Porva, founded around 900 and one of the initial 38 villages that constituted Hungary in 996, had always been the centre of the imperial hunting grounds of the Hungarian empire and was passed around as a gift from one ruler to another. To keep control of the area a large monastery was build here around 1000. The monastery belonged, as does the current church, to the Benedictine Arch Abbey of Pannonhalma which was founded in 996. Around 1550 the monastery was destroyed by the Turkish occupation forces. After the Turks left around 1770 the monastery was a ruin. From these ruins a new church was build. In 1870 the church was modernized in the baroque style and a new vicarage was build. This church is the current church in Porva and the vicarage is the current Green Valley Estate Porva Inn.
Because of the significance of the church in Porva a considerable amount of money was spend on the vicarage. The quality of the materials used is outstanding. Extremely durable and equally expensive red pine is used throughout the entire house, stables and barns. The outside walls are between 80 and a 100 centimetres thick and are partly build from the ruins of the 1000 year old monastery. If you take a close look at the kitchen door you will see that what looks like glass set in wood is actually glass set in a steel frame set in the wooden door a method that was at that time also used in palaces in Budapest and Vienna.
15 meter wide at the front and 65 meters deep it has 500 square meters of floor in the house, 60 square meters of cellar, and 750 square meters more in the barns, totalling over 1300 square meters and about 3500 cubic meters. Of these the ground floor of the house (250 square meters) is used as a holiday home.
The ceiling, instead of being made of wood covered with plaster, is made of iron I-beams with bricks between them, which are plastered on the ceiling side. On the top side of the ceiling there is a 60 centimetre space between the ceiling and the planks that form the floor of the attic. Partly to provide insulation in the hot summers and the cold winters and partly to make room for a double layer of 30 centimetre thick red pine beams. The first layer runs from wall to wall along the width of the house the top layer runs from wall to wall in a 90 degree angle to the bottom layer, providing enough strength to be able to fill the 4 meter high attic to the top with harvest from the lands around Porva.
After the Second World War the Russian forces took possession of the vicarage. The front of the house that used to be the vicars quarters was transformed into 2 apartments for two Russian officers. The rooms along the corridor that used to house the monks where used as office space.
As you can see from one of the pictures from 1890 there used to be a dormer on the front roof of the house topped with a cross. After the Hungarian revolution in 1956 early in the morning a Russian tank arrived, chains where attached to the tank and the dormer was torn of the house as punitive measures as was done with many religious buildings in Hungary.
After the Russians left the house came in the hands of the community of Porva and was used for over 10 years as storage for the farmers in and around Porva. In 2002 the Hungarian Sandor Vigh together with his wife bought the house, which at that time was completely ruined by almost 50 years of Russian neglect and 10 years serving as storage. Sandor Vigh started the restoration of the house. In 2007 we could buy the house from him and finished the restoration in 2010 consulting with Sandor frequently on historical details. At the moment the house is in excellent condition although a house of this size is never really finished.
The house today
The house is set on 10000 square meters of land. And has a beautiful garden with veranda, barbecue, 10 meter pool and goulash fire place. From the back of the garden you can walk through the fields into the surrounding forests where there are several marked hiking trails. The house has 5 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a spacious kitchen, a living room with stereo, flat screen and DVD player and a separate dining room that seats 14.
This is a great house in a beautiful area of Hungary that we love to share with you.