The surroundings of Kapušany Castle – as well as the historical structure itself – are being spruced up. People registered as jobseekers with the Labour Office can now work on the castle, located close to Prešov, thanks to the Cultural Heritage Preservation project. The municipality of Kapušany received €40,000 for materials from the Slovak Culture Ministry.
“Currently, 19 men and one woman are performing administrative duties and helping with archaeological work there,” Ján Zemčák, the head of Kapušany’s municipal office, told the TASR newswire. “People from Kapušany and nearby villages have found work for six months here,” he said, adding that the Labour Office in Prešov covers their wages, protective clothing and insurance policies.
The workers first cleared brush, cleaned out ditches and also took part in archaeological research. Works coordinator Martin Sárossy explained that workers first cleared shrubbery and small trees not just to get at the walls but also to make the castle visible from the surrounding area. He said that there was lack of stone for reconstruction work, as people have over the years taken material from the castle for their own use, meaning that it is now necessary to bring replacement stone from quarries. Sárossy added there was a problem with water, as only retained rainwater can be used but that so far there has not been enough of this.
Worker Dávid Petrásek learned about the work from an acquaintance who worked at Šariš Castle, also near Prešov. “I am a trained carpenter, and nobody was willing to employ me straight after graduation – they all required some work experience. I have not had such work until now. This is really interesting, especially when we made the excavations,” the 21-year-old from Záhradné said.
Ján Križovenský from Kapušany, 32, also got work at the castle. He trained to be a stonemason, but has worked as a photographer and cameraman. He said that in his case the point was not so much to find a job but rather his interest in the castle itself. “My whole life I longed to see the castle get back to its original shape, and as this is now happening, I applied to take part in it. Coincidentally, I was registered at the labour office, so this came handy,” Križovenský concluded.
Kapušany Castle is a popular place for school trips. Ľudmila Bezegová from the elementary school in the village of Kurima, about 40 kilometres away, first came here 18 years ago with her pupils. “I teach children at the first level, i.e. grades 1 to 4, and the visit to this castle has become a sort of tradition. Every four years, as I bid my pupils goodbye, we take a train and come here,” the teacher explained.