Maybe not many people have heard of it, but one of the most unique churches in our country is hidden in Miskolkatapolca. Anyone who sees it will immediately fall in love with this hidden treasure and its history.
In Hungary, there are only two sanctuaries created in rock According to an article in Tourista magazine. One is in Budapest, the rock church of Our Lady of the Hungarians on Gellert Hill, and the other is the rock church of the Heart of Jesus in Miskolkatapolka.
The first is known to almost everyone, as it is within sight, while the first of Miskolkatapolka does its work modestly, giving great joy to the faithful of the area, because its seats are always full at Sunday Mass.
The history of the sanctuary is complex:
“Székelykapu has been welcoming visitors here since 1995, and was established in honor of Pius Szabo, a Transylvanian deacon. The existence of this distinctive church is thanks to him. According to the story, a Benedictine monastery stood in Tapolka until the 16th century, but it had to deal with two things. Firstly, due to the harsh environmental factors, as it is located in an area rich in springs, and in the 14th century the water table rose significantly. At that time, the monastery building was still protected by an earthen filling, but not from the attack of 1532. The monks did not stand to On the side of the then ruling king Janus I, and this was their loss, because Imre Bebek and Ferenc did so, who attacked the monastery with their men. Some of the monks were killed, others were captured, and the building was looted and then set on fire. Most of the remaining stones of the monastery were carried away by the inhabitants of the area, and only the foundation remained. To some extent, which can still be seen today next to the cave bath.”
After that, the monks did not return, and Tapolca did not have a place of worship until the 20th century.
That’s when Dean Pius Szabó came into the picture, who visited here regularly and was also likely attracted to the thriving spa life at the turn of the century.
During his visits, he enjoyed the hospitality of the Pataky family, with whom he often talked about how sad he was that there were so many contradictions among the Hungarians, and that there was still no place of worship in this area. Rudolf Pataky’s show provided a solution to the latter. Since he owned a place called Ferribs Farm, which the Deacon loved very much, he was inspired by the two small caves carved into the tufa, which were already here at that time and were used as sheep pens. He thought that if four-legged people already had akluk here, then two-legged people might have it too. Rudolph gifted him the area, and the idea for the church began to take shape.
Laszlo Miner, a recently graduated architect from Miskolc, was commissioned to prepare the plans.
The recess was originally only six by 8 metres, and was not even two meters high, so the floor was deepened and Miner redesigned the previously flat roof as arched. The rock church was built in the neo-Gothic style. Construction began in 1935, and it was consecrated in 1936.