Abbey Church

sights / Religious

Abbey Church information

Tihany , Hungary
Address
Street András tér 1
http://tihany.osb.hu
Prices
adult/concession incl museum 1000/500Ft
Opening hours
9am-6pm May-Sep, 10am-5pm Apr & Oct, 10am-3pm Nov-Mar
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Lonely Planet review

This twin-spired and ochre-coloured church is the dominating feature in the small village of Tihany. Built in 1754 on the site of King Andrew’s church, this impressive house of God contains fantastic altars, pulpits and screens carved between 1753 and 1779 by an Austrian lay brother named Sebastian Stuhlhof, all baroque-rococo masterpieces in their own right.

Upon entering the main nave, turn your back to the sumptuous main altar and the abbot’s throne and look right to the side altar dedicated to Mary. The large angel kneeling on the right supposedly represents Stuhlhof’s fiancée, a fisherman’s daughter who died in her youth. On the Altar of the Sacred Heart across the aisle, a pelican (Christ) nurtures its young (the faithful) with its own blood. The figures atop the pulpit beside it are four doctors of the Roman Catholic church: Sts Ambrose, Gregory, Jerome and Augustine. The next two altars on the right- and left-hand sides are dedicated to Benedict and his twin sister, Scholastica; the last pair, a baptismal font and the Lourdes Altar, date from 1896 and 1900 respectively.

Stuhlhof also carved the magnificent choir rail above the porch and the organ with all the cherubs. The frescoes on the ceilings by Bertalan Székely, Lajos Deák-Ébner and Károly Lotz were painted in 1889, when the church was restored.

The remains of King Andrew I lie in a limestone sarcophagus in the atmospheric Romanesque crypt. The spiral swordlike cross on the cover is similar to ones used by 11th-century Hungarian kings.