Photographer's Note

Sgrafitto house

One of the most beautiful gable decorated houses of the town is the Sgrafitto house (=Jurisich Square). The cradle of the decoration method is Italy. We can see it in several places in Kőszeg, which seems to prove the connection among craftsmen from Italy and Kőszeg. (The word “sgrafitto" means scratched in English) This itself explain the essence of this technique. In this case, two or more layers of plaster were put on the frontage of the building. The layers have different colours. The upper layer was usually lighter, which was scratched down until the figure had appeared on the darker one. The main motif of the decoration of this house is a large tulip vase on the painted balustrade balcony. In a small niche in the middle of the arched gable of the building there is baroque statue of Mary. On the main cornice below the statue a Latin inscription, a passage from the epistle of Paul the Aopstle to the Romans can be read: “ non est volentis, neque currentis sed miserentis dei – MDCLXVIII: “ “ So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but God that showeth mercy."


The small town with nearly 12,000 residents, with sub-alpine climate, is situated at the foothills of the Alps. The settlement and its vicinity at the foot of the Kőszeg hills, in the valley of the brook Gyöngyös has been inhabited since the 6th-7th centuries. In the 14th century it was given the rank of free royal town. The castle built in the13th century was named after captain Miklós Jurisics, who managed to hold up the Turkish troops advancing towards Vienna in 1532 with the help of the inhabitants. Its guilds, trade, vine growing and wine making, schools have a long history. The mediaeval town centre was not affected by the historical events, so inside the one-time town walls, the remains of which can still be seen, the houses have been preserved in their original form in Jurisics square and in the neighbouring streets.
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Additional Photos by George Rumpler (Budapestman) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 8900 W: 3 N: 20435] (82620)
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