28 May 2024 The Future is the Product of the Past

Lost 14th Century Church Discovered under a Tennis Court in Hungary

During an archaeological excavation in Visegrád, a fortified medieval castle on a hill overlooking the Danube in northern Hungary, the ruins of the Church of the Virgin Mary, built during the reign of King Sigismund, were found under a tennis court.

Traces of a clash from hundreds of years ago were also discovered in the area surrounding the crypt in front of the excavated high altar.

Sigismund of Luxembourg founded a Franciscan monastery that included the Church of the Virgin Mary, which was constructed next to his palace. Charles IV’s son, Sigismund, ruled as king of Germany, Bohemia, Hungary, and Croatia before ascending to the throne as Holy Roman Emperor in 1433 and dying in 1437.

“No doubt, most promising for archaeologists was the excavation of the tennis court next to the royal palace, where the Franciscan monastery founded by Sigismund of Luxembourg once stood.”

The former tennis court became a development area of the Visegrad Renaissance program. Photo: MNM National Archaeological Institute, King Matthias Museum
The former tennis court became a development area of the Visegrad Renaissance program. Photo: MNM National Archaeological Institute, King Matthias Museum

On the first day, the church’s remnants were discovered, and in front of the high altar, a crypt was discovered. Among the debris of the collapsed crypt lay the remains of three bodies. The objects found beside them, such as a spur and several shots (pellets made of lead), suggested that they were soldiers. There was a copper bowl near them, which may have been used for defense, as its surface shows indentations made by weapons.

This could suggest that the church was not only the scene of looting, but also of a bloody clash.

After the beginning of the archaeological work, the foundation of the buttress of the sanctuary of the church belonging to the monastery was found. Photo: MNM National Archaeological Institute, King Matthias Museum
After the beginning of the archaeological work, the foundation of the buttress of the sanctuary of the church belonging to the monastery was found. Photo: MNM National Archaeological Institute, King Matthias Museum

After the Ottomans captured Visegrád in the sixteenth century, the building is believed to have collapsed. The lower, fortified part of Visegrád also revealed traces of an Ottoman settlement, including coins, an Ottoman cemetery, and an oval-shaped oven.

In 2021, the Visegrád Renaissance Development Program was initiated with the goal of revitalizing Visegrád Castle and its environs. The Royal Palace, the Visegrád Citadel, and Solomon’s Tower will all be rebuilt in the upcoming years in addition to the Lower Castle.

The lower, fortified part of Visegrád also revealed traces of an Ottoman settlement, including coins, an Ottoman cemetery, and an oval-shaped oven. Photo: MNM National Archaeological Institute, King Matthias Museum
The lower, fortified part of Visegrád also revealed traces of an Ottoman settlement, including coins, an Ottoman cemetery, and an oval-shaped oven. Photo: MNM National Archaeological Institute, King Matthias Museum

The castle system’s upper and lower levels will be connected, and the complex will be made pedestrian-friendly. In order to allow for visits to the citadel, lower castle, and portions of the Royal Palace during the reconstruction, the work will be done in stages.

Cover Photo: Castle Captaincy – MNM King Mátyás Museum and National Archaeological Institute- Facebook

Related Articles

Rare bronze hand discovered in Roman Vindolanda, England

11 July 2023

11 July 2023

One of Europe’s most important Roman archeological sites is the Fort of Vindolanda, one of the earliest Roman garrisons built...

One of the earliest water channels in history dating back 8,200 years was discovered in western Türkiye

27 August 2023

27 August 2023

One of the earliest water channels in history dating back 8,200 years was found during the excavation work carried out...

The oldest meerschaum artifact found in Anatolia; of Çavlum Seal

18 July 2021

18 July 2021

The stamp seal unearthed during the rescue excavations of Çavlum Village on the Eskişehir Alpu Plain is the oldest meerschaum...

Norwegian couple found a Viking Age Grave And Sword in their garden

3 July 2023

3 July 2023

While trying to expand their home, a Norwegian couple found a Viking Age grave and sword in their garden. It’s...

Isles of Scilly Iron Age warrior buried with a mirror and sword was probably a woman

27 July 2023

27 July 2023

Archaeologists conducted a DNA analysis of the tooth enamel of a person who died more than two millennia ago on...

3500-year-old mysterious hieroglyphs discovered in Yerkapı Tunnel in Hattusa deciphered

12 October 2023

12 October 2023

Some of the Anatolian hieroglyphs discovered last year in the Yerkapı Tunnel in Hattusa, the former capital of the Hittite...

Works on Brussels metro line uncovered remains of the second city wall

18 April 2023

18 April 2023

Construction work on the new metro line 3 in Brussels, the Belgian capital, has revealed part of the second rampart...

Feline and anthropomorphic 29 new geoglyphs discovered in Peru

21 December 2023

21 December 2023

In Ica, a region south of Lima on the coast of Peru, 29 geoglyphs were found by an archaeologist from...

Archeologists unearth largest rare wooden “Haniwa” Statue in Japan

10 December 2022

10 December 2022

The remains of a 3.5-meter-tall wooden “haniwa” statue have been discovered at one of the “kofun” ancient burial mounds that...

Roman Bath Complex Found under Spain’s Caños de Meca beach

22 May 2021

22 May 2021

A well-preserved ancient Roman bath complex emerged from the sand of a beach in the Andalusian region of southwestern Spain....

A 900-year-old Crusader sword was found by a diver off Israel’s Carmen coast

18 October 2021

18 October 2021

A meter-long sword dating back to the Crusader period was found by an amateur diver on the seabed off the...

The largest stone coffin grave found so far at the Yoshinogari Ruins -3.2 meters

30 May 2023

30 May 2023

A grave with a stone coffin around 2.3 meters long and dating to the latter part of the Yayoi Period...

Archaeologists revealed Urartian King Menua second temple in Van excavations

22 December 2022

22 December 2022

The second temple of King Menua as well as a chamber tomb were unearthed during the excavations carried out this...

Roman Empire’s Emerald Mines May Have mined by Nomads as Early as the 4th Century

4 March 2022

4 March 2022

New research by archaeologists from the  Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and the University of Warsaw suggests that Roman Empire emerald...

Archaeologists unearthed the exact place of the tomb of Saint Nicholas, also known as “Santa Claus,” and the floor on which he walked

17 October 2022

17 October 2022

An excavation team has discovered the exact location of Saint Nicholas’ tomb, also known as “Santa Claus,” as well as...