A tourism gem in the Hungarian countryside

The impressive Arch Abbey of Pannonhalma, one of the oldest historical monuments in Hungary, has witnessed major developments to its buildings and surroundings in recent years thanks to efforts to stimulate more tourism in the region. With financial support from the EU, the work has resulted in renovation work at the entrance, improvement of the interior court and the planting of over 1 000 trees.

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Abbey dominates Pannonhalma and surroundings Abbey dominates Pannonhalma and surroundings

"With the work completed on the environmental parts, the project has met the goals of the Arch Abbey. Furthermore, by the beginning of 2007, the monastery of the holy mountain of Pannonia finally had a façade worthy of its traditions and values."
Béla Vajdovich, project manager and expert for 15 years at the Arch Abbey

The Benedictine monastery was classified a World Heritage site in 1996 and offers a major attraction for cultural and religious tourism. To provide an added boost to this tourism potential, the Benedictine community put together a development strategy. Work began in 2004 and, given its success so far, looks set to continue receiving support.

A monument like no other

The buildings of the Arch Abbey were erected over a thousand years ago on what is referred to as the “sacred mountain of Pannonia”. Both the buildings and their surroundings have been recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage site. The Arch Abbey is a worthy holder of this title given its stunning architecture and cultural and scientific collections, which look set to attract an anticipated 100 000 tourists a year.

Surrounding environment blends with architectural beauty

The site offers a special place for exploring, learning and relaxing, therefore tourism services and infrastructure were important features of the project work. To improve visitors’ experiences, the works carried out included upgrading the walkway around the monastery and landscaping, with benches, lamps, outdoor furniture and environmental features placed around the grounds. In the surrounding natural environment, the arboretum was restored, a garden planted, and a display house built for herbs. Less visible, but equally important were improvement works which included reconstruction of rainwater collectors and pipes. Car parks were also expanded and built as were commercial and hospitality services.

Life at the monastery continues to thrive

The monastery has therefore become a much more visitor-friendly tourism destination, creating a harmonised space where nature, culture, history and architecture blend together and where guests and people who live, study and work there can enjoy a unique experience.


Draft date

07/12/2009