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Millenary Benedictine Abbey of Pannonhalma and its natural environment

Library of the Abbey
Pannonhalma
Győr and Pannonhalma

A key national memorial site, the Millenary Benedictine Abbey of Pannonhalma and its surroundings, located near Hungary's Northern border, also has outstanding significance in terms of global heritage. It has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1996.

 

 

Since the beginning of history…

Its history stretches back more than a thousand years and legend has it that the triple hill was the birthplace of St. Martin (Bishop of Tours in the 4th century). In Roman times, the area was a key wine-producing region of Pannonia province. The legend also says that this is where the Hungarian conquest ended, and it was on these hills that Árpád, leader of the chieftains, rested after defeating the Moravian emperor Svatopluk. The Benedictine monastery standing here was founded in 996, at the dawn of the Christian Hungarian state, by Grand Prince Géza, whose son, King Saint Stephen, founder of the state, helped the community with additional donations, making it one of the key mementos of the symbolic opening towards the West and Christianity.

Cultural legacy of Benedictine's

The Abbey of Pannonhalma has functioned as an outstanding spiritual and cultural centre of the country for more than 1,000 years. It was able to hold on to continuity amid stormy periods in Hungarian history, despite the fact that the monks were forced to flee on several occasions during the Turkish occupation and that, during the Age of Enlightenment, Joseph II, son of Maria Theresa, broke up the order. After having reorganised themselves in 1802, they were assigned the key task of education by the Emperor and this continues to this day in the abbey’s boarding school. As part of the decades-long cultural mission of the order, it has now also amassed a rich artistic and scientific collection, with its library holding the largest Benedictine collection in the world and the Archabbey Archives holding the founding charter of the Tihany Abbey from 1055, the first known written text to include words and phrases in Hungarian (or any Finno-Ugric language).

The monastic complex is also outstanding in terms of the history of architecture: it is the only intact remnant of cloistered monastic architecture in the classic Benedictine tradition in Hungary. The Abbey harmoniously integrates numerous outstanding architectural styles from the past millennium – in addition to the oldest sections built in Romanesque style (for instance the cloister and the crypt), it also has a Gothic basilica as well as extensive Baroque and Classicist details.

 

 

 

 

The monastery, which is currently home to approximately 40 monks, today has a larger vineyard and winery again, with traditions stretching back to Roman times. The monks also produce various herbal extracts and essences, the quality of which is making them increasingly popular. They make yet trappist beer too since it comes from hops, that's also a kind of herbal extract.

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