Religious sites in Hungary

Matthias Church

Matthias Church is a Roman Catholic church located in front of the Fisherman"s Bastion at the heart of Buda"s Castle District. According to church tradition, it was originally built in Romanesque style in 1015, although no archaeological remains exist. The current building was constructed in the florid late Gothic style in the second half of the 14th century and was extensively restored in the late 19th century. ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Budapest, Hungary

St. Stephen's Basilica

St. Stephen"s Basilica is a Roman Catholic basilica named in honour of Stephen, the first King of Hungary (c. 975–1038), whose supposed right hand is housed in the reliquary. It was the sixth largest church building in Hungary before 1920. Today, it is the third largest church building in present-day Hungary. The basilica was completed in 1905 after 54 years of construction, according to the plans of Mikl&oacu ...
Founded: 1905 | Location: Budapest, Hungary

Dohány Street Synagogue

The Dohány Street Synagogue is the largest synagogue in Europe and one of the largest in the world. It seats 3,000 people and is a centre of Neolog Judaism. The synagogue was built between 1854 and 1859 in the Moorish Revival style, with the decoration based chiefly on Islamic models from North Africa and medieval Spain (the Alhambra). The synagogue's Viennese architect, Ludwig Förster, believed that no distinctively J ...
Founded: 1854-1859 | Location: Budapest, Hungary

Gellért Hill Cave

The Gellért Hill Cave is part of a network of caves within Gellért Hill. The cave is also referred to as 'Saint Ivan"s Cave', regarding a hermit who lived there and is believed to have used the natural thermal water of a muddy lake next to the cave to heal the sick. In the 19th century the cave was inhabited by a poor family who built a small adobe house in the great opening. The mouth of the ...
Founded: 19th century | Location: Budapest, Hungary

Belváros Church

Belváros (Inner City) Church is the oldest building in Pest side of river in Budapest. It was built in 1046 as a grave of Bishop St. Gellért (c. 980-1046), a missionary from Italy who played an instrumental role in converting Hungary to Christianity. According to tradition, he was martyred by angry pagans who rolled him down a hill across the river, which was named Gellért Hill in his honor. The firs ...
Founded: 1046 | Location: Budapest, Hungary

Esztergom Basilica

Esztergom Basilica is the biggest building in Hungary. The building of the present church took place on the foundation of several earlier churches. The first was built by Stephen I of Hungary between 1001–1010 (as the original Saint Adalbert church), the first cathedral in Hungary, which was burned down at the end of the 12th century. It was rebuilt, and even survived the Mongol invasion of Hungary. However, in 1304, We ...
Founded: 1856 | Location: Esztergom, Hungary

Mosque of Pasha Qasim

The Downtown Candlemas Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary, formerly known as the Mosque of Pasha Qasim is a Roman Catholic church in Pécs. It was a mosque in the 16-17th century due to the Ottoman conquest. It is one of the symbols of the city, located in the downtown, on the Széchenyi square. The current building, hundred steps both its length and its width, was built by Pasha Qasim the Victorious between 15 ...
Founded: 1543-1546 | Location: Pécs, Hungary

Pécs Cathedral

Pécs Cathedral has been a prominent feature of this Hungarian cityscape for centuries. In 1064, after a fire destroyed a Romanesque basilica, the King of Hungary, Peter Orseolo, initiated construction of Pécs Cathedral where the old church had stood. Completed in the twelfth century, it features Romanesque stone carvings of exceptional artistic value. In the 16th century, Turkish conquerors converted it into ...
Founded: 1064 | Location: Pécs, Hungary

Vác Cathedral

Vác cathedral, built 1761–1777, was modelled after St. Peter"s Basilica in Rome. The episcopal palace houses a museum for Roman and medieval artifacts.
Founded: 1761-1777 | Location: Vác, Hungary

Tihany Abbey

The Tihany Abbey is a Benedictine monastery established at Tihany in the Kingdom of Hungary in 1055 by King Andrew I of Hungary. Its patrons are the Virgin Mary and Saint Aignan of Orleans. King Andrew was buried in the church of the monastery in 1060. His tomb in the crypt of the church is only grave of a medieval King of Hungary which has been preserved until now. The church's ceiling is decorated with frescoes by Káro ...
Founded: 1055 | Location: Tihany, Hungary

Debrecen Great Church

The Reformed Great Church is the symbol of the Protestant Church in Hungary, and it is because of this church that Debrecen is sometimes referred to as 'the Calvinist Rome'. With a ground space of 1500 m² it is the largest Protestant church in Hungary. It also has the largest bell of all Hungarian Protestant churches. The Great Church was built between 1805 and 1824 in neoclassical style. A church already ...
Founded: 1805-1824 | Location: Debrecen, Hungary

Pannonhalma Archabbey

The Benedictine Pannonhalma Archabbey is one of the oldest historical monuments in Hungary, founded in 996. Saint Martin of Tours is believed to have been born at the foot of this hill, hence its former name, Mount of Saint Martin, from which the monastery occasionally took the alternative name of Márton-hegyi Apátság. This is the second largest territorial abbey in the world, after the one in Monte C ...
Founded: 996 AD | Location: Pannonhalma, Hungary

Jakováli Hasszán Mosque

The mosque of Jakováli Hasszán pasa, which is the most intact Turkish mosque in Hungary, dates from the 16th century. It houses an exhibition of Turkish historical and artistic objects, and at the same time it is a muslim place of worship.
Founded: 16th century | Location: Pécs, Hungary

