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Museums, collections, archives, databases, universities

Hungary's main museums all have rich medieval holdings, and there are a number of specialized collections as well. Most of these are public institutions, which means that you can generally do research in their archives and even see items not exhibited after some advance correspondence. Major libraries, archives and photo collections are similarly accessible, but permission is often needed to see special items, or if you want to use smaller collections. To do research on the art of medieval Hungary, you also have to use the museums and collections in the neighboring countries. Slovakia and Transylvania in Romania, as parts of the former Hungarian kingdom, are particularly rich in medieval monuments.

Information on this page is arranged in the following categories:

bullet Bibliographies and research guides
bulletOnline journals
bullet Libraries and archives
bullet Major museums
bullet History and maps of historical Hungary
bullet Other institutions
bullet CD-ROMs with images of Hungarian Medieval Art
bullet Other sites worth visiting (including sites related to medieval art in other countries of Central Europe)

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Bibliographic Tools

If you are just starting to work on a Hungarian topic, the Bibliography page might have what you need to start.

Hungarian journals are regularly indexed by the major art history bibliographies and databases, including the Art Index and Art Abstract (available on Wilson Web); the Avery Index of Architecture and the Bibliography of the History of Art (BHA), both available on-line through the Research Libraries Group.

bullet Further information about Avery via RLG.
bullet Further information about BHA via RLG.

Articles with medieval subjects are also indexed in the International Medieval Bibliography (IMB) - for more information, visit the site describing it.

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Online journals

During 2009, a number of Hungarian journals became available fully or partially online. These journals range from historical reviews to art historical journals. There is no JSTOR in Hungary, and the journals have been digitized in the framework of various projects. The following is a list of the most relevant journals for the study of Hungarian medieval art.



Hungary's premier journal of history, published continuously since 1867
(requires membership and/or registration, 1867)


A more recent historical journal, with lot of articles on medieval history (published since 1985, online since 1996)

Egyháztörténeti Szemle

Journal of ecclesiastical history.

Hadtörténeti Közlemények

Journal of military history.

Magyar Könyvszemle (1876-)

A journal dedicated to the history of the book, naturally including medieval manuscripts.


(Budapesti Könyvszemle) - Budapest Review of Books

Art history

Acta Historiae Artium

The premier art history journal of Hungary, with articles in English, German, French, Italian (subscription based)

Művészettörténeti Értesítő

Similar to the above, but with articles in Hungarian, with and English summary (subscription based)

Ars Hungarica

Journal of the Art History Research Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. In Hungarian. So far, only years 2005-2007 are available online.

Acta Archaeologica

Journal of Archaeology, with articles in various world languages, primarily English.

Archaeologiai Értesítő

A journal primarily focusing on archaeology, with numerous articles on medieval subjects (subscription based)

Museum journals

The full text of all the publications of Hungary's 19 county museums, as well as the Budapest History Museum, in a fully searchable database.


A new journal dedicated to castles. Volumes 2005-2007 are available online.


Hungarian Art Journal, published between 1902-1915.

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Libraries and Archives

As with anything else, if you are trying to do research on a medieval Hungarian topic, it is possible that your local library will not have all the materials you need. I list a few online catalogues here to libraries with excellent collections in this field.

In the United States, the Library of Congress and major University libraries have good collections on medieval Hungary. Refer to the list of library catalogues compiled by Yale University Library.

In Europe, try - giving access to the catalogues of three German research libraries specializing in the history of art: Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz; Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte, München; Bibliotheca Hertziana (Max-Planck-Institut), Rom. Presently the information included in the catalogue is limited to the publications catalogued by the libraries since 1996.

Before coming to Hungary, you might want to search the catalogues of some of the major libraries:

bulletBudapest, Országos Széchényi Könyvtár (National Szechenyi Library)

Maintains an online catalogue, as well as several databases.

bulletBudapest, Library of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences

Maintains an online catalogue.

A number of University libraries maintain a common online catalogue, Közelkat.

