Renewing Veszprém’s heritage: restoration project underway in Capital of Culture marks major milestone
One of Europe’s largest and most complex heritage restoration projects – the revitalisation of 18 historical and ecclesiastical buildings within Hungary’s Veszprém Castle District – is marking a major milestone this year, allowing unprecedented hard-hat access to the public during the City’s European Capital of Culture 2023.
The restoration project covers a 35,000 square metre footprint of baroque, mediaeval and gothic buildings and 10,000 square metres of courtyards and gardens. The Castle District’s highlights include St Michael’s Cathedral, commissioned in the 11th century by Queen Gisela, wife of Hungary’s founding father, King Stephen I, in which the bones of her forearm are said to be located, as well as the gothic Gisela Chapel, featuring 800-year-old frescos of the apostles and dragon carvings. Now celebrating its halfway point, as work began in 2021 and is set to complete in 2025, this first major restoration of the site in 250 years has also led to the discovery of ceramics and coins, which demonstrate Hungary’s central historical religious, political and trade position within Europe.
These changes and discoveries are currently documented in a Work in Progress exhibition, which features a behind-the-scenes tour of the district’s buildings and uncovered art works. The exhibition aims to convey the scale of research, work and decision-making behind the restoration and highlight how it has identified the most appropriate, authentic and sensitive approaches and interventions for each of the unique buildings and features across many architectural and artistic styles and periods.
Website link: http://castellum.hu/en/