What are your biggest feats that you did to express your love to someone? We all know the story of the Indian Taj Mahal that was built in the 17th century by the instruction of Shah Jahan, a former Mughal emperor, who wanted to show the true love he felt for his wife, Mumtaz Mahal, who had died from childbirth. Well, one of Hungary’s oldest cities, Székesfehérvár has its own Taj Mahal, given the fact that certain Jenő Bory built an entire castle from concrete for the love of his life. Yes, I meant it: he built the castle alone by his own hands, which took him decades. This extraordinary performance is so tremendous that he even got into the Guinness Book of World Records understandably.
Hungary is famous for its still-standing history-maker castles all over the country, such as Buda Castle or the castle of Eger - just to mention the two most significant edifices. Yet, the castle of Jenő Bory is something entirely else. This individual man’s creativity and his sense of art was so enormous, not to mention his work ethic, that all these made him something out of this world. When I say he built the castle, you should not only think of the walls of the building, but most of the artefacts can be found in it – including statues, paintings and other artworks. Besides, multiple dozens of artist’s works are being held in the castle, which in a certain manner counts of its own exhibition. A little curiosity - until this very day, some of the descendants of Bory still live in the castle. Regardless of that, most parts of the castle can be visited as a museum and exhibitions.
Bory’s concrete castle was built between 1923 (11 years after he bought a little weekend house on its place) and 1959, the year of his death. He was 80 years old then. His wife, Ilona Komócsin lived for further 15 years afterwards, so she had a chance to reassure that his beloved husband’s work of a lifetime will remain in caring hands for good. There were some post-works on the widely-known Bory-castle at the beginning of the 1960s, which were finalised in 1964. There can be found unique artefacts even from Bory’s wife, who was also an acknowledged painter and from one of their talented daughters as well. Not surprisingly, the reputation of Jenő Bory and his loving family is so great in Székesfehérvár and across Hungary that thousands of tourists come to see this fairy castle every year - even from abroad.
I have similarly always been extremely impressed by the story of this great individual and the extent of his talent and diligence. The castle, by the way, has not only an inconceivable size for the fact that it was built by one single man, but also provides us with amazing, flourishing gardens. With all this in mind, it’s understandable that Bory’s concrete castle is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Székesfehérvár. We all have heard of ridiculous feats from the Guinness Book of World Records, but Bory’s castle undoubtedly deserved to be included in it. For me and I guess most people, this castle is a symbol of true and eternal love, but only reminds me of what we humans are capable of.
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