Bory Castle

Bory Castle


Location: Székesfehérvár, Central Transdanubia   Map


Constructed: 20th century by Jenő Bory


Description of Bory Castle

Bory Castle is situated in Székesfehérvár, regional capital of Central Transdanubia in Hungary. Despite its medieval look and a name the structure of Bory Castle is actually a creation of the 20th century. Bory Castle was build in 1923- 59 by Jenő Bory, famous Hungarian architect and sculptor, with the help of his students. It is one of the few self made residences was designed by Jeno for his wife. Sculptures that line up the interior garden are creation of his hands. Many of the paintings that hang inside Bory Castle were made by his sculptor's wife.


Its location
The Bory Castle is located in Székesfehérvár, in the north-western part of the Öreghegy district, within the Mária Valley (also called the inner part of Öreghegy), at the intersection of Máriavölgy Street and Vágújhelyi Street, at 54 Máriavölgy Street. The expansion in front of the castle is called Bory Square.

In 1912, Jenő Bory bought a plot of land in the Mária Valley belonging to Székesfehérvár for a weekend plot, where initially only a wine cellar stood between fruit trees and vineyards, with a press house (Mária Valley was still a large outskirts, He expanded the press house into an apartment that year and set up a studio above it. He did not start building the castle until after the First World War, when he was able to spend on it from the royalties of his growing sculptural orders. At first, only the locals knew about the construction, then in 1934 it opened its doors to visitors, and then it became nationally known. Initially, the owner himself led the tour around, telling about the creation of the castle and the history of the construction of each section.

He continued the construction, the constant chiselling of the details, and the restoration work after the Second World War until his death. Mostly he worked alone, relying on his two hands, using up to a few occasional help. He was a trained architect, yet he was guided in his work not by specific engineering drawings, but rather by his imagination and adaptation to the given terrain. The slowly growing walls, the shapes of the towers, the spaces they embrace were the result of the same artistic vision as the sculptures, so Bory Castle is nothing more than a sculptural work of art taking on forms and dimensions.

Jenő Bory was also the designer-architect, construction manager, paller and bricklayer, who, according to tradition, continuously expanded and beautified the castle with helpers for 40 summers. In reality, however, he could only work on it from 1923 until his death in 1959, but post-production lasted until 1964, so the construction of Bory Castle took about 41 years. Jenő Bory was buried in the studio after his death.

The castle is more than 30 meters high from its dungeon to the top of the tallest towers. Seven towers, thirty smaller and larger rooms, including three studios, sculptures, pictures, antiques, artefacts everywhere. It is interesting that the raw material of the castle is concrete, which Jenő Bory was a pioneer in the application of. Domes, columns, railings, stairs, door and window frames, pools, fountains, but also sculptures and reliefs were made of this material.

Lower garden
As the visitor approaches the castle in the Maria Valley, he sees his high-rise, romantic towers from afar. Entering the garden through the lattice gate, we first meet the model of the castle. It’s worth taking a while here before you start the walk - but let’s add it right away: afterwards too - because in fact we can never see it all in reality in such a clear way. The structure and structure of the castle, the adaptation of the building complex to the terrain gradually rising backwards on the hillside, can only be seen here. The relationship of the terraces, towers, passages to each other and to the whole, ie the composition and structure of this monumental work, can be understood here.

In the foreground of the castle we can see sculptures everywhere, among lush deciduous trees, flowering groups, greens, mostly weather-resistant, and therefore weather-resistant figures cast in quartz concrete, favored by Jenő Bory. On the right hand, a monumental-sized Christ's head, a duplicate of the Bory family's tomb, appears among the many, and a life-size bronze figure of the rising sunbeam (circa 1923), a life-size young woman standing up from the ground, is a little closer to us. . To the left is a similar picture of the garden. Here, a fountain with a white porcelain mosaic-covered pool and a column several meters high holding a vase in the middle stand out from the view. The fountain is one of the oldest relics associated with the castle: it was built by the artist in 1913 on its present site.

By the way, the garden - it can be felt and enjoyed along the way - almost lives with the whole structure of the castle, not only surrounds it all, but also flows into it here and there. On the terraces and in the courtyards, trees, bushes, green islands, wells and ponds bring the sight to life.

The rose garden and the artist gallery

A wide flight of stairs leads from the garden through the terraces to the main building of the castle.

On the lower terrace to the right we see original turbaned tombstones from the time of the Turkish occupation. To the left, Jenő Bory marked the grave of a Soviet soldier who fell here in the 1945 battles with a strange stone cross composed of a five-pointed star.

