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Lébényi templomlátogatás

Cím: 9155 Lébény, Templom tér 2.
Telefon: +36 30 255-1343
GPS: 47.737295, 17.388115

Szeretettel várunk!



The more than eight hundred-year-old Romanesque church of Lébény is a vast treasure of Hungarian religious architecture. St. James Church, which used to be an abbey church and monastery in medieval times, welcomes tourists and pilgrims all throughout the year. Its patron saint is the Apostle St. James the Greater. His tomb in Santiago de Compostella is visited by millions of pilgrims every year, many of whom making the pilgrimage by walking along the world-famous pilgrims’ path called ’El Camino’.

Please take the opportunity and visit our old and mysterious church in Lébény!

Why should you do so? Because St. James Church is a notable example of medieval church architecture and much of the building and its immediate surroundings are thoroughly steeped in history. It was built in the 13th century in the Romanesque style, and in the beginning, it used to be a Benedictine abbey church and medieval monastery. Inspite of the fact that it was exposed to the destruction of wars during its more than eight hundred-year-long history, it still stands in good condition, retaining its old magnificence and truly medieval atmosphere in its modern surroundings. Its mighty, carved quader stone walls, as well as its two gates with their old ornamentation, are hugely impressive.

Due to the generous donations of the rich and high-ranked family who commissioned its construction, as well as to the great architectural expertise which was used for its building, the church interior offers a view of sublime beauty. As you enter it, the admirable scene will surely fill you with awe and respect. The decorative carved pillars, the original groined vaults, as well as the carved wooden altars, which were made in the 19th century with great precision, are all in perfect harmony with the noble simplicity of the church walls.

The old parish building, which functions now as a pilgrims’ house, was built in part on the foundations of a section of the old medieval Benedictine abbey. The first abbot was Lénárd, whose name is first mentioned in a document which dates back to 1219. In 1206 the church already existed. Until 1529, when the Turks set it on fire for the first time while marching to Vienna, the building remained unchanged. As a result of that siege, the nave and the northern tower suffered great damage: the nave caved in and the tower completely collapsed. The village was also devastated and the Benedictines were driven away.

The Abbey of Lébény was always dependent on the Archabbey of Pannonhalma. Since, after 1550, Pannonhalma was captured and occupied by the Turks several times, the Abbey of Lébény frequently changed ownership, too. Lébény was finally abandoned by the Benedictine monks in 1529. In 1638, with the help of the Habsburg Emperor, ownership of the abbey was transferred to the Jesuits. They had the church rebuilt and refurbished, and used the medieval cloister to place their sick and elderly brothers as well as to accommodate travellers.

In 1683 the building was set on fire by the Turks for the second time. The arch of the nave fell down and the abbey was destroyed. The rebuilding of the cloister took place only after the expulsion of the Turks. It was rebuilt in the Baroque style. As a consequence of a papal decree, in 1773 the Order of the Jesuits was dissolved and their confiscated lands became state property. The cloister itself was later converted into a parish building, which also functioned as the residence of the local Roman Catholic parish priest. Dingraff Gáspár, the parish priest of the local Catholic congregation, launched a major renovation, which was completed in the 1860’s and 70’s. This reconstruction was necessary because on 23rd of April, 1841 the church was again destroyed by fire. Dingraff Gáspár, the enthusiastic patron of this large-scale project, died in Lébény and was buried in the local Catholic cemetery.

Since the extensive renovation works of the 19th century a lot of repair works have been necessary: the mouldings on the gates, as well as over the gables, were covered with lead, and the old and damaged electrical wiring was replaced too. Inside the church a new stone altar was set up. The stone that the artist used for the carving was brought from the Roman Quarry near St. Margarethen. The most recent major renovation of the church, including the replacement of the roof and water-drainage system, as well as the cleaning of the walls, finished in 2012.

The new parish, designed by Maráz Péter, was built in 2002-2003 in a style which is most similar to Romanesque architecture. It was built in place of the old farming property of the medieval monastery. Before the construction they carried out archeological excavations on the site, during which important discoveries were made. The valuable findings are on display in the Museum of Mosonmagyaróvár. The walls of the parish building are decorated with some wrought-iron works (for example ’The Good Shepherd’ and ’Virgin Mary with the Baby Jesus’) made by the master smith, Reicher János from Gúta, Slovakia.

Would you like to have a break from the noise of daily life? Are you longing for peace and quiet? Or would you simply like to visit and admire one of the greatest treasures of Hungarian medieval church architecture, which is an over eight hundred-year-old authentic proof of our history? Whatever is your reason, we will be pleased to meet you!

All pilgrims who enter through the gates of this church after a long walk or journey to honour the relics of St. James, the first Apostle Martyr, are warmly welcomed.

And after you have seen the church, you should also take a walk in our village, which is located in well-tended surroundings, and offers visitors several interesting sights.