There are several specialized art history and medievalist libraries, mainly in Budapest, which are in many cases more useful than the larger ones (more information coming soon). These include the ELTE-CEU Medieval Library, and the Library of the Musem of Fine Arts.

Some archives also maintain homepages on the internet as well.

bulletBudapest, Hungarian National Archives (MOL).

1014 Budapest, Bécsi kapu tér 2-4.
1250 Budapest, Pf. 3.
Tel: (36-1) 156-5811

Medieval documents, up to 1526, can be searched in an online database.



Municipal Archives of Sopron

For more information, read a study by Zsolt Hunyadi (CEU/University of Szeged) : ARCHIVAL AND MANUSCRIPT RESOURCES IN HUNGARY, and see also the online handbook: RESEARCH RESOURCES FOR MEDIEVALISTS IN HUNGARY.

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Museums and exhibitons

A full list of Hungarian museums is available in the online Museum Calendar (maintained by the Hungarian National Museum). You can find addresses, opening hours and a short description of the collections there. For up to date information about museums, consult the Museum Review (Múzeumi Hírlevél). This is a monthly newsletter, published by the Ministry of National Cultural Heritage and the Hungarian National Museum (in Hungarian).

Here I am only listing the most important Hungarian museums with siginificant medieval holdings.


Museum of Fine Arts - Szépmûvészeti Múzeum

1146 Budapest, Dózsa György út 41. (Hõsök tere)

Hungary's premier art museum has rich medieval holdings, but no artworks from Hungary.

Most important medieval exhibitions: Gothic sculpture, Old Master Paintings (Italian trecento, German, Netherlandish, and Spanish medieval painting)

Hungarian National Gallery - Magyar Nemzeti Galéria

1014 Budapest, Dísz tér 17. (Buda castle, buildings B, C, D)

Includes: Medieval and Renaissance Lapidary, Gothic statues and panel paintings, Late Gothic altarpieces

Hungarian National Museum - Magyar Nemzeti Múzeum

1088 Budapest, Múzeum körút 14-16.

Founded in 1802 as a National Museum.

See an overview of the Medieval exhibition.

The Hungarian National Museum's exhibition at Visegrád

Budapest Historical Museum - Budapesti Történeti Múzeum

1014 Budapest, Szent György tér 2. (Buda castle, building E)

The history of Budapest, includes the remains of the medieval royal castle of Buda.
Most important medieval exhibitions: Gothic statues from the castle of Buda, Budapest in the Middle Ages

Museum of Applied Arts - Magyar Iparmûvészeti Múzeum

1091 Budapest, Üllöi út 33-37.

Medieval furniture, goldsmith works, textiles, etc.


bulletOther cities - selections

Esztergom - Christian Museum - Keresztény Múzeum

2500 Esztergom, Mindszenthy hercegprímás tere 2.

Based on the private collection of archbishop János Simor, and first opened in 1875, the Christian Museum is one of the most important museums in Hungary housing medieval art. Apart from an excellent Italian trecento collection and other medieval paintings, the museum also houses a rich collection of Hungarian medieval painting and sculpture, including the works of Tamás of Kolozsvár and Master M.S.

Esztergom - Cathedral Treasury - Fõszékesegyházi Kincstár

2500 Esztergom, Szent István tér 1. (inside the Cathedral)

Large treasury, with very important medieval objects (such as a Byzantine staurotheca, the Calvary of King Matthias, the Coronation Cross, etc.)

Esztergom - Balassa Bálint Museum and Castle Museum

2500 Eszterom, Mindszenthy hercegprímás tere 5.

Archaeological finds and other objects are exhibited in a downtown building, whereas the remains of the medieval castle and cathedral of Esztergom can be seen up on the Castle Hill.

Visegrád - King Matthias Museum - Mátyás Király Múzeum

2025 Visegrád, Fõ utca 29.

Medieval and Renaissance architecture and sculpture from the royal castle and palace of Visegrád. The exhibitions are inside the Lower castle (Salamon tower) and the Royal Palace. Also open to visitors is the Upper castle.


