10th-13th centuries
High Middle Ages and Renaissance
 The Country Torn to Three Parts
Catholic Revival
(17th-18th centuries)  
19th-20th centuries 
To our respected and
dear guests,

Hungarians joined European Christian culture one thousand years ago. The adoption of Christianity entailed a change in our way of life, and the Church played a crucial role in this adjustment. After converting, the once nomadic, pastoral people built churches and monasteries, which were decorated by masters from home and abroad and furnished with beautiful devotional objects crafted by talented artists. Our country warmly welcomed foreigners: Benedictine, Cistercian, and Franciscan monks as well as Italian, German, French and Byzantine missionaries, from whom our people gained knowledge of the Christian beliefs and acquired the power of faith.

The Church not only provided our people with faith, churches, and outstanding historical figures, but also passed on its comprehensive knowledge to us and taught us the art of renewal. Enemy forces may have ravaged our country, but to little effect, for the building of both churches and souls always followed in the wake of destruction. The Catholic Church is a part of our everyday lives; this was the case in the past, in the days of persecution, and today, in a democracy too. Entrusted with the task - as is its mission - of delivering the good news, the Church has made its presence felt in both families and society alike.
Our hope is that this exhibit will provide visitors with a glimpse into the thousand-year history of a country. Our art bears the marks of a people with a unique culture while at the same time reflecting the style of the various periods. You, who have arrived from all parts of the world, whether Catholic or not, will be able to understand the exhibit without having any knowledge of our language. As you view our art, you will recognize its symbolic messages, wonder at its individuality, and discover its similarities to familiar monuments from other Christian countries. The explanation for this is simple: Christianity binds us together. The Church provided the most important setting for one thousand years of interconnections between European and Hungarian art. This cultural link is proof that our nation will be a worthy companion to those integrating into the Europe of the future.
To our respected and dear guests,
As we take this occasion to express our gratitude to the Vatican Museum for their assistance in making this exhibit possible, we also invite you to Hungary to see all that we would have liked to display, but because of our limitations could not. Have a look at the most important towns of Hungarian Christianity: Esztergom, Kalocsa, Eger, and Veszprém; make your way up to the abbey of Pannonhalma; pay a visit to our churches and museums. Be our guest!

Laszlo Cardinal Paskai
Archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest, Primate of Hungary

Hungarian National Museum
1. March 2002 - 30. June 2002
The opening hours are similar to that of the Hungarian National Museum