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The Knights' Hall in Szigethalom

 

Szigethalom the town which in the last three years has become famous for its viking gatherings, has added to its tourist attractions another special thing. In 2010 it has established a medieval knights' hall. The construction of this institution which is one of its kind in the region, was financed from resources of the EU and of the local government. It is located only 12 kms from Budapest on the Csepel Island.

Emese Park has been run in the former antiaircraft barack. It has been attracting several thousands of visitors to see the requisites of viking lifestyle, such as wattle huts, yurts, a blacksmith's workshop, saxon tents, a viking ship and pens - all of them made by volunteers. However it can function only seasonally.

The park – as many already know – evokes the history of the 10th -11th centuries (reproduction of life style, archery, spear throwing, medieval games, horse riding, contemporary craftwork, etc.) giving a clearer picture to those who are interested in the early middle ages. The living museum village (skanzen), comes to life in the form of a bailiwick and it provides a framework for the knights' hall. The knights' hall is open all year long enriching the range of programs of the tradition park (e.g. permanent exhibitions, interest groups, indoor archery, theatre performances, weddings and company banquets in a medieval atmosphere).

 

The knights' hall was made by transforming the largest hangar of the former barack. The building received a medieval character both inside and outside while meeting modern requirements such as fire safity, accessibilty etc. In the middle of the hall there is a big open area for the performances. The audience can watch them either from the ground floor sitting on log benches along log tables or from the gallery above.

 

One of its curiosity is that the auditorium will face outside as well, which will make it possible to follow the events both inside the hall and in front of the castle. In the winter the hall is heated with two large tile stoves.

 

Apart from jousts, archery presentations and performances of medieval showmen the castle hosts temporary and permanent exhibitions. This way visitors can have a close look at the armature, clothes and everyday tools of our forfathers, which they can even try when they visit one of these events.

 

The builders of the hall have also thought of disabled people. The physically disabeled are aided with a lift and the visually disabled are lead by a so called guiding lane. For them a tangible exhibition is going to be opened.

 

A new and modern plumbing unit has been built in the building that is accessible even for the physically disabled.

 

As a result of permanent functioning of Emese park, the town anticipates that the number of the usual visitors, such as school groups and other visitors from all over the country will grow and also  foreign tourists from the capital will show up. In order to facilitate this process the local government is considering to develop a regional touristic concept.

Opening is most likely in the summer.