Site visit to Szőgyén, Slovakia

This site visit, which took place on October 11, was organized in the community development program of the Open Heritage project. One of the main goals of the activities connected to the Pomáz-Nagykovácsi (Glasshill Heritage Laboratory) site is to develop contacts with NGO-s working at Pomáz in the field of cultural heritage and to develop new forms of co-operation with local communities. As a part of this activity, a day-trip and site visit was organized together with an NGO (Pomáz Barátai Társaság, PBT – Friends of Pomáz Association) to Szőgyén (Svodin, Slovakia). This association is one of the oldest NGO-s at Pomáz, established 30 years ago. The main focus of this organization is local history and heritage, and they organize programs about to the multi-ethnic past of the town, and create educational materials.

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Szőgyén is a multi-ethnic settlement in Slovakia, originally with German (Németszőgyén) and Hungarian (Magyarszőgyén) population, and today also with a Slovak community. In this historical context the settlement is very similar to Pomáz, where five ethnic groups and their heritage (Serbian, German, Hungarian, Slovak and Roma) represents the complex history of the town. At the same time, the relatively small village of Szőgyén has a number of well-functioning heritage sites and institutions. The local archaeological museum, the historical monument of vernacular architecture and the medieval ruin garden offer a wide range of programs and festivals. Therefore, the main aim of this site visit was to learn about the community building activities at Szőgyén in the context of these heritage sites. The good examples at Szőgyén can be used at Pomáz to work out similar programs for the local communities, as well as to create a supportive heritage community for the local historical monument of vernacular architecture as well for the Glasshill archaeological site. Therefore the program was organized accordingly, including site presentations with local guides, participation in a cultural festival program and discussions with heritage experts at Szőgyén. Members of the Pomáz NGO, representing different age groups and professions took part in the program.

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