Pécs - Janus Pannonius Museum

7621 Pécs, Káptalan utca 5.

The museum is in charge of the following exhibition spaces, where medieval art can be found: Early Christian Mausoleum, Roman burial chapel, Archaeological Museum, Renaissance Lapidary.

Pécs - Cathedral Museum - Dómmúzeum

This museum houses the remains of the exceptionally rich sculptural decoration of the medieval cathedral of Pécs.

Veszprém - Queen Gisella Museum - Gizella Királyné Múzeum

8200 Veszprém, Vár utca 35.

The main building houses a rich collection of ecclesiastical art. The museum is in charge of the medieval Gisella chapel, and the ruins of the Saint George chapel on the north side of the cathedral.

Veszprém - Dezsõ Laczkó Museum - Laczkó Dezsõ Múzeum

8200 Veszprém, Erzsébet sétány 1.

Archaeological exhibition inside the main building of the museum.

Pannonhalma - Collection of the Benedictine Archabbey - Pannonhalmi Fõapátság Gyûjteménye

The thousand year old Benedictine abbey can be visited today. The collections include an exceptionally rich library and a large collection of ecclesiastical art.

Eger - István Dobó Castle Museum - Dobó István Vármúzeum

Archaeological collection in the medieval castle of Eger, with the ruins of the medieval cathedral.

Szeged - Móra Ferenc Museum

6720 Szeged, Roosevelt tér 1-3.

Rich collection of objects from the migration period.

Jászberény - Jász Museum

5100 Jászberény, Táncsics M. utca 5.

The most important medieval object here is the so-called 'Horn of Lehel', a 10th century Byzantine ivory horn.

Tata - Kuny Domokos Museum

2890 Tata, Öregvár

Archaeological collection inside the medieval castle of Tata, including stone carvings from the abbey of Vérteszentkereszt.

Köszeg - Miklós Jurisics Museum and Castle Museum

Exhibition inside the castle of Kõszeg

A number of other collections are of special value. There are important treasuries at the following places: Kalocsa, Roman Catholic Archiepiscopal Treasury, Gyõr - Roman Catholic Treasury and Library, Sopron - Roman Catholic Ecclesiastical Art Collection.

Among many others, the following castles and abbey can be visited without prior notice. Most contain a museum as well.

Castles: Diósgyõr, Gyula, Kisnána, Nagyvázsony, Sárospatak, Siklós, Simontornya, Sümeg, etc.

Abbeys and churches: Kaposszentjakab, Ópusztaszer, Pécsvárad, Somogyvár, Székesfehérvár basilica, Tihany

In addition, Hungary's countless medieval churches and are all open to visitors.

It also needs to be remembered that most of the medieval art of Hungary is in areas which are now outside the borders of Hungary. Thus the collections in Pozsony (Bratislava, Slovakia - Slovakian Natioanl Gallery), Kassa (Kosice, Slovakia), Kolozsvár (Cluj, Romania), Nagyszeben (Sibiu, Romania), etc. need also be visited by those interested in the medieval art of Hungary. In these areas countless churches, abbey and castles await the visitor, the listing of which is beyond the scope of this website.

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History and historical maps of Hungary

Map of Hungary at the Fine Arts in Hungary site.

Due to the change of the borders of Hungary after 1920, the names of many places which played an important role in the history of Hungarian art have changed. A concordance of place names is also provided by Fine Arts in Hungary.

A map showing the marriage connections of 11-13th c. Hungarian kings

Transylvania in the 13th century


Brief History of Hungary

Hungarian Cultural Collection

Hungarian Images and Historical Notes


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Art historical organizations

bulletSociety of Hungarian Archaeologists and Art Historians
bulletArt History Research Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences
bulletArt History Department of the Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest
bulletArt History Department of the Pázmány Péter Catholic University, Piliscsaba
bullet Medieval Studies Department of the Central European University, Budapest
bulletHistorians of German and Central European Art and Architecture - An Affiliated Society of CAA
bulletInternational Center of Medieval Art - An Affiliated Society of CAA


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CD-ROM Image collections

The following is a selection of recently published CD-ROMs that can be acquired from various museums and institutions.


