March 31, 2009

Stephen Tarodi, Tarodi Var/Tarodi Castle

first four pictures (2012) courtesy of 
Nádasdi Zoltán Szabó  

An art environment for me is a relatively large-scale creative construction that is related to the place of living of the one who makes it. So, building a castle with your own hands is obviously making something large-scale, but not "relatively"....

A castle might rank as a creative construction XXL

Life and works

Stephen Tarodi (1925-2010) from Hungary, did it. In 1945, as a young man of less than twenty year old,  on a plot of land that belonged to his parents, he already constructed kind of a (wooden) tower of some 8 m high. He went to live there with his wife he married in 1946.

Around 1951 Tarodi could become the owner of a piece of land, an abandoned orchard in the city of Sopron in Hungary, located near the frontier with Austria.

On this plot in 1953 he began to build a castle. It became a project that would keep him (and the members of his family) busy for the next fifty years. He would work on the project while he also had a job during the day, so he started at five in the morning, to continue in the afternoon after he had done his daily job.

As far as I know, in preparing his project Stephen Tarodi made a long distance journey by bike along Hungarian castles to observe their layout

The result of all this industrious labor is quite impressive.

The castle has everything a castle should have: a gate, a bridge, a court-yard, towers, donjons, spiraling staircases, a stylish decoration .....

The construction covers an area of some 350 m² and the highest tower is 20 m high.

The interior has a number of rooms, where Tarodi stored items he collected during his life, like classic furniture, motorcycles, paintings, farm tools and so on. Due to the lack of financial means. it is not possible to show the collection in a somewhat orderly arrangement.

Actual situation 

Stephen Tarodi passed away in February 2010.

His sons István and Tibor continued to take care of their father's castle. To my knowledge they established a foundation or an association to manage the project.

Visitors are welcome. After paying a small entrance fee one can look around in part of the building.

Documentation/more pictures
* Pictures (2012) on the weblog of Nádasdi Zoltán Szabó
* A series of photos on Flickr by the author of the weblog Curious Expeditions, with many pictures of exterior and interior of the castle.
* As far as I know Tarodi wrote a book about his life and work (published in 2007), but up to now I couldn't trace it.
 Video by SGB Landfunk (2016, You Tube, 7'49")

first published march 2009, last revised november 2018

Stephen Tarodi
Tarodi Var
Csalogány köz 8, Lővér Hills
Sopron Hungary
open for the public