The Castle of Óvár, home to SZE’s Faculty of Agriculture and Food Sciences, renovated

In cooperation with the Prime Minister's Office, Széchenyi István University and the National Heritage Development Nonprofit Ltd., Mosonmagyaróvár Castle, home to the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences, has been renovated at an investment cost of HUF 1.7 billion. As well as contributing to the development of tourism, the reconstruction makes it possible for students and lecturers to study and work in conditions that facilitate world-class performance.

“With joy and pride in our hearts we are here at the renovated castle, and looking around, we are all touched by the dignity of the imposing building. An important piece of our past once more shines in its old light,” declared Dr Erzsébet Knáb, Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Széchenyi István University Foundation, beginning her welcome speech with these words at the ceremonial handover of the investment on Tuesday. She emphasized that the development is a tribute to the more than two centuries glorious past of the Academy of Óvár: the institution has found a new home at Széchenyi István University, which values, preserves and enriches the unique value entrusted to it, and considers it a duty to ensure that students and staff study and work under such conditions so as to enable world-class performance.

SZE_MEK_Varatadas_2021_003_Majer_Csaba_Jozsef.jpgThe castle rising on the banks of the Lajta offers a beautiful view

(Photo: József Csaba Májer)

Playing an important role in the life of the region

Dr Erzsébet Knáb drew attention to the fact that the University places great emphasis on its third mission: in addition to international education and research, it plays an important role in the social life of the region. The renovation of the castle, and within, the history exhibition of the castle and the  institution, including facilities for educational visits; the renovated castle courtyard, now suitable for theatre performances, concerts and other events; the newly designed cafe and gift shop –all help to increase the tourist attraction of Mosonmagyaróvár, bringing variety to the cultural life of the region.

This development is also about faith in the future. For more than a year now the coronavirus epidemic  has been determining things, and in these unprecedented, challenging times, Széchenyi István University is looking ahead, which is not only evidenced by this investment.

As the renovation of the Castle Gate and the Castle Promenade in Mosonmagyaróvár goes ahead, in Győr so does the construction of the Science and Innovation Park, the reconstruction of the Faculty of Law, the Bridge Student and Teacher Club and the number 2 academic building of the Apáczai Csere János Faculty of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences, as well as the expansion of the educational and research infrastructure of the ZalaZone test track in Zalaegerszeg. In addition to the committed support of the government, these developments are also supported by the change of model, enabling us to formulate and implement our goals and tasks under more flexible operating conditions and with  more room to manœuver,” stated Dr Erzsébet Knáb, who thanked the government, the National Heritage and Development Nonprofit Ltd, Dr István Nagy, Minister of Agriculture, the area’s MP, the town council of Mosonmagyaróvár as well as everyone who took part in the preparation, execution, planning and implementation of the tender.

According to Tamás Glázer, Managing Director of National Heritage and Protection Non-profit Kft, the development cost about HUF 1.7 billion. Of this, the European Union's contribution was HUF 1.3 billion with HUF 392.6 million Hungarian state support, and HUF 12.6 million from the University's own resources. Mr Glazer drew attention to the fact that within the framework of the National Castle Programmes, this is the first investment in Győr-Moson-Sopron County and the third in the country to be completed.

Educational conditions will continue to improve

In his speech, Dr Gergely Gulyás, Minister of the Prime Minister's Office, stated that the Faculty of Széchenyi István University in Mosonmagyaróvár plays a decisive role in the development of Hungary's agricultural economy. “If Hungary wants to survive in the competition of nations, it must pay special attention to agriculture and the training of agricultural professionals. Now that one of the most important tasks facing our country is for our universities to compete with the best higher education institutions in Europe and even in the world, this institution also has a particularly important role to play.

All the higher education development the government has promised, whether from the European Union or from the domestic budget, will be provided. Due to this, the programmes of Széchenyi István University - including those of Mosonmagyaróvár - can continue under incomparably better conditions than before.”


