The Ruins of Széchenyi-Wenckheim Castle In Hungary

Nestled inconspicuously off an unassuming roundabout, down a typical country road, within an ordinary park, the plains of Hungary cradle the ruins of one of its many exquisite mansions.

Constructed in the early 1900s for the newlyweds Count Antal Széchényi and Krisztina Wenckheim, the mansion experienced limited use before the count’s passing and the family’s emigration during the tumultuous Second World War. Some locals, in a sad turn of events, looted and set parts of the mansion ablaze, and by 1945, some sections faced demolition.

Legend has it that the building found utility during the Allies’ presence, with purported evidence like a bomb crater in the nearby woods accessible through a walking path. In the 1980s, tales speak of its use in civil defense exercises. However, for the most part, the mansion has endured untouched, gradually surrendering to the embrace of nature. Today, it stands as a captivating, hidden relic, echoing Hungary’s captivating and intricate past.

Before You Go

The ruins of Széchényi-Wenckheim kastélyrom were once only marked by warning signs discouraging entry, but they are now enclosed by fencing. Despite this, the basement can still be observed through cameras, and the facade remains a sight to behold. For additional scenic views, descend the steps behind the building. If you’re interested in drone usage, inquire beforehand.

The park is most conveniently accessed by car, but alternative routes include taking a bus and a 30-minute walk from the main highway (#44). Békéscsaba is the closest major city. From the main station, catch a bus heading towards Gyula (board at bus stand #6). Ensure to request a ticket to Vesely Csárda (VEH-say CHAR-dah). This stop is roughly 8 kilometers from the city and is identified by a roundabout with a gas station on the right, a restaurant on the left, and a pedestrian bridge across the road just after the bus stop. It’s also possible to reach this stop from Gyula on a bus bound for Békéscsaba, although this route will take longer, and the stops will be on the opposite side.

-If you opt to continue by bus, snap a photo of the bus schedule on the side of the road where you’ll board later. This will help you better time your journey. Once you disembark at the bus stop, cross the road toward the restaurant (the csárda). Walk in front of it, and follow the small sidewalk path around and behind it. This path connects to smaller roads surrounded by houses, and these will soon merge ahead and on the left into Pósteleki utca, the main one-lane road leading to the park. The walk spans approximately 30 minutes and is on flat terrain. Inside the park, continue straight onto a path until the mansion comes into view.

-If driving, head to the same roundabout as the bus stop and follow the sign marked “Pósteleki Szabadidőpark” via Pósteleki utca. Park in the designated areas at the end of the road, then walk along the path leading to the mansion. After exploring, make a pit stop at the csárda for some delicious lángos or other delectable treats before heading to your next destination!

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