Pipo Castle in Ozora is a unique piece of Italian Renaissance in a small Hungarian village. The castle was built for Filippo Scolari, otherwise known as Pipo of Ozora, who came to Hungary as a merchant’s clerk/assistant when he was 13 years old and rose to become a renowned economist, a brilliant soldier and a distinguished diplomat at the 15th century court of King Sigismund.
The castle contains important Renaissance furniture, fabrics and travelling trunks. Its courtyard features a fountain that is topped with a copy of a Verrocchio putto, while one of the walls boasts a reproduction of a Michelangelo relief. A relic of St George is to be found treasured in the chapel. The reconstructed Renaissance kitchen provides a fascinating glimpse into the world of medieval Hungarian kitchens, of victuallers, cooks and servants. The armoury houses a splendid display of replica weapons from the Sigismund period. Outstanding copies of works by the great masters of the Italian Renaissance, Verrocchio, Donatello and Michelangelo, are to be found in the knights’ hall. The castle is also home to a richly documented exhibition on the life of Illyés Gyula, a famous 20th century Hungarian poet and novelist.
Visitors to the castle can get an insight into the life of the 14–15th centuries. There is also possible to stay in a historic apartment as a special guest.References:
The Kalozha church of Saints Boris and Gleb is the oldest extant structure in Hrodna. It is the only surviving monument of ancient Black Ruthenian architecture, distinguished from other Orthodox churches by prolific use of polychrome faceted stones of blue, green or red tint which could be arranged to form crosses or other figures on the wall.
The church is a cross-domed building supported by six circular pillars. The outside is articulated with projecting pilasters, which have rounded corners, as does the building itself. The ante-nave contains the choir loft, accessed by a narrow gradatory in the western wall. Two other stairs were discovered in the walls of the side apses; their purpose is not clear. The floor is lined with ceramic tiles forming decorative patterns. The interior was lined with innumerable built-in pitchers, which usually serve in Eastern Orthodox churches as resonators but in this case were scored to produce decorative effects. For this reason, the central nave has never been painted.
The church was built before 1183 and survived intact, depicted in the 1840s by Michał Kulesza, until 1853, when the south wall collapsed, due to its perilous location on the high bank of the Neman. During restoration works, some fragments of 12th-century frescoes were discovered in the apses. Remains of four other churches in the same style, decorated with pitchers and coloured stones instead of frescoes, were discovered in Hrodna and Vaŭkavysk. They all date back to the turn of the 13th century, as do remains of the first stone palace in the Old Hrodna Castle.
In 2004, the church was included in the Tentative List of UNESCO"s World Heritage Sites.