STUDY TOUR TO THE SALFÖLD PAULINE MONASTERY AT LAKE BALATON

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Continuing the Badacsony study tour  organized within the frame of  the Badacsony Tourist Guild Association.

Below is the description, history of the 700 years old monastery read at the scene on an offsite description table in Hungarian language …  Here is an overview, short summary of interest  translated into English language …

The Pauline Order is managed by the Bakonyerdő Ltd. which lays in the forest near the village of Forestry Monostorapáti Salföld. It is the only a monastic order which was founded in Hungary. The Salföld lays South-West in the forestland in the middle of a small valley. The monastery ruins stands on an outstanding viewpoint on the hillside.

The church itself was dedicated in honor of Mary Magdalene, which was owned by the Pauline,  first mentioned in 1263. Other documents from 1307 and from 1475 also mention the existence of the monastery.

To-day can be seen the cloister of the Pauline Order. The monastery and the surrounding area has long been  popular as a tourist destination. The  Forestry recognized that cultured resting place should be established. They regularly arrange carriage rides back-and-forth in time-and-age. In 1307 as the existence of the monastery was also mentioned in an official certificate: “The son of Barnabás, Kelemen Chapter of Veszprém, the Abrahamic soul of a serf offered their grapes as a donation of the Kőkúti Hermits to St. Mary Magdalene’s Church in honor.” The chapter contributed donated the grape as paid a payment.  This was the background to understand the why and the how a huge wine cellar was built under the monastery. In 1475 Cardinal István issued a farewell permit order to renew the Kútikő church and at the turn of the century the monastery was rebuilt in Gothic style.

In the 16th century, border castle fights reached the Balaton Uplands, the monastery was abandoned and dilapidated. During the battle on November, 7. 1554., the monastery was unsuccessfully attacked by the Turkish invasion. The fight hit both towns Tihany and Csobánc. The stronger, better-built church would have had better the weight during the centuries, but the monastery was built of inferior materials, which happen to quickly, easily be affected and destroyed, and most probably the construction was made by the use of worn out stones. To the remaining ruins major mortality happened during the 1820s when the construction of a nearby sheepfold occurred on the Alba family land and both the church’s and the monastery’s stones were taken away. So since then the old monastery stood completely in ruins. In the 1960’s exploration and conservation of consistence began and the renovation of the ruins had nicely been carried out.

Renewing works started filling the bits-and-pieces of the gaps in 2003, placing bricks and stones, wooden window frames, old saplings of monastery garden, stone building restoration ahead. Rain shelters, resting sites, wooden tables, benches and fireplace, guiding informative boards were also placed at the scene. Visiting the scenario at the Pauline Monastery with the background silence. Only sometimes a chirping sound of the birds were present together with us and yes, nature worthily preserved the atmosphere of the place and really took us back in time  … 700 years.

To-day worthwhile for locals and foreigners to visit the forest, to see the Pauline Order where once the members of cloister lived. The monastery and the surrounding area has long been  popular as a tourist destination. The  Forestry recognized that cultured resting place should be established. They regularly arrange carriage rides back-and-forth in time-and-age.

Update and snaps:  Aggie Reiter

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