Culture & Heritage

IASK welcomes visitors to its buildings this fall

We are looking forward to welcoming you to our buildings, the Festetics Palace, the Sgraffito House, the Zwinger and the Synagogue, which have been renovated in the framework of the Kőszeg-Kraft program!

The “Creative City – Sustainable Region” (Kraft) program is an integrated urban and rural development concept seeking new ways of releasing and innovatively connecting creative social energies. The Kraft concept draws on, uses, and utilises already existing values for the future. The first specific development and a model example of this concept is the town of Kőszeg, which has a unique built heritage, school town identity, and long-standing cultural, professional, and religious communities.


(Chernel utca 16.)

Please call the following phone numbers:



(Chernel utca 10.)

Monday: 10:00-12:00   Monday: 10:00-12:00
Tuesday: 10:00-12:00   Tuesday: 10:00-12:00
Wednesday: 10:00-12:00   Wednesday: 10:00-12:00
Thursday: 10:00-12:00   Thursday: 10:00-12:00
Friday: 10:00-12:00    Friday: 10:00-12:00
Saturday:   Saturday:
Sunday:   Sunday:

(Jurisics tér 7.)


(Várkör 38.)

Monday: 10:00-16:00   Monday: 14:00-18:00
Tuesday: 10:00-16:00   Tuesday: Closed
Wednesday: 10:00-16:00   Wednesday: Closed
Thursday: 10:00-16:00   Thursday: 14:00-18:00
Friday: 10:00-13:00   Friday: 14:00-18:00
Saturday:   Saturday: 14:00-18:00
Sunday:   Sunday: 14:00-18:00 

Festetics-Chernel Palace

The building, which also includes the former city wall, dates back to the 16th century. Imre Festetics – one of the first to discover the fundamental laws of genetics – bought the building in 1802, which later became the property of the Chernel family through marriage. After the nationalisation, council flats were developed in the building.

In the first phase of the historical reconstruction in 2017-2018, a comprehensive external and internal renewal was completed. As part of the historical restoration work, the particularly valuable Baroque-Rococo paintworks discovered in the salons during the wall inspection – dating back to 1766-1767, when the building was turned into a Baroque palace – were restored.

New technology required by the new functions the building serves were installed in a natural way that did not disrupt the historical spaces and spatial relations that even the original owner woul approve. The quality of materials is also noteworthy. Interventions were not overdone, and Kőszeg regained one of its most beautiful historic buildings, with its future secured by he Institute of Advanced Studies. In the course of the renovation, research rooms, offices, service areas were developed, and the ground-floor premises previously functioning as a stable now hosts lectures and exhibitions.

Sgraffito House

The building of Renaissance origin built in the 16th century, was named after the sgraffito decoration on the façade, which was considered a special feature in Hungary. The word of Italian origin refers to a multi-layer plaster decor, which essentially means applying two layers of plaster on the façade, then removing one of them according to a predetermined pattern.

In addition to the decorative motifs, there is a Latin quote on the façade: an excerpt from the letter of Saint Paul to the Romans. The quote in Latin reads: “Non est volentis, neque currentis sed miserentis dei” – in English: “So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy” (1668).

In the 18-19th century, the building was expanded with a courtyard wing, and the façade was transformed into Baroque style. The complete renovation of the building took place in 2017-2018, when in addition to the renovation of the interior, the building’s façade was also restored.

The library of the Institute of Advanced Studies operates on the building’s second level. As an added value, its attic was redevoloped to provide new internal space with state-of-art research facilities to meet the needs of international researchers int the 21th century. In the loft space a multimedia room and research rooms were developed during the renovation.


The synagogue was built in romantic style in 1856 with the support of Fülöp Schey. Following World War II, the abandoned building gradually decayed. By 2016, the building has become the property of the Hungarian State. The architectural planning of the renovation started at the end of 2017 and was finally completed in 2021.

During the restoration of the interior, efforts were made to preserve as much of the surviving building as possible; therefore, the entire surface of the walls were renewed by restorers, in addition to modernisation in line with current principles and requirements and the installation of engineering, electrical and light-current systems. Descendants of the Schey family have followed the developments from Austria, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and the United States of America.

Despite its relatively small size, this jewel of a building is of outstanding historical, architectural and religious significance due to its design, location and accessibility. The comprehensive renovation that is planned to include the rabbi house, the school and garden, as well as the related rehabilitation of its surrounding environs, will provide the city with enhanced attraction and appeal.

The building complex has multiple purposes: a cultural, exhibition, training, and conference centre resulted in an institution with special added value which attracts the city’s residents, academic and educational institutions, as well as visitors.

Organised by the Institute and its partners, the synagogue offers cultural and scientific programs throughout this season, and also hosts musical events thanks to its excellent acoustics. The synagogue’s rebirth has reconnected the town of Kőszeg to the national and international bloodstream in an unprecedented way. This will make Kőszeg one of the Central European centres of heritage-based experiential tourism in the spirit of the Kraft-program’s objectives.

Three days long in August 2023, the synagogue opened its doors with a various program of events, which you can read more HERE.


Adult: 1000 HUF

People with an address in Kőszeg: 500 HUF

Student: 500 HUF

Pensioner: 500 HUF

Family (2 adults and 2 children): 2500 HUF

Group (over 15 persons) 800 HUF/person.

Zwinger – Old Tower

Believed to originate from the 13th century, the nine-sided bastion is considered as the oldest part of the town’s defence system. In times of war, it served as the south-western corner bastion of the former city wall. Its current form was built before the Turkish invasion in 1532.

It has performed several functions over the centuries: in addition to its role played in defence, it has been used by the locals as a pantry, a warehouse and according to some sources, even as a prison. After losing its defence function, the tower was used for different purposes; in 1820, there was an idea to turn it into a theatre. Until the recent past, it served tourism and museum purposes. In the cellar, there is a beam wine press made in 1778.

The tower was completely renovated in 2015 to accomodate the needs of iASK. It hosts summer and winter schools, conferences and cultural events on its two floors of well-equipped lecture halls. The primary aim of its restoration was to preserve the historic, monumantal character of the building and resulted in a fine example of historic restoration according to an integrated approach.