an adventure filled with history, tragedy, and hope. From its initial encounter amidst overgrown meadows to glimpses into its past glory and subsequent fall from grace, this hidden gem holds stories waiting to be discovered.

It seems like an old vampire will arrive soon
It seems like an old vampire will arrive soon

When planning your visit to Kremsier Castle:

  • Be prepared for an off-the-beaten-path experience in a secluded area.
  • Take caution while navigating through ruins as some areas may be unstable.
  • Embrace the haunting beauty of dilapidated walls that still exude remnants of former grandeur.
  • Reflect on the tragic events that unfolded during World War II and pay homage to those who suffered.
  • Support preservation efforts by spreading awareness or contributing directly if possible.

Kremsier Castle awaits your arrival—a testament to resilience amidst adversity. Uncover its secrets, immerse yourself in history's embrace, and become part of shaping its future legacy.

  Thank you for reading and if you like my work please follow me          on HiveTravelfeed or Steem or visit my homepage koenau.de

You have to look to find the palace
You have to look to find the palace
The nazis stealed the palace
The nazis stealed the palace
It’s dangerous to walk this stairways
It's dangerous to walk this stairways
The bricks with wounds
The bricks with wounds
After so many years the castle is in ruins
After so many years the castle is in ruins
At the cellar
At the cellar
To the sky
To the sky
The wall with very old paintings
The wall with very old paintings
Traces of tiles, all stolen
Traces of tiles, all stolen
A jungle in the backyard
A jungle in the backyard
The nature strikes back
The nature strikes back
Endless tunnels under the surface
Endless tunnels under the surface

Travel Resources for your trip to Hungary

Recommended by TravelFeed

Flights: We recommend checking Kiwi.com to find the best and cheapest flights to Hungary.

Accomodation: Explore the best places to stay in Hungary on Booking.com, Agoda and Hostelworld.

Travel Insurance: Medical emergencies abroad can be pricey, but travel health insurance is not. We always use SafetyWing for affordable and reliable coverage.

Transportation: Use 12go and Omio to find detailed bus and train schedules, making travel planning easier.

Car Rental: For hassle-free car hiring, DiscoverCars is our trusted choice with a wide selection of vehicles.

Internet: Got an eSIM compatible phone? Airalo is perfect for reliable internet access during your trip. Just install it before you go, and you're set!

Day Trips & Tours: We recommend GetYourGuide for a variety of well-organized and enjoyable activities.

Tickets: Save on entrance fees in Hungary with Klook and Tiquets.

Travel Planner: Need a hand planning? Our free travel planner chatbot is your personal guide to Hungary. Chat now.

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