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Visegrád Reneszánsza / Facebook
Screenshot 2024-05-16 153441.png
Visegrád Reneszánsza / Facebook
World News

Fragments of 500-year-old church discovered underneath tennis court

by Lydia Davies

Archaeologists in Visegrád, Hungary, have made a historic church beneath a tennis court.

Situated along the Danube River, the town of Visegrád is renowned for its 13th-century castle, historically a royal residence.

In a bid to restore the castle and its surroundings, local authorities initiated an extensive development project about three years ago.

It was during this project that researchers excavating near the castle stumbled upon the remnants of a church estimated to be 500-years old. The revelation was shared by Hungary’s National Archaeological Institute in a Facebook post on 9th May.

Identified as the Church of the Virgin Mary, this Franciscan monastery dates back to its founding by a Hungarian king in 1425 and saw expansions throughout the 15th century. The Visegrád Renaissance Development Program provided insights into its historical significance in a separate Facebook post.

The posts explain how the excavation process quickly uncovered significant elements of the church's structure, including its foundation, main altar, and crypt. However, it became apparent that the church's vaulted ceiling had succumbed to time, collapsing into fragments.

Within the crypt's ruins, evidence of potential violent conflict emerged. Archaeologists discovered three bodies, believed to be soldiers, alongside rifle bullets and a damaged plate likely used defensively as a makeshift shield.

Miami Herald reported that the church's demise likely followed the Ottoman Empire's takeover of Visegrád in 1544. Although parts of the church were unearthed in the 1980s, efforts to explore further were hindered by the presence of the tennis court.

The discovery has reignited archaeological interest in the area, with plans to continue examining both artifacts and ruins as part of the broader restoration project for Visegrád Castle.



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