In 1183 King Béla III bestowed a considerable estate upon the Cistercian Order in the area south of the rivers Lapincs and Rába. In the following year 13 Cistercian monks and lay brothers (craftsmen) arrived from Trois Fontaines in France at the settlement and built an imposing-sized church and monastery at the location of the present Theatre in the early Gothic style and dedicated it to Our Lady and Saint Gotthard. The approximately 44 m long church with a three-naved, Latin cross shaped plan view and a semicircular chancel, had no belfry and the monastery was organically built onto its southern side. After the Battle of Mohács it was fortified with a tower and a wet moat and had become part of the line of border castles. Monastic life ceased in 1556 and the building erected in the Arpadian age was destroyed in 1605 when the Styrian commander Tieffenbach had it exploded upon the approach of the armed Haiduk troops. On its ruins, in 1677, a new and smaller church was consecrated. This church, after the neighbouring baroque church had been built between 1740 and 1779 by the Cistercian Abbey of Heiligenkreuz near Wien, was later used as a granary, hence its name “Granary Church”. Today it is the Theatre building that was reconstructed in 1988 in such a way that its southern wall is the wall of the church built in 1184 and that the medieval remains (such as the southern gate, the bookshelf) can also be seen.
A quiz related to the Everyday Life of the Cistercians demonstration trail. To find the right answers it may be helpful to visit the individual locations personally.
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