The Gyula Castle exhibition has been expanded and now features a diorama that uses light painting to conjure up the siege of 1566, an augmented reality installation, and two videos that recall the castle and its surroundings in the 16th century.
These developments were financed by a 10 million HUF grant to the Gyula council through the Ágoston Kubinyi Programme of the Ministry of Human Capacities; the new installations were handed over on 27 January by State Secretary for Culture Péter Fekete of the Ministry of Human Capacities.
The developments were made all the more timely by the fact that the current castle exhibition, showcasing what a renaissance castle may have looked like, was completed in 2005 and has remained unchanged since then. During the modernisation at the beginning of the 2000s no digital features were installed, due to both limited technical possibilities at the time and a less prominent demand for such attractions by visitors. The castle exhibition is a traditional, that is, static one. The visitor basically walks through an interior row to get a glimpse of medieval life.
Thanks to the application grant, the newly installed interactive elements make the experience far more up-to-date.
The sum was partly spent on a diorama based on a 3 by 1.5-metre model of the 16th century castle. It is important to clarify that the brick castle standing today was not originally built with military utility in mind. The multi-layered fortifications were only completed in the 16th century, which made Gyula Castle one of the most significant strongholds of the area during the times of Turkish attacks. The experts at Gyula deem it extremely important that this fact be widely known.
The model which serves as the basis for the diorama, was built based on knowledge about the 16th century fortress’ layout and construction, uncovered during the latest 2015-16 digs. These researches were financed by the town of Gyula.
The model takes the visitors back to the weeks of the 1566 siege, and the light painting helps them get a better understanding of the different parts of the castle and the military operations carried out. Sound effects and smaller animations make all the above more life-like.
The installation is based on a complete digital reconstruction of the castle’s fortifications, made by Pazirik IT Kft. as part of the development efforts. The diorama’s model was made by Modellab Studio Kft., the light painting by Euromedia Studió and László Incze.
Part of the novelties is an augmented reality (AR) installation, which complements the current event space and the opposite Almásy castle with graphics about the 16th century castle and its surrounding palisades. The picture on the monitor can be scrolled by moving a gun. The installation is expandable, and can later show details about the medieval town, parts of the castle and of the soldiers and staff who used to serve there.
Both technical elements are based on archaeological and historical research data.
From the application grant Pazirik Kft. in Pécs made two 90-second videos about the 16th century castle and its surroundings, and they provided all the historically informed graphics for every development.
The metal structure of the diorama, the light painting and the gun were manufactured by experts. Almost uniquely among country exhibition spaces, however, the guidance of the exhibition’s elements was made by one of their own colleagues, János Temesváry. The actual contents of the diorama and the narration were also done locally.
The museum of Gyula castle is undergoing constant updates. Last summer, a the main elements of a temporary exhibition titled Buried Castle, which recounts the results of the latest archaeological discoveries, was moved to Gyula Castle from the neighboring Almásy Castle. Further developments for the castle exhibition are planned for the future.