The abbey and the monks of Tihany
Tihany is not only a region, but a multicolored jewel of Europe. Travelers usually first visit the abbey church, which was the center of the cultural life of the village for centuries and it remained that until today. The Benedictine monastery in Tihany was founded in 1055 by King Andrew I in the honor of Saint Ányos and the Virgin Mary. He built here a monastery and a royal burial place, which he donated to the Benedictine monks.
For the protection of the area in the 18th century there was also built a castle and its walls were attached to the contemporary church. This proved to be useful, during the Turkish attacks it was an important border fortress.
The Benedictine Abbey of Tihany
The Benedictine Order finally regained the abbey in the year of 1990. From the main nave of the church we get down into the crypt, which remained almost untouched from the 11th century. This is the resting place of King Andrew I and his son, Prince David. From the crypt the road leads to the Benedictine Abbey Museum, which is housed in the building constructed simultaneously with the church. In the Museum you can see a Church History Exhibition, the memorial room of Charles IV., the Roman and medieval stonework collection. There you won’t get bored even if you are not in fond of exhibitions. The foundation certificate of the monastery is the oldest Hungarian document that uses Hungarian words and expressions amids the Latin text.
Basilian monks in Tihany
Only a few people know that Tihany has a special attraction. Basilian monks with Greek Orthodox rituals settled here in the 11th century and carved out their cells, their dining room and a chapel in cliff walls of the eastern side of the peninsula. It is the only relatively intact hermit colony in Central Europe and is called shaveling homes by the locals. Unfortunately, over the time a part of the hermit colony was destroyed by a rock that fell on it. The cells are depopulated since around the middle of the 14th century, for unknown reasons.
If someone wants to make itself sure that it will return to this place, he has to sit down for a second on the stone wall of the gravel walkway running near the Benedictine Abbey in Tihany, hang his feet over the lake and watch the sunset. It is a magical sight that people want to see again and again.