After finishing the meal and the pine apple drink I took these pictures of the Abbey, wich is almost obbligatory, than I made my way up the hill. I t was very weary also because of the very high temperature (35 degrees) so I prefered not taking too many photos, even if the way up is beautiful: trees everywhere, nice local popular architecture and luxurious villas. When I saw the Inner lake, wich is quite little(see picture 4) and wich is in the opposite side to the Abbey I knew that I had finally made it up there:)
The abbey was built in 950. It was founded by King Andrew (1046-1060) in 1055 in honor of Saint Ányos (Anianus) and Virgin Mary. You can find the founder's tomb in the crypt of the abbey, its called the "King Vault." The founder charter of the abbey is the oldest, remained original Hungarian charter, which was written in Latin, though they used some Hungarian words and expressions in it too. So this is the oldest written relic of the Hungarian language.
The abbey is a richly decorated baroque church.
This is the real highlight of the Tihany abbey: built around 1055 and it remained completely intact during the centuries, while the church and the Abbey were modified and reconstructed several times. Why is it so important?
1. First of all, the memorandum of foundation of the Tihany Abbey is the very first document (still existing) wich contains among the latin words also some hungarians. You can see only a replica here: the original is in the Pannonhalma abbey some 50 km to the North from Tihany (it`s an UNESCO world heritage site: to know more about it, visit please the site http://www.bences.hu/en )
2. Here you can find the tomb of the king András the 1st (1047-1060) who founded this monastery in 1055. The king was deadly wounded in a battle (against his own brother, the latter Béla the 1st), died in the nearby Zirc and his body was brought here.
However the crypt was decorated with paintings by an italian painter, Ambrosio Dornetti in the XVIII. century, and later Károly Lotz modified these paintings, in 1955 these ornaments were all removed (I can`t decide whether this idea was good or not) to illustrate better the ancient times.
All the town centre was transformed for tourism purposes. You can by everywhere local stuff like embroidered spreads, wooden toys for children, clothes, caps, lace...etc...
Mostly I really don`t care about these things, but tis time I put down my bike and I watched some of them (I even bought a nice T-shirt:)
Furthermore here you can find loads of restaurants.
I wasn`t hungry because I had already eaten at the mole, wich was a pity. I should have tried one of these restaurants...well, maybe next time:)
In the different parts of the Balaton we find different kinds of popular architecture. The most beautiful caracteristic villages can be found at the Western part of the Lake balaton near the Badacsony mountain, but also the folcloristic architecture of Tihany is famous. Most of the houses have thatched roofs (made by reeds) and were built in the XVIII.-XIX. centuries.
The Abbey was founded in 1055 A.C. by András the Ist. In the medieval era, until the XV. century it flourished, but at the beginning of the XVI. century only few monks remained in the ran down monastery. In fact, in this period all the money they collected from the lordships went to the mantainance of the Tihany castle wich sadly cannot be seen today. The soldiers didn`t care about the abbey itself.
In 1674 the army gave back the monastery to the Benedictine order but all the complex went in ashes in the big fire of the year 1683. In 1702 the abbey was given to the austrian Altenburg monastery and only in 1716 was rebought by the supreme abbot of Pannonhalma. The new tihanyian abbot, Grassó Villibald in 1719 initiated the reconstruction, wich terminated in 1736, but a new fire burned up again everything. Not much after died the abbot. The new abbot, Lécs Ágoston soon re-iniciated the works and in 1754 the church was ready, but the internal decoration lasted for 3 other decades.
This time I visited Tihany alone. Why? Well, there were 2 simple reasons.
1. Tihany is not far away from Balatonfüred, so I allways go there with bicycle. It`s about 15 kilometers (going there and than return) and twice you must climb a hill, wich isn`t easy, so my idea wasn`t appreciated too much. Who cares:)
2. In Balatonfüred only 1 of our 3 bikes works:) The other 2? Better not to talk about:)
So, I descended from the hill and at the ridiculous artificial Greek village I crossed the main road wich goes parallelly with the lake Balaton for a while and diverge only where the Tihany Peninsula on wich my destination is located, begins. Here the road splits in two and only a little street goes into the Peninsula. Unfortunately also the Bicycle way which girdles around all the Balaton lake, goes in the other direction.
The bicycle way is very calm, you can go slowly and enjoy the beauties of the Balaton shore...
From the viewpoint beside the church you can see a splendid view of c.ca 1/3 part of the Balaton lake. Where the Tihany Peninsula ends, the distance between the North and South sores is only 2 kilometres. this is why the other parts cannot be seen from here. Don`t worry the "lakescape" is just terrific the same.
I made also a video of the sight wich you can find on this page:
The church had originally 3 naves, but the baroque reconstuction modified the internals: nowdays we can see only one big nave. I think that this was a good decision: after entering the church we can see all the ornaments together. Who painted the painting of the fabulous rococo altar? Well, not famous masters, only unknown talents who came from Pápa (lovely baroque town 60-70 km North from Tihany) and Székesfehérvár. The original painting from 1754, representing Saint Anianus in 1822 was in such a bad shape that it had to be substituted by a work of János Novák, painter from Sopron. Nevertheless nowdays we can se the perfect copy of the original painting.
Several people worked on the gilding of the altars and it was an austro-hungarian carpenter to project and built it: Sebestyén Stuhlhof. He came from Vienna at the age of 31 and he stayed in Tihany for 25 years, altough wasn`t a monk himself.
It`s impossible not mentioning the so called "Paprika house".
As You probably know, the hungarian cuisine is unimaginable without the red paprika.
In this house, one of the most advertized in Tihany, you can buy all kinds of paprikas-sweet and hut.
And than you can climb the stairs nearby to reach the Abbey itself-->
... I saw the Tihany mole. This mole has a caracteristic curved shape wich you can see better in the later tips. Fortunately in this part of the Balaton you don`t see swans everywhere, (only 1-2), wich dominate Balatonfüred, only the cute little ducks. The swans in reality aren`t autochthonous in the Balaton, nontheless every year there are more of them. I personally prefer ducks, even if undoubtly swans are more spectacular. This is why swan-feeding is a real local costum at the Balaton.
The fantastic rococo organ wich for me is the most stupendous part of the church was built in 1765 and it was reconstructed in 1993. On the organ you can see paintings of Saint Caecilia and king David with lyra and lots of typically baroque little angels.
The rococo pulpit was ready in 1715. On the entrance door you can see the relief of saint Paul. On the pulpit you there are sculptures of 4 saints: Saint Ambrosius, Saint Gregorius (the pope), Saint Hyeronimus and finally Sain Augustinus.
After enjoying the nice views, I made my way back to Balatonfüred. It was again a nice experience visiting Tihany wich I(we) do almost every year.
If you`re at the Balaton lake, this little town is a perfect daytrip, even if the surroundings of this lake are very rich in natural and historical beauty, so you can select from a big variety.
I hope that you enjoyed this tour to Tihany, town of a nice Abbey, good views, popular architecture and many other things...
To tell the truth, the Museum is not so interesting but you can get some informations about the history of the Abbey. You can see a statue of Károly the IV. (Habsburg), the last hungarian king who spent in this abbey his last day in Hungary, with his wife, queen Zita.
The lapidary is more interesting: you can see here a couple of old statues from the XI-XII. century, reconstructed parts of old and destroyed churches and monasteries found by the archeologists.
Unfortunately the biggest part of the Abbey, like the vestry, the refectory, and the bibliotheque, all decorated by the same Ambrosio Dornetti (see church tips) cannot be visited. You can only watch them from outside and of course the little yard with flowers and a well and the view of the church.