SZE_MEK_Varatadas_2021_045_Majer_Csaba_Jozsef.jpgDr Gergély Gulyás, Minister of the Prime Minister’s Office

(Photo: Csaba József Májer)

Dr István Nagy, Minister of Agriculture, also addressed the audience as an alumnus of the Mosonmagyaróvár institution. He said it was a fantastic feeling to see a renovated castle expanded with new features, now also for recreation and entertainment, as the landmark of the city. He stressed:

in the future, the role of the Faculty will become even more appreciated, as it can build on the technical strengths of Széchenyi István University to continue precision technology and food research, which are of great importance in the 21st century.

The mayor of Mosonmagyaróvár, Dr István Árvay, called the reconstruction a common success, via which the symbol of the city had been renewed. “We are fortunate to be able to live in a time when value creation, value preservation, plays a particularly important role,” he noted.

SZE_MEK_Varatadas_2021_090_Majer_Csaba_Jozsef.jpgParticipants of the ribbon cutting: Dr Péter Földesi, Rector of Széchenyi István University, Zsolt Virág, Ministerial Commissioner of the National Castle Programmes, Dr Gergély Gulyás, Minister of the Prime Minister's Office, Dr István Nagy, Minister of Agriculture, Fidesz Member of Parliament for the area, Tamás Glázer, Managing Director of National Heritage and Protection Development Non-profit Ltd., Dr Erzsébet Knáb, Chair of the Board of Trustees of Széchenyi István University Foundation, Dr István Árvay, Mayor of Mosonmagyaróvár and Dr Bálint Filep, President of Széchenyi István University. (Photo: József Csaba Májer)

At the event, Zsolt Virág, the Ministerial Commissioner of the National Castle Programmes, presented the extremely valuable, Gothic stone coat of arms, unique in Hungary, found during a structural evaluation and successfully preserved. The investment was symbolically inaugurated by cutting a ribbon with the national colours and then blessed by Dr András Veres, Bishop of Győr-Moson-Sopron County.

SZE_MEK_Varatadas_2021_087_Majer_Csaba_Jozsef.jpgDr András Veres, Bishop of Győr-Moson-Sopron County, blessed the renovated Castle.

(Photo: Csaba József Májer)

Medals for outstanding performers

At the ceremony, Dr Erzsébet Knáb and Dr Bálint Filep, President of Széchenyi István University, presented commemorative medals to those who did outstanding work in renovating the castle:

  • Dr Gergély Gulyás, Minister of the Prime Minister’s Office
  • Dr István Nagy, Minister of Agriculture
  • Dr István Árvay, Mayor of Mosonmagyaróvár
  • Dr Zsolt Virág, National Castle Programmes Ministerial Commissioner
  • Tamás Glázer, CEO of National Heritage Protection and Development Non-profit Kft.
  • Sándor Széles, Győr County Government Commissioner to the Government Office
  • Dr Éva Szalka Dean, Faculty of Agriculture and Food Sciences of Széchenyi István University
  • Dr Tibor Gajda, Project specialist in tourism and museums
  • Kata Borsa, Curator of the history of the castle and exhibition
  • Székely Zoltán, Project specialist in exhibitions
  • Attila Németh, Project specialist in history of the institution,
  • Zsolt Kovács-Csomor, President, on behalf of the Óvár Farmers' Association
  • Gyula Szabó, managing director of Szabó és Társa Kft. (who also collected medals on behalf of two members of the contracting staff, the late Róbert Giczi and the late Tamás Hoffmann)
  • Gábor Németh, Technical contracting manager
  • Nóra Mészáros, Project manager for Széchenyi István University
  • Dr László Tamándl, professional project manager


Dr István Nagy, Minister of Agriculture, also received a commemorative medal for his outstanding work from Dr Erzsébet Knáb and Dr Bálint Filep.

(Photo: József Csaba Májer)

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