Inside the terrace, at the rest on the right, we can admire Jenő Bory's portrait of his brilliantly beautiful young wife, on a free-standing, concrete wall reminiscent of the stele of ancient classical eras. Below the statue, in letters engraved on the wall, we can read the poems of the master written to him.

At the back, under the retaining wall of the second terrace, in a kind of pantheon - in the center with a full-length statue of Mihály Munkácsy (identical to his plan for the 1921 monument competition) - mostly to his contemporaries, artist friends, including painters: Gyula Benczúr, Róbert ; To architects Gyula Hüttl and Gyula Wälder; he lined up a portrait of the queen, Blaha Lujza. In this “pantheon” he placed some portraits made by his master, Alajos Strobl (1856–1926), such as the architect of the Fisherman's Bastion, Frigyes Schulek, and two famous Hungarian painters of the 19th century, Károly Lotz and Bertalan Székely. Károly Damkó (1872–1955) made a portrait of Alajos Strobl, which can also be seen here, while Miklós Ligeti (1871–1944) made a bust of Pál Szinyei Merse.

In front of the pantheon, on the cute mosaic-covered pediment, we read a short, declarative sentence: “The stones speak”. A short but serious sentence: it includes the whole ars poetica of the castle builder. In addition, the content of the sentence sheds light on Bory's respect for the past, his whole outlook on life, his adherence to enduring, agreed-upon values, and his artistic demands, which decisively determined his long career.

The center of the free space of the terrace is occupied by a large garden table made of artificial stone decorated with white and green mosaic inserts, which makes the environment homely friendly, without, of course, damaging the seriousness of the architectural and artistic background as a whole.

Elephant yard
The second terrace got its name from an elephant standing on its sphere under its arcades, holding the castle on its back. The elephant can be seen as a small sculpture in the museum apartment. With this work, Jenő Bory won the Izidor Halmos Small Sculpture Award in 1926.

On the parapet stands a concrete statue of Leader Lehel and Suleiman the Great. On the back wall of the arcades, the master drew four murals with red chalk. They symbolize four epochs that are architecturally defining in the history of mankind: the Greco-Roman era, Christianity, loyalty, and the age of socialism.

Above the courtyard is an arcaded balcony, behind which is the studio of the former owner of the castle.

Hundred-column courtyard
The great corridors of Hungarian history, heroes, singers and kings, from leader Álmos to Sebestyén Tinódi Lantos, line the corridors of the hundred-column courtyard of the castle. The plaster sculptures, original bronze and marble versions seen under the arcades can still be found in various settlements in Hungary. In the chapel there is a statue of conjugal love.

Between the two large towers, on the castle gate, above the huge, rusty (but of course, like almost everything in the castle, it is also made of concrete) hanging menacingly hanging above it, threatening the castle lord, we enter the picturesque space of the courtyard. It is greeted by an elegant, French-flavored park with carefully pruned plants and a well with a frog spitting water in the middle. This is the place where the “wanderer” - the visitor - can rest tired, and then walk with renewed vigor along the sculptural castle wall bordering the garden on three sides and the arcaded corridor below, the 103 pillars of which are named after the courtyard.

The other entrance to the courtyard is under the residential tower. The residential tower symbolizes the family of Jenő Bory. The smallest dome is for the smallest child, George, the two identical concrete domes are one level higher for the twin girls, Ilona and Klara, and the two-pointed roof for the couple themselves. The rooster is the woman, “because ladies always turn where the wind blows,” Bory said.

Peaceful tower
Leaving the studio, you can reach the tall towers guarding the castle gate, either to the left - through the passage under the main building or the residential tower and the hundred-column courtyard - or by turning right - passing back through the Elephant courtyard. It’s worth taking the effort to climb both. Not only do you have a magnificent view of the city and its surroundings from the top, but you can also see the castle itself from here.


At the bottom of the Peak Tower is the “guard room”, where a Bened Jenő Ecce homo (Bory Jenő Ecce homo ( 1922). The life-size, tormented Christ, in a rather unusual way in the work of our master, sits before us completely shattered by hard, piecemeal forms. Shattered, and yet, with some incredibly powerful, unshakable serenity, a concentrated inward attention forgetting the evil vulgarity of the earthly world. With this work, Bory did not accidentally win the Rökk Szilárd Prize, which was a serious professional recognition in 1922, on the occasion of the exhibition held in the Műcsarnok.

Going up the tower, the first level window reads a date of 1905, then two floors up a 1907. The first is the date the artist couple met, and the second is the date they married two years later. From the first level you can access the historic arcade, on the second level a balcony, while on the fourth level the tower itself, from where you can see not only the city in clear weather, but also the Vértes and Bakony ranges can be well identified.

