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 first church construct ...
Founded: 1046 | Location: Budapest, Hungary

Szentendre Church

Szentendre Castle Church is the oldest building of the city, originally built between 1241 and 1283. Its present day plan was finalised when it was rebuilt in Gothic style in the 14th century. It was again renovated, this time in a Baroque style by the Zichy family in 1710. Its present day outlook was completed between 1742 and 1751. The building is 200 m2 large, its tower is 29 meters tall. Its walls are supported by bu ...
Founded: 1742-1751 | Location: Szentendre, 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

Votive Church

The Votive Church and Cathedral of Our Lady of Hungary is a twin-spired church in Szeged. It lies on Dóm square beside the Dömötör tower. Construction began in 1913, but due to the outbreak of the First World War, it was not completed until 1930. The church serves as the cathedral of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Szeged–Csanád. It is the fourth-largest church in Hungary. The dome is 54 metres outside (33 m ...
Founded: 1913-1930 | Location: Szeged, 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

Zsámbék Monastery Church

The Premontre monastery church of Zsámbék is a ruin of a Romanesque church in the town of Zsámbék, Pest County, Hungary. The construction of the church started in 1220. The construction of the church started as a part of a Premonstratensian monastery. It was the third consecutive church standing at the same site. The construction was completed in the 13th century. It was a private family church, built by a single fam ...
Founded: 1220 | Location: Zsámbék, Hungary

Bélapátfalva Monastery

The only intact Cistercian monastery of the country from medieval times hides on the outskirts of Bélapátfalva in the western gate to Bükk Mountains. The building is a cultural heritage featuring three distinct styles of architecture in a majestic natural environment. Named after Saint Mary of the Assumption but better known as the Monastery of Bélháromkúti or Bélapátfalva was founded by Bishop of Eger Kilit II i ...
Founded: 1232 | Location: Bélapátfalva, 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

Szeged Synagogue

The Szeged Synagogue (Szegedi zsinagóga) was built in 1902 and designed by the Jewish Hungarian architect Lipót Baumhorn (1860–1932), whose work is considered to contain the finest examples of the unique fin de siècle Hungarian blending of Art Nouveau and Historicist styles sometimes known as Magyar style. It served Szeged"s large Neolog community. The building"s interior, with its 48.5 meters tall domed c ...
Founded: 1902 | Location: Szeged, Hungary

Lébény Church

The Benedictine abbey church of Lébény was built between 1199 and 1203 and is one of the most outstanding and most intact monuments of Hungarian ecclesiastical architecture of the Middle Ages. From an artistic point of view, the elements of plastic art wall decorations are of exceptional value. The church is a splendid representation of Romanesque architecture. It has three naves with semicircular apses and there are t ...
Founded: 1203 | Location: Lébény, Hungary

St. George's Church

The parish church of Ják is the most complete Romanesque Church in Hungary. It was founded around 1220 and consecrated in honor of St. George in 1256. It was originally built as the church of a Benedictine monastery. During the construction phase, the plans may have been changed several times, as shown by various irregularities. It has a troubled history: damaged by fire, storm, and the Ottoman army, it had to be restor ...
Founded: 1220 | Location: Ják, Hungary

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Broch of Gurness

The Broch of Gurness is an Iron Age broch village. Settlement here began sometime between 500 and 200 BC. At the centre of the settlement is a stone tower or broch, which once probably reached a height of around 10 metres. Its interior is divided into sections by upright slabs. The tower features two skins of drystone walls, with stone-floored galleries in between. These are accessed by steps. Stone ledges suggest that there was once an upper storey with a timber floor. The roof would have been thatched, surrounded by a wall walk linked by stairs to the ground floor. The broch features two hearths and a subterranean stone cistern with steps leading down into it. It is thought to have some religious significance, relating to an Iron Age cult of the underground.

The remains of the central tower are up to 3.6 metres high, and the stone walls are up to 4.1 metres thick. The tower was likely inhabited by the principal family or clan of the area but also served as a last resort for the village in case of an attack.

The broch continued to be inhabited while it began to collapse and the original structures were altered. The cistern was filled in and the interior was repartitioned. The ruin visible today reflects this secondary phase of the broch's use.

The site is surrounded by three ditches cut out of the rock with stone ramparts, encircling an area of around 45 metres diameter. The remains of numerous small stone dwellings with small yards and sheds can be found between the inner ditch and the tower. These were built after the tower, but were a part of the settlement's initial conception. A 'main street' connects the outer entrance to the broch. The settlement is the best-preserved of all broch villages.

Pieces of a Roman amphora dating to before 60 AD were found here, lending weight to the record that a 'King of Orkney' submitted to Emperor Claudius at Colchester in 43 AD.

At some point after 100 AD the broch was abandoned and the ditches filled in. It is thought that settlement at the broch continued into the 5th century AD, the period known as Pictish times. By that time the broch was not used anymore and some of its stones were reused to build smaller dwellings on top of the earlier buildings. Until about the 8th century, the site was just a single farmstead.

In the 9th century, a Norse woman was buried at the site in a stone-lined grave with two bronze brooches and a sickle and knife made from iron. Other finds suggest that Norse men were buried here too.