Monday, December 31, 2012

Most popular posts on Medieval Hungary

The end of the year marks the end of my third year of blogging. Along the way, I have posted 120 posts on various topics related to Hungarian medieval art, which generated over 90.000 page views to this date. My blog was featured in several online journals - for example in Vidimus or in Peregrinus, and several posts have been picked up by other blogs and online news media. I will give a sampling below of the most popular posts on the Medieval Hungary blog, giving a brief update about their topics as well.

The Digital Journal and SCAtoday.net both picked up the report on the discovery a grave from the period of the Magyar Conquest. Found neat the village of Bugyi, the sabretache plate discovered in the grave has since been cleaned and restored, and showed at a traveling exhibition (titled "Not without a trace...") organized by the Pest County Museum system. It was also included in an exhibition first organized at the Houses of Parliament in Budapest, which was aimed at showing the most spectacular recent archaeological finds, in order to pressure lawmakers to not weaken cultural heritage laws. Although this attempt was unsuccesful, the exhibition itself was successful, and is now travelling around the country. The exhibition is accompanied by a very nicely produced website, which is only available in Hungarian. Below you can find a picture of the sabretache plate in its conserved state.

10th century sabretache plate from Bugyi-Felsővány
(source: mvmsz.info


Moving on to later centuries, most interest was generated by my report on the discovery of 14th century frescoes right in the middle of Budapest, in the Inner City Parish Church of Pest.  The news was picked up by Medieval News and other online sources. My brief report on the find, consisting of two blog posts (see part I and part II) was later summarized for the newsletter of the International Center of Medieval Art (April 2011 issue), while my report on Hungarian azurite, found in the background of the painting, was picked up by National Geographic Hungary (May 2011). I also reported on some publications about the murals in a third blog post.

Detail of the Virgin and Child at the Inner City Parish Church, Pest 


Considerable interest surrounded the purported identification of the master of a 15th century fresco in Esztergom as the work of the young Botticelli, the subject of a post on my blog last year. This story broke in 2007, so I was naturally not the first to report on it, but as my report was also featured in the Art History Carnival of April 2011, as well as in Carnivalesque, the Ancient/Modern edition of the popular History blog - so a lot of readers found it. I had a chance to briefly revisit the issue in my review of Villa I Tatti's conference volume about Italy and Hungary in the Renaissance. Restoration of the frescoes has since stalled, so the frescoes will certainly be a topic of conversation next year, which will be marked by Italian-Hungarian cultural cooperation, including an exhibition dedicated to Renaissance art at the court of Matthias Corvinus, to be held in Florence in Fall 2013. 

Restorer Zsuzsanna Wierdl at the frescoes
(Source: Studiolo Facebook page)


By far the most widely read post on the Medieval Hungary blog concerned the burning of the castle of Krasznahorka in March 2012. Salvaged object from the castle were shown during the second half of the year in the Slovak National Museum at Bratislava Castle. You can read about the exhibition - which closed today - here. Photos of the damage were posted on the castle's Facebook page, while recent images posted on the website of the National Museum indicate that progress on rebuilding the walls and roofs which got damaged in the fire is going well. 

Rebuilding at Krasznahorka Castle 

The top of the right column of this blog features five posts which are currently the most popular - the report on Krasznahorka alone had over 3000 readers. If you want to get all the updates about curent news concerning Medieval Hungary, follow this blog or follow me on Twitter.  I will surely continue blogging next year, and will report about new discoveries, exhibitions and publications. With this, I wish all my readers a Happy New Year!


3 comments:

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  2. beautiful website

    Annapurna Base Camp trek begins north of the Lake city Pokhara which is reached by a 6-7 hour tourist bus ride and a 25 minute scenic flight from Kathmandu. It begins at the village of Nayapul at just 1090m (1½ hours drive from Pokhara) and climbs gradually up the Modi Khola Valley through natural forests of oak, rhododendron, pine and bamboo. Villages are sited on ridges high above the river where slopes are gentle enough for terraced farming.
    The climax of the 12 days Annapurna Base Camp trek is reached in the spectacular Annapurna Sanctuary amphitheatrewhere you will first pass the Machhapuchhare (Fish Tail) Base Camp (3700m/12 139ft) en route to ABC (4130m/13 550ft). Here you are surrounded by an immense and breathtaking wall of rock and ice reaching heights from 6 500 – 8 091m and dramatised by closer rocky outcrops rising above the U-shaped valley gouged out by the glacier. Cloud frequently forms in the late morning making for enticing glimpses of an ever changing landscape: at sunrise it is frequently still and clear offering viewers, photographers a surfeit of possibilities.
    trekking in Nepal
    langtang trek
    Annapurna trek
    Evererest Trek
    peak climbing in Nepal
    jungle safari in Nepal
    sight seeing
    cultural tour
    mountain flight

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  3. Trekking in Nepal…Family Adventure style
    The towering Himalayas are, to many travellers’ minds, the chief reason for visiting Nepal. The country tumbles steeply down from the 800km stretch of the Himalayan battlements that forms its northern border, and can claim no fewer than eight of the world’s ten highest peaks – including, of course, Everest, the highest of them all. The mountains are more than just physically astonishing, however. The cultures of highland-dwelling Nepalese peoples are rich and fascinating, and the relaxed, companionable spirit of trekking life is an attraction in itself. The Himalayas have long exerted a powerful spiritual pull, too. In Hindu mythology, the mountains are where gods go to contemplate, while the Sherpas and other mountain peoples hold certain peaks to be the very embodiment of deities.
    Most visitors to mountain areas stick to a few well-established trekking routes. They have good reasons for doing so: the classic trails of the Everest region with its famous trails like Everest Base camp trek and the 3 high passes are both mind blowing ventures and highly popular in the world. And Annapurna regions are so popular because they offer close-up views of the very highest peaks; this includes Annapurna 1 & 2, fishtail peak and Ganesh Himal trek. Famous treks like the Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek, Annapurna Base camp trek & the Annapurna Circuit trek are some of the most famous on earth. Dramatic scenery and fascinating local cultures are most known in this area. Lodges on the main trails – some as sophisticated as ski chalets, these days – make it possible to go without carrying a lot of gear or learning Nepali, and without spending too much money, either. While trekking, you’ll likely eat and sleep for $20–30 a day. For those who put a high priority on getting away from it all, there are plenty of less-developed routes, of course, and simply going out of season or taking a side-route off the main trail makes a huge difference.
    The Helambu and Langtang regions are less striking but conveniently close to Kathmandu, attracting a little fewer than ten percent of trekkers. The Langtang valley trek & the Ganja-La pass are known trails in this area. This leaves vast areas of eastern and far western Nepal relatively untrodden by visitors. To hike in these areas you’ll need either to get set for camping and carry your own supplies, and live like a local, or pay to join an organized trek with tents and accept the compromises that go along with that.
    With a good operator, you can anywhere in the wild. A Great Himalayan Trail now runs the length of highland Nepal – though it will be for some time, if ever, before such a route will be serviced by lodges.
    Treks in remote far eastern and far western Nepal are mostly restricted to two kinds of globe trotters, both adventurous in their own way. The majority come on organized camping treks with agencies – in fact, this is obligatory for those areas that require a permit. The minority are independent trekkers prepared either to carry tents and food or negotiate with porters, or to seek food and lodging in local homes and basic lodges. Some great camping outdoors include the Manaslu circuit Trek, Upper Mustang trek the Dhaulagiri circuit, Rara lake trek and the great Kangchenjunga trek, both north and south.

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