Stabilized Layers of History

architects MARP
project Reconstruction of the Szathmáry palace, Pécs, Hungary


The existing ruins of the renaissance Szathmáry Palace is one of Hungary’s most valuable protected monuments. The ruins are located in a park of Tettye Valley in the northeast part of Pécs, where the dense historical urban fabric meets nature. The valley rises almost from the heart of the city, offering a magnificent view of the city from the top. Bishop György Szathmáry (1457–1524) built his own Renaissance-style summer residence here at the very beginning of the 16th century. A former archeological excavation confirmed that the Bishop of Pécs had a building with inner courtyard made that was rebuilt a number of times later with additions such as the south-east tower constructed in the mid−16th century, during Ottoman Empire occupation. At the beginning of the 20th century, one part of the building was demolished and certain openings were strengthened with arches, thus providing a sense of romantic ruin aesthetics. Until recently, the ruin was used as a background scene for a summer theatre. Despite the long history and its superb location, the palace in its bad condition was unable to fulfil the proper role following from its historical and architectural importance.