Ermak Travel Guide


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Pannonhalma Archabbey

Pannonhalma Abbey



Location: Vár utca 1, Pannonhalma, Győr-Moson-Sopron county  Map

Tel: (96) 570 191

Bus: from Győr

Open: late Mar-May & Oct-mid-Nov: Tue-Sun 9am  - 4pm

Jun-Sep 9am - 5pm , mid-Nov-Late Mar: Tue-Sun 10am - 3 pm 




History of Pannonhalma Abbey

Pannonhalma Archabbey is an UNESCO World Heritage Site located in Pannonhalma, Győr- Moson- Sopron county in Hungary. The original Pannonhalma abbey was build here in 1002, the same year than Saint Istvan brought Christianity to the Magyars. Unfortunately the first abbey was burned down in 1137, but it was quickly replaces by Romanesque abbey that grew with new parts added through its long history. Legend states that Saint Martin of Tours was born at the foot of Pannonhalma abbey hill thus it gets an alternative name of Mount of Saint Martin (Márton-hegy in Hungarian). Pannonhalma Monastery is famous for its neoclassical library that contains over 300,000 unique books and documents. This includes the Charter of the Tihany Benedictine Abbey, the oldest surviving document that was written in Hungarian language in 1055. Today Pannonhalma Abbey is an open monastery so try to respect abbey's monk community.
Pannonhalma Archabbey was constructed in 996 AD during reign of Prince Geza and it is the first Christian monastery in Hungary. Benedictine Order under leadership of the first abbot Astric (Anastasius) settled here and with the help of Geza's son, King Stephen I, they started to construct buildings on the monastery grounds and work in the fields donated by the royal decree. First Pannonhalma abbey was destroyed by fire in 1137, but it was subsequently rebuild by monks. In 16th and 17th centuries fortifications were added to the religious complex due to growing threat of attacks by Ottoman Turks. In the 17th and 18th century Pannonhalma monastery underwent massive reconstruction. It got a baroque style exterior while keeping medieval gothic interior. In 1832 the abbey got its massive library and a tower that dominates over the rest of the buildings. In 1950 the monastery was closed by the Communist government and its lands nationalized. However after defeat of the commies and their fall the monastery was returned to its rightful owners, the Benedictine Order of Catholic monks.