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Students uncover Pustý Castle tower

THE UNCOVERING of the royal residential tower of the Pustý hrad (Deserted Castle) near Zvolen started in mid July 2013. About 50-60 foreign students have been helping the archaeologists, in addition to around the same number of Slovak students. Also, eight unemployed are helping out, hired via the Nezamestnaní na hradoch (The Unemployed at Castles) project.

Work on Pustý Castle.Work on Pustý Castle. (Source: SME)

THE UNCOVERING of the royal residential tower of the Pustý hrad (Deserted Castle) near Zvolen started in mid July 2013. About 50-60 foreign students have been helping the archaeologists, in addition to around the same number of Slovak students. Also, eight unemployed are helping out, hired via the Nezamestnaní na hradoch (The Unemployed at Castles) project.

They have all been working to clear the debris, and by the end of summer holidays they plan to make it to the very bottom of the interior section.

Head of the archaeological research, Ján Beljak, told the TASR newswire that the royal residential tower still surprises with its dimensions of almost 180 square metres in total. This construction from the first decades of the 13th century had walls more than three metres thick and reached a height of 25 metres.

The structure’s architectural design shows possible traces of the work overseen by the same western-European architect who worked for King Andrew II (Ondrej II) and Béla IV.

After the research from 2012, its ground plan has been completely uncovered and is prepared for the necessary conservation to follow, so that this structure can be fully accessed by visitors in the near future.

This year, archaeologists should finish their research of the remaining area of the residential tower’s interior section, as well at the original entrance to its first floor.

The town of Zvolen has been financing the research for 22 years, and this year, the Summer School of Archaeology was again supported by the Visegrad Fund and also by the Banská Bystrica Self-Governing Region and a project of the Culture Ministry.

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