Tihany Abbey is where the town of Tihany started, almost 1,000 years ago. The Benedictine monastery was founded by King Andrew I of Hungary in 1055 and is dedicated to the Virgin Mary and St. Aignan of Orleans. Venture down into the crypt to see the monarch’s tomb and tour the 18th-century church and museum.
The abbey's twin-spired Baroque church towers over the town. Go inside to view outstanding wood carvings and other superb examples of religious art. These include frescoes by Hungarian painter Lajos Deák Ébner and German-Hungarian painter Károly Lotz. Stand before the main altar to admire the carvings and statues. Inspect the carved Baroque pulpit and see the church’s side altars.
Go down to the crypt where the remains of King Andrew I are kept. The sarcophagus of the abbey’s founder features an ornamental sword-like cross. Among the other reasons to visit the abbey is to see a copy of the monastery’s deed of foundation. Most of the document is written in Latin, but there is also Hungarian text.
Visit the Charles IV Memorial Room, dedicated to the memory of the last King of Hungary. His last days in the country were spent at the abbey, before he was exiled to Madeira in 1921. Watch a short movie about the abbey at the visitors center. Stop by the abbey museum, which hosts a number of temporary art exhibitions throughout the year. Other cultural activities at the monastery include classical music concerts. For the full schedule of events, visit Tihany Abbey’s official website.
Tihany Abbey is situated in Tihany on the northern shore of Lake Balaton. Walk or cycle up the steep road to reach the abbey. Free car parking is available in the square below the religious attraction. The abbey is open daily and has an admission fee with discounts for students and for all visitors between November and March.