Flag tower

The staircase of the Flag Tower is one of the real, great architectural attractions of Bory Castle. Standing under the stairs and looking up from there, the lace-like piercing of the stair railing, painted in fresh, pastel colors, ascending to the top of the tower, or looking back from the height of the tower, is a truly aesthetic experience. The staircase made of concrete with sculptural spatial vision would certainly provide a rewarding experience for the visitor entering it, but the decorative painting of Klara Bory (1910–1989), who studied painting, completed around 1932, enriched the sight with real magic.

From the upstairs rest of this tower opens the so-called “Vagyóczky Room”, which is named after Jenő Bory, a colleague who selflessly contributes to the work in college and in the summer. Exhibited here is Jenő Bory's horse head, formally familiar from the Parthenon frieze of Athens (circa 1928), which, however, lends a very special character - and therefore a special effect - to the special, colored material of the marble chosen by the sculptor. The room also hosts temporary exhibitions in the castle.

Historic arcade line
Above the arcades - on the castle walls - the artist created a wide promenade accompanied by statues of historical figures. The statues in pairs, like the walls of the castle, were made of quartz concrete. The true beauty of this material unit, so characteristic, can be experienced here in its entirety, as the statues rising on the pillars of the railing begin to behave as part of the architectural framework, as part of the castle.

Inscriptions placed on the pedestals in the gallery of historical figures help you to find your way. Starting from the Peak Tower, on the left wing from Leader Álmos III. To the end, our journey leads between the ranks of the kings of the Árpád dynasty. In the middle wing, the historian Anonymus and the rulers of Anjou look at us. On the other side are the kings of the mixed house - like Matthias I, II. In addition to Lajos, Ferdinand I, János Szapolyai, there are historical and literary heroes such as Zrínyi, two little ones of György Szondi, Sebestyén Tinódi Lantos, György Fráter and Queen Izabella Jagelló.

Chapel of conjugal love
Below, in the center of the middle wing of the arcade row, is a “castle chapel,” or chapel of conjugal love, as a kind of deliberate symbol, about the final destination of a castle visit. In this frescoed ornate apse, Bory placed a whole-shaped, statue of the wife of conjugal love. In front of the peculiar “sanctuary”, giving some new emphasis to his meaning, he placed the symmetrically doubled composition of Kiss (1908) next to the wall on both sides.

The yellow ladies in the fresco above the statue of conjugal love are the muses of other famous artists (including Mona Lisa) who are yellow with envy because they don’t love them as much as Jenő Bory’s wife.

The bell tower

In the orbit under the arcade, as if in a museum study warehouse, the master collected the original plaster samples of his public and church sculptures erected all over his country. Here, the visitor should not expect - as elsewhere in the castle - some kind of aesthetic order. Let’s look at it all like when we actually step into a sculpture studio, where the old and new works of the artist are in order in a strange, hard-to-see cavalcade all over the shelves and racks. This is an unmissable part of a castle visit. Let us not regret the time, so that we can marvel again and again at the public or church sculpture of Jenő Bory, this incredibly prolific master, who has been seen somewhere before - in Szeged, Kaposvár, Budapest or elsewhere - about whom we may not have known before.

The statue of the birth of the hussar can be found on the beach in Székesfehérvár and in front of the obstetrics of St. John's Hospital in Buda. The hussar does not come into the world in the stork's beak, but is already "storking", that is, riding on the stork's back.

Plaster samples of the four bishops of the Bishop's Well in Székesfehérvár can also be found under the arcades. Püspökkút is currently located in the Castle Wall Park in Piac tér, but it was originally located in Városház tér, on the site of today's Országalma monument. It then moved to Peace Square, in front of the railway station, and has been in its current location since 1972.

Jenő Bory built his spacious studio and the smaller service rooms in the main building of the castle, above the Elephant Yard, on the first floor. By now, of course, this whole thing - although it retains its original character - is primarily a museum, where in addition to the works of the master, we can also find the works of not a friend, well-known contemporary artists.

Room with fireplace

Through the narrow entrance, the visitor first enters a magnificent, columned foreground. Around the walls, we see pictures everywhere in several rows, including Dezső Rakssányi's The Outbreak of Varkocs. The topic is one of the sad events in the history of Székesfehérvár. In 1543, Sultan Suleiman arrived with a huge army to occupy one of the most important cities in medieval Hungary, the crowning and burial place of our kings. Captain György Varkocs rushed at the head of his cavalry team to disrupt the enemy's march with his sudden attack. However, as he wanted to return to the strong walls of the city, the citizens closed its gates and watched idly as the fearsome superiority crushed and slaughtered the heroes trapped outside. Cowardly and foolishly, they hoped that if the city was handed over to the Turks voluntarily, without resistance, it would spare their lives and property. The reward of betrayal eventually became, as we know from history, the deservedly bitter disappointment.