Guided tours in St. James Church are available in the following languages: Hungarian, English, German, French, Italian and Spanish. We can provide them for groups who have previously made a booking.

Opening hours

St. James Tourist and Event Centre is open daily, 9:00 – 18:00 (1 Apr – 31 Oct), and 10:00 – 17:00 (1 Nov – 31 March).

The booklets which can be bought in our church in English and German contain useful information about the church and its history. This short guide, illustrated with colourful pictures, provide you with English and German notes under the pictures, as well as short background information summaries.

St. James Tourist and Event Centre, Lébény

H-9155 Lébény, Templom tér 2.

GPS: 47.737295, 17.388115

+36 30 255-1343

Dezső Dercsényi: The Church of Lébény

Following conversion to Christianity in the 11th century, the erection of churches became one of the main priorities of the king and the Church.

Although we know of monasteries founded by various noblemen as early as the mid-11 th century, this custom only became more general from the late 12th century, and eventually led to the emergence of a specific church type whose architectural richness was primarily designed to reflect the power and wealth of the kindred (gees) which had founded it. These churches then also served as the burial places of these kindreds.

In 1208, King Andras II approved the donations made by Pot and Csépán of the Győr kindred for the Benedictine abbey in Lébény. The ancestor of this kindred, a German knight named Győr, received the estates lying along the Raba river from King St. Stephen.

Construction work on the abbey was well underway by 1208, and work was apparently finished in 1212. The abbey was destroyed by the invading Mongolian hordes in 1242, while in 1271 it was plundered by the soldiers of Ottokar, king of the Czech lands. The abbey and its church was torched by the Germans in the 15th century. In 1529, the abbey was torched and ravaged by the Turks: the vaulting of the church collapsed and the Benedictine monks fled their former home. In 1563, the military commander of the castle in Győr wanted to carry away the stones from the ruin of the church, but the Italian workmen, impressed by the beauty of the church, refused to carry out his orders.

In 1631, the abbey passed into the possession of the Jesuits, on the condition that they would restore the church. After the dissolution of the Jesuit Order in 1773, they were also dispossessed of the church. In 1838, the church became a parsonage. During the course of the first monument restoration work in Hungary led by Arthur Essenwein, director of the Germanisches Museum in Nuremberg, the interior and the exterior of the church were renovated between 1862 and 1879. According to the custom of the age, renovation did not mean simple repair work. A new spire was also added, and Essenwein also designed the new furnishings of the church interior, while a Viennese painter named Klein was commissioned with making new stained glass windows and mosaics for the tympanum above the main entrance.

The abbey church at Lébény is one of the earliest kindred monasteries. Most of the buildings in this early group were built on a three-nave basilica groundplan with semicircular ended apses. They had no transepts, and their facade was of the two-tower type. The founders’ choir lay between the two towers.

These choirs usually fulfilled several functions: beside providing a setting for various ceremonies, valuable documents and objects were also kept here.

The main ornamental element in the western facade is the recessed portal of the main entrance with its plain pillars. The surfaces between the pillars were lavishly decorated with masses of swirling tendrils and acanthus leaves. Figural ornamentation, however, is entirely lacking. The eastern section of the sanctuary is extremely elegant. The sacristy and the entrance used by the monks of the abbey opens from the southern side. The structure of this entrance basically corresponds to the main entrance.

The layout of the nave corresponds to the general basilica groundplan. Its present barrel vault roofing was constructed during the 17th century renovation.

The original ribbed vault was supported by buttresses, shifting the thrust of the vault to the pillars. The pillar capitals are lavishly decorated with elaborate bud and leaf patterns.

The main and side sanctuaries are linked to the nave with an arch. The floor of the sanctuary was raised during the renovation under Essenwein. The sacristy opens from the southern section in front of the sanctuary. A small niche, perhaps originally containing an altar, can be seen on the eastern side of the groin vaulted room.

The statue of St. Jacob stands on the main altar. The altars in the side apses were erected in honour of the Virgin and St. Margaret. The pulpit and the altars, designed by Essenwein, were crafted in Munich. The stained glass windows in the apses depicting St. John the Baptist, Adalbert and Bishop St. Gellert were made in Innsbruck. The stained glass windows in the aisles were designed by Lili Sztehlo after World War 2 and show various Hungarian saints.

The stone for the finely carved blocks of the church was quarried at Fertőrákos and then shipped to Lébény. The surviving stone masons’ marks suggest that about sixty to seventy masons were employed during construction, while the ornamentation was entrusted to a small group of master craftsmen who are known to have also worked on the churches at Bamberg and Regensburg in Bavaria, as well as at Heiligenkreuz and Zwettl in Austria.

Ajánlott oldalak:

Templom látogatás

Szent Jakab Látogatóközpont

H-9155 Lébény, Templom tér 2.
+36 30 255 1343


47.737295, 17.388115

Lelkipásztori ügyek

Szent Jakab Plébánia

H-9155 Lébény, Templom tér 2.
+36 96 360 094