Monument Monday

20 Nov

Cave Church Grotto, or Sziklakápolna in Budapest, Hungary

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The cave church, Sziklakápolna, is located on Gellert Hill, next to the famous Gellert Bathhouse.  Parts of the grotto church have been discovered as the original home of St, Istivan (Stephen), a hermit monk who was widely known in the middle ages for healing the sick with the pristine thermal waters that flow under the streets of the cave, and feed into one of the most famous bathhouses in Budapest, the Gellert bathhouse.

The entrance to the church was built in 1926 and closed off during the communist regime until 1989.  However, the larger cave was formed in the Triassic period, and discovered only in 1913.  Legend is that the main entrance to the cave had been closed over time and one day a dog fell in the only, very small opening.  The people retrieved the dog and discovered the cave and former home of St. Istivan.  The whole of the cave has still not been explored, and interestingly, the deepest part of the cave is named “Hell.”

This is the view facing out of the Cave Church at the statue of St, Istivan holding a church and the beautiful Danube.

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Rachel Louise Martin, Ph.D.

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