The two-figure, pyrobasalt composition, Wrestlers (1922), which stands in front of the window, attracts attention with its powerful, lively sculpture and the tense temperament of the struggling figures, reflected in their gestures but also in their facial expressions. This kind of plastic depiction of unbridled temperament, most reminiscent of Art Nouveau masters, is quite rare in Jenő Bory's art. In shaping his sculptures, he sought at other times and mostly to create a classical balance of calm and movement.

We must also talk about the Wrestlers' material, the cheap pyrobasalt, about its burnt tile, which is almost deceptively similar in its effect and appearance to the bronze, which is often difficult to obtain after the war, with its external, metallic shine (but also its weight). Jenő Bory had practically his own discovery that he made this material suitable for making sculptures, and he used his invention regularly from the beginning of the twenties. “… How fully it serves the sculptural work,” the master himself wrote, “pyrobasal, this refined black tile, which we fondly call Bory bronze. On top of all that, how fantastic are the opportunities to use the coloring of fired clay! ” “And indeed, it is enough to look at the black-burned Kossuth head (1922) or the Self-Portrait (1921) with a completely different effect exhibited in the same room to see what has been described.

In the room with a fireplace we also meet one of Jenő Bory's most common and visibly lovely models: his wife's bustle of white marble, carved with sensitivity, attention and superior confidence, was made in 1927. In its neighborhood we also see another marble portrait of Genoveva (Savanyú Katica, 1922), formed with eloquent, soul-seeing authenticity.


And why is a room with a fireplace the name of the room? It got its name from the beautiful Bory fireplace, which is known to have been designed by Jenő Bory and cast his metal parts in the workshop of his brother Pál Bory. The training of the smoke passages allowed for very efficient heating, it was also possible to cook in the middle part and to warm up on the double-sided seats. There are two such fireplaces in the castle, in the gallery and in the dining room of the museum apartment.

Radio room
To the left of the “room with a fireplace” we enter a smaller one called the “radio room”. Opposite is Shameful (1923), a life-size marble nude that shamefully turns its face away from the viewer - in front of the sculptor watching the model - and covers it with both hands. On the other side, on a table, we meet again a pirobasal bust, a black-burned portrait of Emperor Nero (1924), famous for his cruel persecutions of Christians. Bory did not articulate the madness of public belief. From the fleshy, already baggy, delightful face, a pair of eyes are very determined, satisfied with themselves and their power - which is clearly indicated by the laurel wreath adorning the bald head. According to family legend, he actually shaped a brick factory very reminiscent of Nero.

In front of the back wall of the room, you can see a whole series of small sculptures on an eclectic sideboard decorated with columns. Already getting out of the room, it is worth stopping at the door a bit again. On the wall we see such masterpieces of the Bory collection together as István Csók's painting (1865–1961) entitled Balaton Miksa is a composition that captures the legendary Sicilian city of Taormina. Here we see the picture of Dezső Rakssányi, which depicts Jenő Bory's studio in its original function.

Next to the door are pictures of Mrs. Boryné painted on their twin daughters. A full-length picture of Ilona Bory in a yellow ball gown, next to her is a portrait of her twin sister, Klára.


Passing through the foyer, we get to the actual studio. Entering through the door, under the coffered ceiling, the spacious, serious interior height, imposing space truly worthy of a "knight's hall" is revealed to us at once. Today, of course, no more sculptures are made here, yet what we see is not only the exhibition place of the pictures hanging on the walls and the sculptures on their pedestals, as here the place itself is a memory, if you like: its own museum.

Undoubtedly the most striking element of the spectacle is the Wounded Hero (1927), the original plaster model of the statue made in memory of the heroic dead of the First World War at the Technical University. The huge figure was cast in bronze again in 2000, thus replacing the original monument, which was removed from its place in 1949 and later used for the material of the Stalin statue.

Near the massive plaster cast stands the master’s former, prestigious, richly carved, eclectic-style desk and associated armchair. To the right of the large hall, behind the desk, in glazed table shelves, the curious visitor can study old photographs and documents, interesting family and official documents.

