Rock Chapel - Sziklakapolna, Budapest
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 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.
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.