27 December 2012

Spiritual landscape of the Danube in 1941

In year 1941, Hungary regained most of its old parts, like southern Slovakia, Subcarpathia, northern Transylvania and Vojvodina. The Hungarian High Commands took efforts to revise the old maps of these territories. This country-wide mapping project started with aerial photography of Hungary. These images were assembled into orthophotos and also received labels and geographic coordinate system. You can see the result here, although many prints have been destroyed during the second world war. The surviving prints can be found at the Institute and Museum of Military History, Budapest. Recently these maps were digitised, as a member of this project I found many traces of long lost danubian branches in these black and white images.

section 4859_2 A new lake will be born.

21 December 2012

Last spring on Ada Kaleh

It is very hard to say anything new of the sunken island of Ada Kaleh. Many memoirs, pictures, and literature can be found of this lost paradise, even on the internet, on many languages. In Hungarian, Romanian, German, English and Turkish as well. But very few films remained of it. This Romanian video shows the islands last spring, in two parts, before the complete island was flooded by the Iron Gate hydroelectric dam between Serbia (Yugoslavia and Romania)in 1968. It is not necessary to understand all that has been said by the narrator. The orchards of this lost world, the fort, the people, their houses, the peach trees, the unique rose-petal jam, the home-made cigars. The whole island, with its turkish inhabitants is gone. It is flooded by 30 meters (100 yards) of Danube water. The village and the fortress was torn town, taken on ships to rebuild almost everything on a somewhat downstream island, the Simian. This communist human experiment was unsuccessful, the turkish community dispersed as the petals of their peach orchard. Nothing remained.


14 December 2012

Wildlife on holiday - Summer on the Rezéti-Danube

Gemenc is one of the largest floodplains along the Danube, that remained. The riverine forests and meadows have escaped the river regulations, thanks to the archbishop of Kalocsa. In the 19th century, the archbishop refused to join the regulation company which was founded to drain the floodpalins of Tolna county in Hungary. Thus the forests have survived and they soon became the most famous hunting places in Hungary, as a final refugee for game.

08 December 2012

The gothic Zichy chapel of Lórév

Those who wander often on the danubian floodplains, will soon receive immunity against finding weird things in the riverine forests and meadows. I have seen many extraordinary things, such as mororcross tracks, alpine flowers, thujas escaped from gardens, trash thrown out of ships, slag from ancient steamboats, 30 million years old fossils, and even malls. Well, now I have seen one gothic chapel too.

This small chapel next to Lórév can be recognised from the opposite side of the Danube. It floats as an ethereal spectacle, and one can not understand how did this phenomenal catholic building got here, next to this small village, inhabited mostly by orthodox serbs. It is as weird, as if we find a thatched house in downtown Budapest.