Kalocsa (Croatian: Kaloča or Kalača, Serbian: Kaloča or Калоча, German Kollotschau) is a town in Bács-Kiskun county, Hungary. It lies 88 miles south of Budapest. It is situated in a marshy but highly productive district, near the left bank of the Danube River, and was once of far greater importance than at present.
Kalocsa is the Episcopal see of one of the four archbishops of Hungary. Amongst its buildings are a fine cathedral, the archiepiscopal palace, an astronomical observatory, a seminary for priests, and colleges for training of male and female teachers. The inhabitants of Kalocsa and its wide-spreading communal lands are chiefly employed in the cultivation of the vine, fruit, flax, hemp and cereals, in the capture of water-fowl and in fishing. Kalocsa is one of the oldest towns in Hungary. The present archbishopric, founded about 1135, is a development of a bishopric said to have been founded in the year 1000 by King Stephen the Saint. It suffered much during the 16th century from the hordes of Ottomans who then ravaged the country. A large part of the town was destroyed by a fire in 1875.
The nodal points of the Great Plain, the towns, are varied. Each has its own history, architecture and modern-day attractions. Ruins and memorial sites dating from before the Turkish invasion in the 16th century remain popular tourist attractions, while historical buildings still in use today date from the period of settlement and reconstruction after the expulsion of the Turks.
The alternating landscape of Puszta and river valleys is also home to many nationalities in Hungary, where their traditions and customs are preserved and cultivated. The guest can see and enjoy the rich and living folklore of the Slovaks, Romanians, Germans, Serbs and Croats.
The Baroque provincial town in the Great Plain lies approximately south of Budapest on the east side of the Danube. The town is almost as old as the Hungarian state itself. After the Conquest the tribe of Prince Árpád settled down here. Later, along with Esztergom, Kalocsa was an archdiocese founded by King Stephen in the early years of the Hungarian state. The first archbishop of the town was Asztrik, who brought the crown to Stephen from the Pope. In the first decade of the 11th century the first church was built. In the Middle Ages history of Hungrary we find some generals among the archbishops. For example Ugrin Csák (archbishop from 1219 till 1241) was the leader against the Tartars at the battle of Muhi 11th April 1241.
The Turks entered Kalocsa August 15, 1529. People of the town dispersed, nobody cultivated the lands and the archiepiscopal status lost its importance. In the year 1602, Hungarian Calvinistic Haiduk burned down Kalocsa. After the 148 years lasting rule 13 October, 1686 the Turks burnt down the castle of Kalocsa and withdrew troops from it. After these events the peace didn’t come because of the uprising against the Habsburgs led by The Transylvanian Prince Ferenc Rákóczi II.
The returned archbishops tried to increase the count of subjects with success. Cardinal Imre Csáki (1710-1732) got back the lands for Kalocsa and its neighbours. So they formed a very big (about 23,000 hectares) territory. There were marshlands, gardens, vineyards, etc. lying by Kalocsa.
In the 18th century the most meaningful social stratum was the villeinage who had lands. The next were the craftswomen and craftsmen. The first charter of incorporation was mentioned in 1737 in Kalocsa. In 1769 there were 90 craftswomen and men living in the town. Because of the clergy and the schools there were a lot of intellectuals. Kalocsa became a centre in Hungary again but it couldn’t take back its importance as it used to have before the Turks.
The capitalist development of the 19th and 20th century didn’t come to Kalocsa. The railway was built too late, in 1882. Furthermore in 1886 the town lost its rank of town, which was given back in 1921. Otherwise it was an important fact that Kalocsa was the „town of archbishops”. Two great archbishops of the second part of the 19th century (József Kunszt 1851-1866 and Lajos Haynald 1867-1891) founded schools, so Kalocsa kept its importance.
At the beginning of the 20th century the peasants were working for the archbishop or as a navvy. During the counter-revolution of the Hungarian Soviet Republic 20 people were hanged in the main street of the town. Fortunately nothing happened in the 2nd World War. Then the communist power deprived the town of being subsidized by the state because of the archbishopric. The industrial development of the town started at the end of the 1960s. It resulted a big change in the life of the inhabitants of the town and the people living in small villages around Kalocsa.
Nowadays Kalocsa is a picturesque little town, whose inhabitants are working in it or on the lands nearby.
One of the pearls of the town is the high building of the Archbishops Cathedral standing in the middle of the Holy Trinity Square. The present church is the fourth built here. The first was built during the reign of King Stephen in the first decade of the 11th century by Asztrik. He was the first person who called himself archbishop in Kalocsa. He was also the one who brought the Holy Crown from Rome. This was the crown with which Hungary the Kingdom and the Hungarian nation was born. The second church was erected in the beginning of the 13th century and was destroyed by the Tartars. We are familiar with two of this church’s stone carvings. One is a grave-stone cherishing the memory of the stone mason, Martinus Ravegu, and the other is a red marble king-head significant even in its fractions, being the most remarkable piece of sculpture from the age of the Árpáds (897-1301). The second church was rebuilt in Romanesque style during the reign of Louis the Great and burnt down in 1602 by the Protestant Hungarian Haiducks. That was the third. In the middle of the century the Turkish traveller, Evlia Tshelebi saw the remains, the inner walls of which were decorated with „beautiful colour paintings”. The foundation of the present Italian-baroque style Cathedral was designed by the archbishop Imre Csáky. The foundation stone was laid by Gábor Patachich, also an archbishop, in 1735. The monument itself was designed by András Mayerhoffer. The two high towers of the Cathedral were burnt down because of stroke of lightning at the end of the 17th century. Because the changes of the 19th century made Gyula Városy archbishop (1905-1910) restore the church. It was made by two famous Hungarian architects, Ernő Foerk and Gyula Petrovácz. They built the crypt, too.