-Encyclopeadia Humana Hungarica series - published by the Enciklopédia Humana Egyesület, Budapest (H-1438 Budapest, Pf. 435 Hungary -

A series of CD-ROMs with Hungarian, German and English text, images and music - includes history, literature, music, art, etc. 1. Emese Saga. Hungarian Prehistory from the Beginnings to King St. Stephen (+1038) 2. The Vazul-line. Kings of the Árpád Dynasty after St. Stephen (1038-1301) 3. Knight Kings. The Anjou and Sigismund Age in Hungary (1301-1437) 4. Pannonian Renaissance. The Hunyadis and the Jagello Age (1437-1526)

-Magyar Kódex. Budapest: Kossuth Kiadó, 1999.

Each volume in this new series comes with a CD-ROM containing all the images of the book.

Currently available: Vol. 1. Az Árpádok világa. Magyarország mûvelõdéstörténete a kezdetektõl 1301-ig (Hungarian Cultural History from the Beginnings to 1301)

Vol. 2. Lovagkor és reneszánsz (Hungarian Cultural History in the 14th-15th centuries)

-Bibliotheca Hungarica. A magyar könyvtárak egy ezredév tükrében. Hungarian libraries in the mirror of a millennium. Budapest: Neumann, 1999. (In English and Hungarian.)

-Budapest Museums. Budapest: Neumann, 1999. (Multimedia guided tours of the most important museums of Budapest. In 5 languages.)

-Mestermüvek a Szépmüvészeti Múzeumban - Masterpieces in the Budapest Museum of Fine Arts -The first multimedia CD-ROM on the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts. There are no Hungarian artworks in that museum, but there are numerous medieval paintings and statues nevertheless.

-The Hungarian Crown and Regalia - Hungarian National Museum, 1996. In Hungarian and English

-The Illuminated Chronicle (Képes Krónika) was published on a CD-ROM with the full text, images and commentary in 1996 by Cyberstone Entertainment Kiadó, Budapest

-The Hungarian Angevine Legendary was digitized at the Medieval Studies Department of the Central European University. The CD-ROM contains all the images of the manuscript with extensive commentary and full iconographical index.

-Magyarországi Várak V 1.0 - A CD-ROM about the castles of Hungary.

-A Honfoglaló Magyarság - The Conquest of Hungary.

-Kirchenburgen der Sachsen in Siebenbürgen - Monasteries in Romania (2 CDs) - D.O.R. Kunsthandel GmbH, Olsberg - Noi S.R.L., Bucuresti, 1996. No text.

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Other sites worth visiting

bullet See the News page for my previous recommendations
bulletThe Benedictine Abbey at Pannonhalma - founded in 997
bulletThe Benedictine Abbey at Tihany - founded in 1055
bullet Library of Congress - European Division - Guide to the Hungarian Collections at the Library of Congress - Hungarian collection
bulletArt of Old Hungarian Books: Virtual Exhibition of the library of JATE university (Szeged) - early printed books -
bullet Hungarian Christianity - A religious site including useful information about early Christianity before the Conquest of Hungary as well as on the conversion of the Magyars.
bullet Dress, Jewels, Arms and Coat of Arms: Material Culture and Self-Representation in the Late Middle Ages - A new site by the Medieval Studies Department, Central European University
bullet Medieval Manuscript Manual - Created by the Medieval Studies Department, Central European University

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Medieval Art in Other Central European Countries:

Visit medieval towns and museums on the web

Czech Republic

Prague castle

National Gallery in Prague

Plzen (Pilsen) Home Page

Master Theodoric


National Museum in Warsaw - Medieval Art



National Museum of Slovenia-Narodni Muzej




Institut für Realienkunde des Mittelalters und der Frühen Neuzeit - Also available is their Digital Image Database of medieval daily life and material culture, REAL, searchable in numerous ways

Those interested in medieval manuscripts, visit the Kommission für Schrift- und Buchwesen des Mittelalters der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften

For general information, and links, go to the Austrian Tourist Office

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