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Bikal and the Puchner Mansion (Bikal)

Built in the second half of the 19th century, the settlement's most interesting architectural heritage is the Puchner Mansion.

The place name springs from the compounding of 'bik' ('bükk' - 'beech') and 'al' ('alj' - 'foot', 'bottom') i.e. meaning under the beech tree forest.

In the 16th century, its inhabitants were Croatian and at the end of the 1600's, it was populated by people of Orthodox faith. Subsequently, as a consequence of the Rákóczi Freedom Fight, Germans of Lutheran faith and Hungarians and settled in the village.

An imperial general, Baron Hannibal Puchner, had a mansion built here. Today operating as a hotel, it is set in over six hectares of parkland.

 

Puchner MansionBikal Puchner Mansion

There is a tiny little village at the feet of the Mecsek in one of the valleys of the picturesque Hegyhát, receiving his name after the beech forest earlier towering over it.

The village has two listed buildings apart from the Castle: the catholic church, which was consecrated on 26 July, 1797 in the honour of Saint Ann. It is the temple of the significant Evangelist community of the village, and it was built in 1869. The resettlement of the German inhabitants caused a serious damage in the history of the village, when between 1947 and 1948 more than 440 villagers were pursued to settle over to Germany. The places of the resettled families were occupied by Hungarian families brought in from what is now Slovakia, and families from Zala county and from the environs of Hódmezővásárhely.

The village had become known all over the country by its state economic corporation since 1900. The fish, the peach and the hares of Bikal have gained great reputation for the settlement.


 

The first landlord of Bikal:

BikalAntal Szaniszló Puchner (1779-1852) from Selmecbánya finished his studies of law in Pozsony, and then got down to military service. His carrier was rising during the period of Napoleonian Wars.

During the War of Independence in Hungary the General, being faithful to the Caesar turned against the revolutional government. He battled with the Hungarian armies more times during the winter military expedition, until he was ousted from Transylvania by General Bem. He was entitled to wear the title of a Baron by the Military Maria Teresia Order.

 

 


 


The history of the Castle: Bikal

The idea of having a land property was strengthened in General Antal Puchner in 1839, when he wanted to know his properties in safe. The king granted him the Estate of Bikal, including three villages in 1841.

By the family archives Baron Antal Puchner visited his estate in May, 1841. Then there was neither mansion nor Castle on the land. The Baron fell in love with the estate lying at the feet of the Mecsek within the valleys of Hegyhát and began to build the Castle at the and of the 1840’s. There are no data of the exact time of it.

The family archive also gives only one datum concerning this, such as that after Hannibal, the son of the General had visited the estate in 1849, returning, he informed his father that the building is standing and there are only some smaller inside works upstairs left.
The son of the General, Hannibal took over the estate in 1861, then the construction of the Castle and the establishment of the park began. The elder son of Hannibal, Charles had great plans on the enhancement and rebuilding of the Castle, but his plans were to be fulfilled by his young widow because of his early death.

The building gained its appearance as today, following the restoring works of 1889.

        

Accommodation in Bikal:

 http://www.hungaryrooms.com/hotels/Bikal/

Map of Bikal:

 http://www.hungaryrooms.com/map/Bikal/

 

 

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