Almost all the free surfaces of the walls of the room are covered with pictures, and there is not one that can only be found on an easel. Here we can see the portrait of Bertna Székely (1835–1910), a highly successful historical painter, Boryne, a student of the School of Design and later one of the founders of the College of Fine Arts. Next to it is a portrait of the model, the young painter Ilona Komócsin (1885–1974), depicting her master, Bertalan Székely. We can discover several works in the collection of Bertalan Karlovszky, one of the busiest portrait painters of the period, working in an academic style. Following the style of painting in Nagybánya, the visitor can admire Ágost Benkhard's life painting entitled Landscaping. The work of Dezső Rakssányi, the wedding of Péter Bory in 1476, also hangs on the wall in this room.

And of course, the sculptures. Most of these are also standing on pedestals near the walls, but if we look up, we can see two sides, on the ledges of the tall studio windows, a whole series of plaster sculptures.


In the hall, opposite the Wounded Hero, stands the plaster of the symbolic figure of Architecture (1914), with a hammock raised high on the right and a model of the Church of the Heart of Jesus in Fehérvár on its left. Not far from him is the nude erected in aluminum in Agárd in 1960, which boldly reveals his nakedness, the life-size plaster of The Fairy of the Lake, and a version of the composition of the early Kiss (1908). In this line we see the black-burned pyrobasalt version of the nude kneeling in a very expressive way (1929) (with which he won a silver medal at the Barcelona World's Fair in 1929), and Petőfi (1921), also made of this material but with a light color. and Rembrandt (1921) portraits. In the corner, above the portrait of Jenő Bory depicting his Mother, on the wall, there is a plaster cast from the hands of Bishop Ottokár Prohászka.

Almost in the middle of the room stands one of the most beautiful masterpieces of Master Bory's art, conceived in style in the decade of 19th century historicism, but nevertheless (or because of it) a very authentic bronze figure of John the Baptist (circa 1920). The original of this statue stands on the baptismal font of St. Nicholas Church in Muraszombat.

It is a good idea to step out of the studio into the arcaded balcony in front of it, which offers great views of the garden and terraces.

Yellow room

From the big room on our way back, we get to the so-called “yellow room”. In front of the window, on a low pedestal, is the nude Zsuzsanna in the Bath (1922), which is crouched on the ground and covered with a richly pleated blanket, covered with a delicate elegance, made of black-burned pyrobasalt. A colorful, glazed version of pirobasalt became the material of a strikingly lively, serene portrait of his painter-friendly wife, Róbertné Nádler (1926).

There, on an old piano, you can also see Ottokár Prohászka, the bishop of Székesfehérvár who died in 1927, a death mask made of white plaster by Jenő Bory.

To the left of the “yellow room” there is another small room, in which, in addition to another copy of The Shameful, the portrait of the painter Ede Balló deserves attention. Balló was a friend and fellow teacher of Bory, but he certainly also set an example for him with unconditional respect for the “old ones”. Balló became famous primarily as an acquaintance of Diego Velázquez and the great masters of the Netherlands, a copier of their pictures. He enriched the exhibition of the Museum of Fine Arts with his huge collection of copies.

This back room also shows the family tree of the Bory family.

In addition to the statues and pictures of Jenő Bory and his wife, Ilona Komócsin (Ilona Székely was a student of Bertalan) and Klára's daughter (student of Oszkár Glatz), the following works can be found in the castle: Bertalan Székely, Bertalan Karlovszky, Aladár Körösfői-Kriesch , István Csók, Fülöp László, Lajos Márk, István Bosznay, Péter Szüle, Ferenc Márton, Béla Iványi-Grünwald, Jenő Haranghy, János Fadrusz, György Zala, Alajos Strobl, Miklós Ligeti, János Dankó. The “abstract” index of Bory Castle lists nearly 400 works, but there are actually thousands there.

By car
The castle can be easily reached by car, primarily on the most important old mountain roads, from Béla utca, Pozsonyi út, Kassai utca and / or Fiskális út to Vágújhelyi and / or Bicskei utca, then turning onto Máriavölgy.

By public transport
Bory Castle is also easily accessible by local public transport. The nearest bus stop, at the intersection of Kassai utca and Vágújhelyi utca, is located at Vágújhelyi u. stop called three minutes walk from the castle. Here from the train station Kassai u. - 32 to Nagyszombati Street and Kassai u. From Jancsár Street via the bus station. - 26A bus services to Nagyszombati Street stop. In addition, bus 31 from the train station to Béla utca and bus 26 from Jancsár utca through the bus station to Béla utca are close by. Bicskei u. It also stops at the intersection of Béla Street and Bicskei Street. The castle is a 10-minute walk away.

The nearest bus stop, where long-distance services also stop (mainly to and from Pátka, Lovasberény and Bicske), is at Szeredi u. stop at the intersection of Béla Street and Szeredi Street, which is a 15-minute walk from the castle.