Cave Chapel - Sziklakapolna, Budapest
We walked over the bridge and climbed
a bit up the 'Géllert mountain'.
That mountain is named after a bishop
The previous picture is taken from there.
You will have a fantastic vieuw on the freedom bridge.
And there is also the Chapel.
There isn't that much to see , but worth
a short visit. This used to be the chapel connected
undergroud with a monastery.
They where removed in 1950 and the men
who where left forced to do labour.
The chapel got ceiled. They simplypaved
it with bricks. In 1989 they gave it all back
to the order.
Just above Gellért Square, as you start heading up towards the top of Gellert Hill, there's a sort of rock balcony. The balcony leadsto a little chapel carved into the rocks of the hill; at the back of the chapel (which means deep inside the rock) there's a door: open it and see a truly amazing rock chuch. It was built in 1931 - only to be closed and walled-up 20 years later by the communis Regime. As soon as it fell (1989) the church was re-opened and made it functional again.
This is one of the most original churches I've visited so far. It is said that St. Stephen used thermal water from a lake next to the cave to heal the sick. The entrance was made in the 1920's and has served as a chapel since 1926, with the exception of 1951-1992 when the Soviet army took over Budapest and closed it.
People are asked to do as little noise as possible, as this is a place of prayer, and to kindly wait until the mass is over to get in. You don't pay to enter, but there are some donation boxes where you can leave some coins and there's a little stand where you can buy postcards, small rosaries and medallions.
Besides the directions written below, you can access the chapel like we and a lot of other tourists did: Take the subway and get off at Kalvin tér, then walk towards and cross the bridge. Walk up on Gellért Hill and you're there.
When you cross the Independence Bridge from Pest to Buda you will see the Cliff Chapel, which is built into a cave. It is open from 9am - 9pm, but not during mass. When we arrived it was around 5pm and a sign said the chapel was open again after the mass 6.30pm. So long we didn?t want to wait, and therefore did not see the interior.
The chapel dates from 1926, but in 1951 it was closed and the priests arrested by the communists. In 1992 it was reopened.
Cave Church is an active Catholic Church built in the rocks. The church is situated on the southern slope of the Gellert Hill, opposite to Gellert Hotel and Baths complex. Its rocky interior is very impressive.
It was founded in a real cave by Pauline order of monks in 1926. The activities of the chutch were suspended by communist authorities and the church was reopened only in 1989.
The admission is free. The church is open daily from 9.00 to 20.00 but tourist visits are not allowed during the service hours.
The Cave Church is found on Gellert Hill. The Church which is constucted right into the side of the mountain is well worth the hike up Gellert Hill. It is amazing and a must see.
The chapel was built in 1931 sermons were delivered in 1948. The chapel was closed communist-dominated government in 1951, and was reopened only in 1989.
Built in 1926 on the slope of Gellert Hill, facing the Danube River, the deisgn of this grotto church is based on the Shrine at Lourdes. It was originally intended as a worship place for monks of the Pauline order (see my University Church tip for more info). The entrance to the church was sealed shut in the 1950s by the Communist authorities when the few monks living in the church's adjoining monastery were accused of committing treasonable acts. For years, no one went into the church, but when it was announced that Pope John Paul II would be coming to Budapest, restoration work was quickly undertaken so that ithe chapel could receive papal blessing. At the same time, the chuch was dedicated to Polish victims of World War II in honour of the pope's home country.
The interior of the Cave chapel is just fantastic, altough here you don`t see fancy baroque altars, just a very unique cute little church wich actually doesen`t have the form of a church.
The church cannot be visited before 12 AM and during the holy mass. After this time you can enter. Please keep the silence if you enter the church.
I show some images, how does the chapel look like.
At the base of Gellert Hill, near the Gellert Hotel and Liberty Bridge, is the entrance to the cave system, now converted into a working chapel. The caves have an interesting history. First they are believed to have been inhabited by a hermit, St. Ivan, who used the natural spring water to heal the sick.
In the 20th century they were taken over by the Pauline monks, where it served as a chapel and monastery until 1951, except for when it was taken over by the Nazis during World War 2 and used as a field hospital. I saw a suspicious looking eagle statue in the depths when I was there - I wonder if that was a left-over?
When the Soviets took over they left the monks alone for a while, but in 1951, during a crackdown the Catholic church, the monastery was raided, the cave was sealed, the monks imprisoned, and the head of the order was put to death. The monks returned again when the Iron Curtain fell in 1989.
Unfortunately, when I took these photos, I couldn`t go inside the chapel, because it was closed. But later I will take some photos also of the internals, wich are very interesting.
Ok, today, on the 29 of march 2007 I put in the photos I had promised:) See next tip
The "Pálos" order is the only religious order, founded by hungarians. Hundreds of years ago, they created this very caracteristic chapel. This order was several times dismissed but every time it was reinstituted. The chapel got it`s present day aspect in 1926, and in 1934 also a chloster was built in the same place. During the communism, the chapel was walled up, but in 1989 it was reopened to the fedels and for the visitors. A visit here is recomended, especially if you climb the hill from the Gellért hotel.
Once a place for the poor and homeless (had to move when the Gellert hotel was built - rich people wish not to be bothered with the poor), then a church - walled up by the Communists reopened in 1992.
You are not allowed to walk inside during Mass celebration. Free admission.
Whilst conducting the 'Budapest as quick as you can tour' we visited the Church cave on the Gellert Hill- next to the Gellert Hotel.
The church was founded in 1924 by the Pauline monks. In 1951 the Hungarian secret police broke into the chapel and arrested the entire order of Pauline monks (the superior Ferenc Vezer was condemned to death, the others to 5 - 10 year prison sentences).
The chapel was then blocked up with a 2.25 m thick concrete wall until 1989 when communisim became part of the past.
This church silently stood empty in the hillside for nearly forty years waiting for the outside world to be given back it's freedom of speech.
The church isn't particularly old or large but it has a wonderful atmosphere and the silence was very calming.
The following info is from:
You have to check this site out for better pictures!
Opposite of the Gellert Bath 25 m above the river Danube level in the Gellert Hill there is a large cave which is one of the unique of Budapest.
It has named St Istvan's cave after a hermit who has cured sick people went on a pilgrimage to him with thermal water which sprung in front of his cave. The original cave, which consisted a hollow entrance room and connecting niches, were rebuilt into a church in 1925. Its model was the cave of Lourdes, France. Directly next to Hotel Gellért, this chapel was carved into the rock of Gellért Hill.
It was built in 1931, the communist regime had the entrance bricked up in 1951, but it was reopened in 1989.
The Pest side of Budapest was named after this cave. In the Middle Ages The Slavic name of the (Gellert) Hill was Pest Hill after the large cave. The word "Pest" means cave or oven.
The Rock Church is an interesting structure with an even more interesting history. It was built within a natural cave in Gellert Hill in the early 20th century. However, when the communists came to power after WW2 the church was sealed off. It reopened more than 40 years later following the fall of Communism in Hungary and much of the rest of Eastern Europe. The church is said to be a copy of a similar church in Lourdes, France and is located opposite Hotel Gellert in Buda.
A great chance for religious travellers or just curious tourists, the Cave Chapel is something unique, something inprecedented. In Bulgaria, there is a similar Aladja Monastry around Varna but it is not the same.
Built in 1931, this place was built by the Christian community and 20 years later walled up during the Communism. It opened doors in 1989.
The Cave Chapel is situated on Gellert hill, easily accessible by tram.