Camaldolese Reclusory – Oroszlány – Majk

The Camaldolese Reclusory can be found in Majk, near Oroszlány, surrounded by forests and lakes. Considered an oddity throughout Europe, this Baroque monumental ensemble consists of 17 cell houses, the church tower and the monastery. The reclusory was founded by József Esterhazy in 1733, to which he also donated 1,200 acres of wilderness, lakes and mills. Following the 1711 Szatmár Peace, which ended the Rákóczi War of Independence, the Majk reclusory was built through donations by the silent Camaldolese monastic order as a symbol of silence. The building complex was designed by Austrian Franz Anton Pilgram. The foundations of the church were laid in 1753, and a fish was placed as a symbol of silence along with the foundation stone. The construction was completed in 1770, but only 17 of the originally planned 20 hermitages were built. The houses were built from the donations of Hungarian aristocratic families loyal to Rákóczi and were marked by their coat of arms on the main facade. In the summer 1810, the roof structure of the church dedicated to St John was burnt down as it was struck by lightning. The stones were carried away partly by the Oroszlány Evangelists and partly by Károly Eszterházy to expand his Csákvár palace. There is still a fragment of fresco visible today on the sacristy vaulting on one side of the tower. It suffered significant damage during World War II. After the war, the building complex was used as a hospital, and after nationalisation, a secondary school and boarding school as well as a workers’ hostel were housed within its walls. It has been a tourist attraction since the 1980s, the lower part of the tower was restored in 1993 and the modern clock was added to the tower in 1992. In 2016, the entire monastery building’s structural and external restoration took place, the cellar, the ground floor and the herb attic were restored, and the monument was reconstructed. The interior decoration of the guests’ quarters was renewed and the unique frescoes in the former refectory were restored. The renovation of the building complex is still in progress today, but it can still be visited during the works.
Address: 2890 Oroszlány – Majkpuszta
Further information:
Opening hours: Daily, except Monday, 10 am to 6 pm, only with guided tours departing every hour

Download PDF Print this article E-mail