March 31, 2009

Stephen Tarodi, Tarodi Var/Tarodi Castle

first four pictures (2012) courtesy of 
Nádasdi Zoltán Szabó  

 An 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"....This might rank as making a creative construction XXL

Life and works

Stephen Tarodi (1925-2010) from Hungary, did it. As a young man of not yet twenty, in 1945, on a plot of land that belonged to his parents, he already constructed kind of a (wooden) tower, 8 m high, where he went to live with his wife, after they 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 he began in 1953 the Castle Building Project, which 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 labour is quite impressive.

The castle has everything a castle should have: a gate, a bridge, a court-yard, towers, donjons, spiralling 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.

picture (febr 2010) Kisalfold newspaper, Hungary

His sons, István and Tibor, have continued the work of their father. As far as I understand they have formed a foundation or an association, that will take care of the project.

Visitors are welcome. If they pay some entrance fee they can look around in part of the building.

Documentation/more pictures
* Pictures (2012) on the weblog of Nádasdi Zoltán Szabó
* Photostream 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 in 2007 has written a book about his life and work, but so far I could not trace it.

first published march 2009, revised april 2010, may 2011, august 2012

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