Located in the western part of Hungary, in Győr-Sopron-Moson county, about 20 km south of Győr, Pannonhalma Monastery is one of the most visited monasteries in Hungary.
Pannonhalma Benedictine Abbey – UNESCO World Heritage Site
Pannonhalma monastery is the earliest founded Benedictine Abbey of Hungary that has been the arch-abbacy of all the Benedictine houses from the end of the Middle Ages.
The art collection, the archive and the library of the abbey are considered to be a national heritage of utmost interest in Hungary.
As part of the millennium celebrations, the monastic complex of Pannonhalma, its collections and the nature conservation territory around the abbey were declared a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Brief History of Benedictine Abbey in Pannonhalma
Pannonhalma monastery was founded in 996 by Grand Duke Géza, in honour of Saint Martin who, according to medieval tradition, had some connection with the abbey site. The foundation charter of the abbey informs us about the privileges it enjoyed and the first years of functioning.
This is the place where the first monastic school of Hungarian history was established. The first detailed inventory of the abbey already mentions the library considered to be important even in those times.
The monastery had played a very important role throughout the whole Middle Ages, and used to be the centre of monastic reform movements.
Architecture of the monastery
Benedictine Abbey in Pannonhalma was built on the top of Saint Martin Hill. The first church on the site was consecrated in 1003, and it is very likely that the recently excavated remains of a western apse formed part of its building. The monastic complex originally was built in Romanesque style that underwent consecutive reconstructions in Gothic and then in neo-Gothic style.
Its final fortress-like aspect was achieved as a result of the reconstructions carried out in the second half of the 16th century.
The today’s church is basically from the 13th century, but certain parts of it may date back to the 12th or 11th centuries.
Pannonhalma Monastery today
The buildings of the monastery complex house a community of monks, a secondary school, a theological studies institute and a home for elderly people.
The art collection, the archive and the library of the monastery are all very important national heritage monuments of Hungary.
Pannonhalma Monastery Tours
In order to receive the constantly growing mass of tourists, a new reception and information building was built in 2004.
The monastery offers guided tours for visitors, enabling guests to gain insight into the life of the Benedictine monastic community and view a fifteen-minute film.
For further information about the guided tours and other programmes in the monastery:
Organ concerts are organised in the medieval Basilica of the monastery. Concerts are mainly connected to significant ecclesiastical feasts or national holidays.
Many visitors celebrate the three sacred days of Easter with the Benedictine community. The monastery uses the sleeping quarters of the secondary school emptied for spring break.
Visitors can buy some original gifts from the Monastery Shop such as Benedictine Liqueurs, Herbal teas and the wines of the Benedictine monks.
How to reach Pannonhalma Monastery
The Monastery can be easily reached by your own vehicle as well as by means of public transport.
Trains to Pannonhalma
Trains leaving from Győr for Veszprém stop at Pannonhalma station. The Monastery is two kilometres away from the railway station. (Timetable: http://www.elvira.hu/).
Buses to Pannonhalma
There are scheduled buses to Pannonhalma town from Győr. ( 30-35 buses weekdays, 10-15 weekends, duration: 30 minutes). From the town of Pannonhalma, monastery can be reached within a 15-minute walk uphill. (Timetable: http://www.menetrendek.hu/cgi-bin/menetrend/html.cgi)
Pannonhalma by car
From M1 (Vienna-Budapest) Motorway take the Highway 82 (Veszprém direction)