On my last full day in Hungary, we visited Pannonhalma, the oldest Benedictine monastery in Hungary.  The monastery was founded in 996, over 1000 years ago.  The abbey, built in 1486, is in the late Romaneque/early Gothic style.  I much prefer the simplicity and soaring arches of this style to the elaborate sculptures and frou-frou of Baroque churches.  We took an English-language tour of the monastery, then a Hungarian language tour of the monastery’s winery in the afternoon.  After evening prayer, sung by the monks, we got a behind the scenes tour with my friend’s cousin who attended school there.  Fifty monks still live at the monastery so of course their quarters were off limits, but we did get to see the boarding school classrooms and gym and the monk’s dining room (which is in a Baroque hall).

The abbey (main church) in the Pannonholma Monastery

The abbey (main church) in the Pannonholma Monastery

Looking up at the arches and frescoes on the abbey's ceiling

Looking up at the arches and frescoes on the abbey's ceiling

Arches along the interior wall of the abbey

Arches along the interior wall of the abbey

The monastery's library with a Baroque dome.

The monastery's library with a Baroque dome.