Nádasdy Castle | St. László Catholic Chruch | St Mark's Church | St. Michael's Roman Catholic Church | Evangelical Church | Széchenyi u. 7 | City Hall | Hatvany-Deutsch Castle | Spa in Sárvár | Arboretum | Boating lake
The Renaissance castle located on the southern side of Kossuth Square is one of Hungary’s most outstanding monuments and the town’s symbol. The present day castle has developed from the three-storey, 13th century dwelling tower in its southwest corner and the single-storey northern wing. The first mention of the castle is from 1288. The next great construction took place in the second half of the 15th century in Gothic style. During the times of the Kanizsai family, a three-storey dwelling structure adorned with representative objects and suitable for nobility was raised where the southern wing stands today. The lower level of the present-day gate-tower was created at the end of the 15th century. By the beginning of the 16th century, the large, closed courtyard was created, while protection of the castle, apart from its natural assets, was assured by earth ramparts with notched planks. Between 1534 and 1671 the Nádasdy family owned the castle. As a result of the Renaissance style constructions, the castle’s current form took shape. The ceiling frescoes in the Great Hall were completed in 1653. The defensive system of Old Italian style bastions that can be seen today was built between 1588 and 1615. The ceiling frescoes of the Great Hall were created by Hans Rudolf Miller, while the wall pictures depicting images from the Old Testament were painted by István Dorffmeister in 1769. In 1803, the Archduke Ferdinand Estei bought the castle, which was renovated by his successor. The Renaissance arcade along the eastern wing was walled up. Corridors were built on the wing's upper level, so that the inhabitants could walk around the castle. The water was drained from the castle moat, and the present-day bridge was built. During the 19th and 20th centuries only minor alterations took place, so even today the castle presents an image of the fortified late Renaissance castles of the 16th-17th centuries.
St. László Catholic Church on Kossuth Square
The conversion of the original medieval Trinity Chapel, which stood on the market square of the then-country town Sárvár, was begun in 1645 by the judge Ferenc Nádasdy, who had reconverted to Catholicism two years prior. The builder was Pietro Orsolini. The church, whose ground plan is in the shape of a Greek cross, was consecrated for St. László. This early church covered a third of the present-day one. The church, which was destroyed during Rákóczi’s War of Independence along with the town, was rebuilt in 1732, the same year its tower was constructed. In 1830, two vaulted sections were added to the Baroque church, turning its layout into a Latin cross. It received its Classicist western facade at that time as well. Due to the increase of the town’s population and the rapid deterioration of the church’s condition, reconstruction took place in 1926-1927. The section east of the tower was dismantled, and so the church’s oldest part was destroyed. The new church gained two aisles, the sanctuary was moved to its western side, and the eastern side received a Classicist facade. The patron’s chancel was also created at the time. The stained glass windows that can be seen today are also reminders of these constructions. Within the church stands Sárvár’s first public statue, the column of the sorrowful Jesus, made by the bailiff Mátyás Gayer and his wife Erzsébet Szundi in 1701.
St. Mark Church
Other than the castle, the Church of St. Mark in Rábasömjén is the only other monument from the age of the Árpád dynasty in Sárvár. Its first written mention is from 1288. In the 13th century it bore the name of St. Peter, while by the end of the 17th century it was already named after St. Mark. The twin windows of its tower, its ornate gateway, the Romanesque gate used as an entrance to its vestry, and the building’s eastern orientation are reminders of its Romanesque origin. During reconstruction in 1933, the church was given a Neo-Romanesque exterior. During renovations of 1973, further Romanesque remains were found. Inside the church, the artist József Pruzdik painted four scenes from the life of St. Mark and one from the life of Jesus using a fresco technique.
St. Michael's Roman Catholic Church
This Catholic church of medieval origin was once Sárvár’s parish church in the town of Sár, which was administratively independent until 1912. Until 1767, the parish priest of Sárvár lived in Sár. The church’s first written mention is from 1454, but even then it was already considered to be an old building. Its Gothic tower has an eastern orientation, with windows positioned on its south side. Its old statues, which in 1758 still stood on its tower, reveal its medieval origins. The church obtained its present-day form during reconstructions in the 19th and 20th centuries. In the course of the reconstruction of 1830, and a later one in 1868, its painted wooden ceiling was exchanged for a Czech chamber-vault. In the 20th century reconstruction it was given a Neo-Gothic exterior. The church is significant in cultural history, because Sebestyén Tinódi Lantos, the chronicler of Turkish-Hungarian battles, was laid to rest in the old cemetery surrounding the church, or perhaps within the church itself at the end of January 1556.
Evangelical Church (Sylvester Str. 3.)
After the declaration of the Act of Tolerance, 218 Evangelical churches were built in Hungary between the years 1782-1787. In Sárvár, a total of 133 Evangelicals bought plots for the school and the church. The first church was destroyed in the fire of 3 May 1829. The new church was built in a Classicist style from public donations in 1834-36. Its builder was the Sárvár architect Sámuel Geschrey. The church’s main characteristic is the vestry wall, used widely in Transdanubia to separate the apse from the church. With its white-painted walls and its harmonious proportions, it is a fine example of the Classicist church architecture of Transdanubia.
Széchenyi u. 7., School founded by Tamás Nádasdy
Southwest of the Church of St. László stands Sárvár’s first school, which was founded in 1535 by Tamás Nádasdy, who later became palatine. It was praised by Fülöp Melanchton, a figure of the Reformation known in Europe from his letter to Tamás Nádasdy in 1537. The Bible translator János Sylvester and Mátyás Dévai Bíró, also known as the ”Hungarian Luther”, were both notable teachers at the school. At the time, the school was still a single-storey building. Tamás Nádasdy left a lasting monument for posterity: the school even survived the town’s destruction in 1705. In 1830, a second storey was added to it by the countryside town. The inscription ”OP. SARVAR 1830” on its façade records this fact. In the school year of 1883/84 the great Hungarian writer Géza Gárdonyi taught at the school. His lodgings were on the upper floor. Teaching continued within the school’s walls until the construction of the new school in 1889. In 1892, the town’s first kindergarden was opened here, and ever since then the building has served the education of 3-6 year olds. Since 1901, a statue of the Madonna has graced the building’s facade.
It was built on Kossuth Square between 1878-82, and is one of the chief works of the Sárvár architect Lajos Geschrey. The building’s balcony, which was constructed in the Eclectic style and faces the Main Square, was built in the 20th century.
The castle was built in 1898-99 by the founder of the factory, Béla Hatvany Deutsch, according to the plans and under the supervision of the Budapest art architect Ernő Schannen, and served as a summer residence.
Spa in Sárvár
Since December 2002, guests are welcome in the spa of Sárvár. A water surface of 3,600 m2 and lots of activities are available there.
Turning right from the castle, the centuries-old plane trees in the park set up in place of the old castle moat lead us to the entrance of the Arboretum next to the castle. The street front of this botanical garden with a notable past does not reveal the almost 10 hectares of Nature Conservancy that lies behind. Seeing the more than 100 unusual tree species there can offer hours of relaxation. The artificial lakes fed by the Gyöngyös Creek and the statues lining the pathways enrich your visit to the garden.
Depending on the weather, the areas around the Boating Lake and Vadkert are able to offer a wide range of activities, from fishing to horseriding.