Sátoraljaújhely–Széphalom, 2008


Széphalom is one of our most important historical and literary memorial sites, a national place of pilgrimage owing to its ideal and symbolic values related to Ferenc Kazinczy, a symbol of language cultivation, devoted intellect and strong human stance. The language cultivation events and festivals held in front of the mausoleum have linked Széphalom’s historical and contemporary roles. This gave birth to the idea: Széphalom with the Kazinczy memorial garden should be home to a new museum workshop centred on the history and present of the Hungarian language.

It was a great challenge to start a development at a site connected to a historical period, in a manner that is faithful and worthy of tradition, communicating in the language of today while evoking the spirit of the place.

The museum houses three exhibition spaces, a bookshop, a seminar room and a theatre hall for concerts, cultural conferences, literary evenings. Additionally, the transitory space of the historical garden can be interpreted as a museum. This adheres to the ideals of the age of Enlightenment, which compelled Kazinczy to devote a lot of effort to fashioning his beloved garden. The Language Family Tree Grove stands here next to immortal writers, poets and language cultivators, representing the great language families of the world. Its unique attraction and educational role is of special importance in this always colourful, lively, multi-ethnic region of Europe.


Architecture, interior design: György Radványi DLA, Ybl Prize laureate architect

Contributors: Ádám Majoros, Zsófia Nemoda, Soma Stágel

Pannon Sea Fragments and the Founding Charter of the Tihany Abbey: Ildikó Csete textile artist


Photography: Tamás Bujnovszky