Zirc Abbey

The early history of the Zirc monastery is obscure as regards both names and dates, on account of its being so often referred to under both these titles: whether Zirc and Boccon were separate abbeys cannot now be definitely determined. It seems most probable that the foundation was made by Béla III, King of Hungary (1182), as the monastic domain was formerly a royal farm. Besides this grant, on which now stands the ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Zirc, Hungary

Malkocs Bej Mosque

The Mosque of Malkoch Bey was built in the 16th century (1543-1565) by the turkish leader Malkoch Bey during the Ottoman occupation. The reconstruction of the mosque is unrivalled in Hungarian building protection. The building won the Europa Nostra prize in 1993.
Founded: 1543-1565 | Location: Siklós, Hungary

Szombathely Cathedral

The Our Lady of the Visitation Cathedral in Szombathely was built in 1797-1814. A Baroque building in classical style was designed by Melchior Hefele. The Cathedral of the Visitation is located in the ancient forum of the Roman city of Savaria.
Founded: 1797-1814 | Location: Szombathely, Hungary

Pécsvárad Abbey

The Pécsvárad Abbey was a Benedictine monastery established at Pécsvárad in the Kingdom of Hungary in the first decades of the 11th century. Its patrons were the Virgin Mary and Saint Benedict of Nursia. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Pécs was established in 1009 with jurisdiction in the southern parts of Transdanubia within the Kingdom of Hungary. According to György Györffy, Pécsvárad was the center of a royal ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Pécsvárad, Hungary

All Saints Church

All Saints Church is surrounded by a castle-wall-type barrier - by the wall of the former cemetery. The residents of the valley of the Tettye river built a one-navy church here as early as the 13th century. The originally Romanesque style All Saints Church was reconstructed in the 15th century in Gothic style. The exterior is simple, while a short tower stands on the triangular pediment of the main façade. The inte ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Pécs, Hungary

Szentgotthárd Abbey

Szentgotthárd Abbey is a former Cistercian monastery founded in 1183 by Hungarian King Béla III. Cistercian monks were settled there from Trois-Fontaines Abbey, France. The Cistercians started to build their new monastic centre in 1184. The building complex itself, with its 94 m by 44 m foundations, was unambitious, but capable of further extension. The monastery started to flourish soon. In the Szentgotth&a ...
Founded: 1183 | Location: Szentgotthárd, Hungary

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Trinity Sergius Lavra

The Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius is a world famous spiritual centre of the Russian Orthodox Church and a popular site of pilgrimage and tourism. It is the most important working Russian monastery and a residence of the Patriarch. This religious and military complex represents an epitome of the growth of Russian architecture and contains some of that architecture’s finest expressions. It exerted a profound influence on architecture in Russia and other parts of Eastern Europe.

The Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius, was founded in 1337 by the monk Sergius of Radonezh. Sergius achieved great prestige as the spiritual adviser of Dmitri Donskoi, Great Prince of Moscow, who received his blessing to the battle of Kulikov of 1380. The monastery started as a little wooden church on Makovets Hill, and then developed and grew stronger through the ages.

Over the centuries a unique ensemble of more than 50 buildings and constructions of different dates were established. The whole complex was erected according to the architectural concept of the main church, the Trinity Cathedral (1422), where the relics of St. Sergius may be seen.

In 1476 Pskovian masters built a brick belfry east of the cathedral dedicated to the Descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles. The church combines unique features of early Muscovite and Pskovian architecture. A remarkable feature of this church is a bell tower under its dome without internal interconnection between the belfry and the cathedral itself.

The Cathedral of the Assumption, echoing the Cathedral of the Assumption in the Moscow Kremlin, was erected between 1559 and 1585. The frescoes of the Assumption Cathedral were painted in 1684. At the north-western corner of the Cathedral, on the site of the western porch, in 1780 a vault containing burials of Tsar Boris Godunov and his family was built.

In the 16th century the monastery was surrounded by 6 meters high and 3,5 meters thick defensive walls, which proved their worth during the 16-month siege by  Polish-Lithuanian invaders during the Time of Trouble. They were later strengthened and expanded.

After the Upheaval of the 17th century a large-scale building programme was launched. At this time new buildings were erected in the north-western part of the monastery, including infirmaries topped with a tented church dedicated to Saints Zosima and Sawatiy of Solovki (1635-1637). Few such churches are still preserved, so this tented church with a unique tiled roof is an important contribution to the Lavra.

In the late 17th century a number of new buildings in Naryshkin (Moscow) Baroque style were added to the monastery.

Following a devastating fire in 1746, when most of the wooden buildings and structures were destroyed, a major reconstruction campaign was launched, during which the appearance of many of the buildings was changed to a more monumental style. At this time one of the tallest Russian belfries (88 meters high) was built.

In the late 18th century, when many church lands were secularized, the chaotic planning of the settlements and suburbs around the monastery was replaced by a regular layout of the streets and quarters. The town of Sergiev Posad was surrounded by traditional ramparts and walls. In the vicinity of the monastery a number of buildings belonging to it were erected: a stable yard, hotels, a hospice, a poorhouse, as well as guest and merchant houses. Major highways leading to the monastery were straightened and marked by establishing entry squares, the overall urban development being oriented towards the centrepiece - the Ensemble of the Trinity Sergius Lavra.

In 1993, the Trinity Lavra was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.