Főoldal Das Weinbaugebiet Sehenswertes Skulpturenpark bei Nagyharsány

Sculpture Park of Nagyharsány

The quarry pit, full of non-figurative statues, is quite a spectacle. In 1967, in the derelict quarry of Szársomlyó hill, work was begun by sculptors-whose experimentalism did not suit the style accepted at that time for sculptures displayed in public places.

The initiative of the young artists gained the support of the then local and county leaders; Gyimóthy Villa, situated close to the quarry, was renovated and made available to the artists, and in 1968, following western patterns, the Baranya Artists' Communities was officially established.

Nagyharsányi Szoborpark

In 1970 the group of the artists working in the Villány artists' colony became international, and sculpture became the focal activity. The number of art works created in the Statue Park grew continuously.

The cliff walls of the querry pit, the huge grassy pit base and the beautiful panorama all suggested that this place should not only be a location where pieces of art were created but also an attractive venue for the exhibition of the sculptures. The quarry could accommodate works well-suited to the dimensions of the pit, works which were being shaped before the very eyes of the growing number of tourists interested in the activity pursued here.

The organisation of the statues into an “exhibition” was started by large-scale environment transformation work within the framework of the symposia. Before that no functional land-art work created by artists had ever been cerried out in Hungary created by artists. As a rule the sculpture is designed by one person, the environment by another, and the implementer is usually yet another person.

Through joint planning, the present arrangement of the enlarged territory of the sculpture park was completed. The southern side of the hill can be approached from the left-hand-side turning point of the quarry pit, from where two paths run. One leads to the upper "avenue", the other to the theatre and rest area. The lower avenue can be found behind the earth walls of the open-air theatre.

The early 1990s saw the initiation in Hungary  of the “Put statues in the place of removed political monuments” movement. Several Hungarian cities and towns now boast public statues made here by Hungarian and foreign artists, statues erected to replace the removed political monuments. The participants of the 1st Sculptors Symposium of Three Countries – an Austrian–Hungarian–Slovakian symposium – placed groups of statues at the meeting points of the three respective countries.

An extremely effective new type of artist training was launched in the early 1990s. On a private initiative, the Masters School of Fine Arts was founded for graduate artists for the further development of their skills. The majors of the school were ceramics, sculpture, stone sculpture, painting and metal sculpture. The Masters School has since then been integrated into the educational system of the University of Pécs. The young sculptors work in the statue park, practically living “together” with their masters for three years.

Szoborpark a levegőből

he cultural history and arts history significance of the Nagyharsány Sculpture Park is in the fact that this was the place in Hungary where sculptors were first given the opportunity for free experimentation. Approximately two hundred artists have worked here since the foundation of the Statue Park (to mention but a few: Gyula Bocz, who, as a scholar of the Sopianae Machine Factory and the County Council, left his factory work for the love of sculpture; János Orosz holder of the prestigious Munkácsy-prize for fine arts, who as a painter turned to sculpture; István Bencsik, who not only renewed his own work with his series of statues but also had a great impact on his colleagues; Sándor Kígyós and Gyula Gulyás, who created works that exceed any academic exam work in quality). Of the work of the creative artists creating, 136 imposing stone sculptures can be seen in the quarry pit and along the avenues. (For instance, and to mention only those out of the numerous foreign artists who have perhaps contributed the most to the present spectacle, the works of Mathias Hietz and Colin Foster.)

The greater part of the sculptures is made of the local grey limestone quarried extracted in Nagyharsány and Beremend. The Szársomlyó quarry is a unique cultural sight of interest on the tourism map of Baranya and the whole of Hungary.

Sources of the photos: