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Published: April 16th 2004
Details from the door.
South of Pécs
in the Villány
hills is Siklós (pronounced Shik-lowsh - well nearly). The town is built around a small hill, on which sits a castle that dates back to the 1300’s, like so much in Hungary it has seen many wars and invasions and has been destroyed and rebuilt many times. What remains is an 18th shell over foundations, cellars and dungeons that date back much further, surrounded by walls from the 15th century.
Cleo a friend from my school days had come over for a short week to visit. So we went down to visit Siklós (meaning snakey) and Harkány for the day. Harkány famous for it’s healing thermal pools.
The hours bus ride from Pécs was easy finally after spending around 7 months in and around Hungary, I can manage to do basic things in Hungarian, order bus tickets, read menus and order food and drink without resorting to gestures and grunts.
Back to the Siklós castle, the short walk up to the castle from the bus station was lovely, winding it’s way past traditional Hungarian homes, storks building nests on top of chimneys and posts, into the park surrounding the
Not sure when this dates from.
Entering the castle through the main gate, the first attraction that can be found (after the architecture) is the dungeons. Opening a heavy wooden door reveals a room with a small collection of genuine torture devices. I’m endlessly fascinated by the gruesome ways people have invented to maim, kill and extract information from others. Though in real life as a recipient I’d be the first to confess. Beyond the torture room are the dungeons themselves, small rooms, with a view, a view through 6 feet of castle wall and three lots of iron bars.
Also in the castle are; A museum of Gloves and Hats from the Hanali and Hunor factories, Pécs. The next floor a gallery of photos and sculptures. Across a courtyard is a museum on wine, the Villány hills are one of the most famous wine producing regions in Hungary. A delightful chapel in the gothic style sits in one far corner.
After a few hours at the castle, we wandered down to the town, looked for a place to eat but didn’t really see anything that appealed.
Harkány was a better place to find a restaurant, had a lovely dish
The spikes look really nasty.
of Marha Pökölt, a sort of beef stew. Unfortunately the outside thermal pools were closed, being cleaned ready for the high season. The indoor pools were a little to much like a stinky public swimming pool for our tastes so we wandered around and caught a bus back to Pécs.
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