Tomb of Hungarian King Andrew II Might Have Been Found
Ábrahám Vass 2019.08.29.
In Egres (Igriș), Romania, archeologists may have found the location of the tombs where Hungarian king of the Árpád Dynasty, Andrew II and his second wife Yolanda de Courtenay were buried.
Pázmány Péter Catholic University (PPKE) archaeologist Péter Langó, told MTI that the discovered location suggests in its structure that the two stone sarcohphogi, in which the royal couple was buried, could very well have been placed here. He added that for a hundred percent certainty, the entirety of Egres monastery’s site should be explored while thus far, only ten percent has been unearthed.
The site of the excavations. Image by MTI/Rosta Tibor
The remains of Egres Cistercian Monastery, founded in 1179, are located just kilometers off the Hungarian border in Temes county of Romania. It was here that Andrew II and his wife Yolanda were buried. In 2013, a joint research program was kick-started by PPKE’s Institute of Archeology and locally competent Museum of Banat, with the mission of finding the royal couple’s tomb.
The son of Béla III, Andrew (~1177-1235) succeeded László III on the throne in 1205. Although his reign was far from being the glory days of Hungarian history economically or militarily, due to his legal actions, he is still considered as one of Árpád Dynasty’s most significant kings.
Powerful landed interests forced him to spend royal funds so recklessly that the crown was soon impoverished and dependent on the feudal properties, which soon reduced Hungary to a state of near anarchy. Objecting to the prodigality of the German followers of Andrew’s first wife, Gertrude of Merania, rebellious nobles murdered her in 1213 (an event that inspired József Katona’s famed drama ‘Bánk Bán’). Four years later he set off on an ill-fated Crusade to the Holy Land.
In 1222, he was obliged to issue the Golden Bull (Aranybulla), which became an important source of the Hungarian constitution. It limited royal rights and prerogatives, confirmed basic rights of small landholders and nobles, guaranteed justice for all, promised to improve the coinage, and granted nobles the right to disobey the King when he acted contrary to law.