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Cultural Heritage: 18th-Century Camaldolese Hermitage Refurbished In Hungary – Gallery!

Tamás Székely 2015.09.03.

Although Majk is just a small Hungarian village in the municipality near Tatabánya in Komárom-Esztergom county, it still preserves a valuable piece of European cultural heritage. The famous Camaldolese hermitage of Majk has been refurbished recently, so the small settlement has regained its late splendor after decades of erosion. Today visitors can see various temporary exhibitions and a permanent display, presenting the life of the Camaldolese Priory in Kraków, which is active even today.

The inauguration ceremony was attended by government office chief János Lázár, who noted that the Camaldolese contributed greatly to Hungarians taking back and rebuilding their country in the 18th century after 150 years of Turkish rule. State secretary László L. Simon said the refurbishment cost 885 million forints (EUR 2.8m) and was financed entirely by European Union funds. He said a new permanent exhibition presenting the order’s way of life would soon be opened at the hermitage. He said the Forster Gyula National Heritage and Asset Management Centre, which now operates the hermitage, expects the site to receive around 37,000 visitors a year.

In the Camaldolese Hermitage of Majk one can find the peace and serenity of the life of the Camaldolese monks who lived there 250 years ago. Although the white-dressed monks only lived in this beautiful place surrounded by woods and lakes for half a century, the unique complex of the Hermitage has survived up to the present day. There is a group of buildings consisting of two main components. The western part of the group is made up of 17 detached cell-houses and the remaining tower of the church to which the northern part is attached.

This part, a U-shaped mansion, originally was built as a monastery but was later rebuilt as a hunting-lodge by count József Esterházy. The buildings are surrounded by nearly one hectare of walled territory. The territory of the park and the fish pond belonging to the monument are 13 hectares in total. The seventeen cell-houses, which consist of a separate chapel, a living- and a dining-room, a kitchen with a pantry, and a cellar served as a home for each of the monks. The kitchen garden  had just the same size ground-space as the cell-house. Other friars who served the monks and the people of the village, lived in the monastery building now called Esterházy mansion.

via hungarymatters.hu, MTI and hirado.hu, gallery photos: Zoltán Máthé – MTI , cover photo: wikimedia