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Somogy country`s treasure-Pusztatorony

 

Somogy country`s treasure-Pusztatorony

On the outskirts of Somogyvámos, amongst the cornfields, ruins of a medieval temple rise. It has been the pride of the local people for centuries - 800 years ago it provided shelter, at present it is a visitor attraction.

According to archeological excavations, Pusztatorony was built in the 12th century in late Roman, early Gothic style. Its characteristic tower -  which has the shape of a rectangle turning into an octagon - is still intact so are the western wall and the Romanesque arched shrine. The special shape of the tower didn't only make sure that the peal of bells could be heard at every corner of the village, but its crenelle-like windows also let villagers observe the area and look for signs of plundering armies approaching and the thick-walled, massive nave provided shelter for local people during battles. Centuries ago the tower must have been the center of a village, but nowadays it is surrounded by cornfields as far as the eye can see.

The locals protect and cherish their symbol - they often hold gatherings, village fairs, or masses here, and sometimes even weddings, or concerts. The way their historical records have been preserved is also fascinating. The history of the tower has been based on written records and stories have been passed down from father to son. According to the records of an alleged chronicler "the waist-high walls conceal the body of a baby for the son of Chieftan Koppány, Kupa, was walled-in there" As legend has it, the temple served as the residential place of Koppány who resided at Somogyvár. He was made a publican by Princess Sarolt and so he collected taxes on the ancient Roman road from travelling pedlars.

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