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The old mill's treasure in Suza

Category: Sights | Date: 24.06.2014.

Baranja is the most beautiful when the colours of autumn, the autumn leaves, the fruits cover the whole scenery. It seems like after his summer vacation the nature-painter started his work on the canvas that fills up with the different shades of red, yellow and brown. In this period more and more chimneys emit the alluring smells of the Baranja kitchen, the plum palinka and the preserved foods for winter are being prepared.

If you visit a few local farms, you will see how much the Baranja landscape has to offer. 100-year-old, unique wine cellars carved into the Bansko mountain's sides, parked vineyards, local gastronomical specialities, fish and wild animals. The old crafts saved from oblivion, the tamboura, folk songs, folk traditions – these are all just a few of the treasures hidden here.

The reason why Baranja is still special today is that the people living here carefully guard the history of their hometown and of their families, they give their offsprings the secret of life and survival, knowledge about adulthood, about love, wine, hot paprika, their particular way of fishing, weddings, habits...

'Pudarine' is an old tradition. According to this old tradition between the day of Saint Anne and the day of the birth of Mary (September 8th) girls aged 9-14 go to gajicki cellars while they are singing – this way they call the starlings that have 'attacked' the vineyards. For this occasion they saw dresses for the eldest ones and for those who are getting married in autumn. As wedding includes preparation, too, they learn to cook. That is why there have always been a few older women at the 'pudarines' so that they could teach the kitchen tricks – how to prepare beans, cobanac, the Slavonian stew with home-made pasta or the dried fish. Here you can hear more about peacocks and you can try what it is like to sleep on straw mattresses.

To their best knowledge, people protect loyally the secrets of old crafts. It is possible to recognize them and learn about them. Just like we learnt about the treasure of the old mill in Suza. There is no mill-wheel rolling in it, however pottery does flourish here.

Today we live in the world of cast, steel and aluminium tools and let's not even get started on plastic. Everything that we would ever need can be found in shops, for example ovenproof dishes, inductive and 'quick-to-cook-in' dishes, or non-stick frying pans.

However, when we catch a glimpse of a beautiful ceramics bowl, it feels like it woke up our hidden knowledge that in ancient times burnt clay objects were used. That is why we still love this old material from our childhood - the material whose flexibility and moulding are great and because of that it an excellent ingredient of many extraordinary works of art. That's why it is still used in Baranja.

In Suza, in a small village of Baranja, the old mill hides the treasures that have been prepared by Dániel Asztalos himself. He is a potter and he has his own small craft workshop. The lover of this craft shows everyone unselfishly what neat hands and the oven can prepare from this material. If you arrive with a group and you have time, the owner gladly introduces you to the tricks of this craft, and you can return home with the pottery done by your own two hands. Wonderful!

Have you tried painting your own plate, glass or a unique pottery?

Daniel Asztalos gives you the chance to spend a pleasant afternoon in this amazing 100-year-old mill with your friends and to get a taste of what it feels like to produce something useful with your own hands. And you don't need to be an artist for that, you just have to enjoy creative work.

It is not compulsory to try pottery if you don't feel like it or if you don't have time for it. Just come and have a look at the ceramics master's workshop and the decorative products and artifacts in it. The old mill is full of them.

In addition, on the grassy slopes with a great view of the lake there are many pavilions with benches and chairs for you and your tired feet to rest. If you arrive in Baranja by bike and tent, and your rest at the ceramics master is not enough, then you can find suitable accommodation in Suza. Close to the ceramics workshop, on the neighbouring meadow, they will soon open a bike camp, which can become the place for the next biking adventure or relaxation.

The craftsman has an expansive experience of pottery activities for individuals or groups (both children and adults), for school groups or for young children. It is possible to take part in a one-day, a weekend or a week-long programme in Hungarian or in German. The activities take place in two locations: in the old mill in Suza and in the Ceramist workshop in Beli Manastir.

We have to keep in mind that the pottery is used in everyday life. That's why we have to choose the glaze very carefully to make sure it suits the strictest regulations and are appropriate for storing food.

If you would like a souvenir or an everyday object from Daniel Asztalos's workshop, you have to know that his products are not only nice, functional and have harmonic forms, but they also hide a great deal of love.

Contact information: Radionica keramike ASZTALOS, GSM: +385(0)98 9455 990, asztalos.keramika@gmail.com

If you decide to stay the night in the Old Mill, your host will offer you true Baranja food specialities. For breakfast you will have home made sausages, eggs, bacon, cheese, jam, cakes and fruit juice on the table. You will have the opportunity to take part in some farm work. It is the best choice for those who love peace, walking, beautiful nature and leisure in the shadow of the old walnut tree.

An interesting fact:

The Danube bike road is part of the international EuroVelo6 bike routes, which includes 12 bike routes across Europe from the Atlantic Ocean to the Black Sea.