The two towers can be seen even from a great distance. Between them there is a connecting bridge on which the visitor can see three statues: St Peter and Paul (1755) and in the middle Virgin Maria (János Hartmann, 1881). Under it there is a tympanum held by two Ionic columns. In the tympanum we can see a relief by József Andrejka. Its title is: Patrona Hungariae. On the south side of the Cathedral there is a relief of Asztrik, made by Jenő Bory, 1938. Being inside the Cathedral the visitor is fascinated by the golden, pink and white colours. The ceiling is decorated with stuccoes. This is one of the most beautiful decorations in Hungary. Setting out from the organ the visitor can see St Jeromos (he lived in the desert and translated the Holy Bible to Latin), St Ágoston (was a bishop, he is holding a burning heart in his hand), St Ambrus and St Gergely (was a pope, he governed the church at the end of the ancient times). There is also a fresco about a triumphal cart, which is the symbol of the church and which is pulled by the badges of the four evangelists. The main altar was painted by Lipót Kupelweiser from Vienna in 1857. It depicts the Ascension of Virgin Mary. At the pillars of the triumphal arch there are two statues: St Stephen and St Ladislaus. The relief under Stephen depicts: Asztrik brings the crown to Stephen. The other relief under Ladislaus depicts: the foundation of the Chapter of Bács-County. The reliefs of the pedestal were carved by Miklós Izsó in 1864. The pulpit was made in 1752 in baroque style. At the top of it there is Jesus Christ. Around him the 4 evangelists can be seen and next to them there are their symbols (angle, lion, horn and eagle). The stained glass windows were made by Imre Zsellér and depict Hungarian saints: St Stephen with his coronation, St Ladislaus who brings water to the ground from rocks, St Margaret, St Elizabeth who gives alms to the poor people, St Imre, St Gellért who preaches the word of God, St John Kapisztrán who leads the Hungarian army against the Turkish troops and also can be seen St Adalbert who christened Stephen. One of the ornaments of the Cathedral is the organ which was built by the Angster Company from Pécs between 1876-1877. Even Ferenc Liszt played this organ. It has got 4668 pipes, 64 variations and 1 pedal. There are side-altars, too. Aching Virgin’s altar with the body of a martyr, called St Pius. The body was taken to Kalocsa by Gábor Patachich’s order from Roman catacombs on 11 July, 1741. Next to the altar is the Guardian Angel’s who takes a child under his/her wing because that little creature is fighting against snakes. There are also St Ferenc of Assis as well as St Peter’s and Paul’s altars. The last two altars show St John of Nepomuk who kept the confessions in secret in front of the Czech king and Stephen I. can be seen when he educates his son. To the rear of the Cathedral there is the Archbishop’s Treasury. The archbishop's treasury of the rich Middle Ages was destroyed at the same time as the church. As it is true in general concerning the relics of the Hungarian art, it is valid in this case too: the catastrophes of history unsparingly annihilated our finest valuables. After the Turks were expelled from Hungary the Baroque style art regenerates the country, this in Kalocsa as well. Therefore the bulk of the articles displayed are the product of the 18th and 19th century and only a very few works of art are from earlier times, as messengers of the former riches of the Hungarian Middle Ages and the Renaissance era.
This is the first occasion that the Treasury is shown in such complexity. For this reason grateful acknowledgements are due to the archbishop Dr. László Dankó who made setting up this exhibition possible and special thanks to the City Council of Kalocsa for getting financial resources available for the arrangement of this exhibition. The liturgical meaning of the exhibited articles. Altar cruets with plate: wine and water used on the occasions of holy masses are kept in these. Usually a letter indicates the contents of the altar-cruets, „A” for aqua and „V” for vinum. The altar-cruets are put on a plate which is used for washing hands. Ciborium: a chalice of communion for holding the consecrated wafers of the Eucharist which after the mass is put into the tabernacle. It is made of gold, silver, tin or copper, from the inside it is gold plated and has a cover.
Dalmatic: a short, loose-sleeved over garment open on both sides, worn by the deacon. At mass it is the symbol of joy, therefore it is not worn during periods of penance. Reliquary: (reliquarium) an adorned piece of work made out of valuable metals by a goldsmith for holding relics in connection with Christ, and respectively left over by the saints. Thurible and incense-boat: (thuribulum and navicula) the thurible is a covered container hanging from chains to hold the fire into which incense is thrown from the boat-shaped incense-boat with a small spoon. Incensation is the sign of worship, prayer and reverence. Candlestick: a holder for a candle or candles to ensure its use which has a symbolic meaning in the liturgy. It means Christ, symbolizes the believers, faith and the perpetual light. Ring: a pontifical ornament generally set with jewels which is on one hand the sign of faith and on the other hand indicates the inner unity and love linking the prelate with the diocese. Chalice and paten: the most sacred instruments of the Eucharist in which the priest changes the wine into Christ’s blood and the host into Christ’s body. Their liturgical role determines the material they are made of, their artistic implementation and the applied representation. Cross and crusifix: being the instrument of redemption it is the ancient emblem of Christianity. A crucifix is a symbolic representation of the cross upon which Jesus was crucified. Already in the most ancient times it meant one with the biblical tree of life. Pectoral cross: (pectorale) a pontifical ornament worn hanging on a chain. Often it served as a reliquary.
Chasuble: (casula) a priestly garment worn when showing the sacrament of Eucharist. After the canon of colours was introduced it became suitable for showing the holy times with its regulation colours. Its decoration and artistic implementation was determined by the style of the period.
Oil cruet: serves to hold the three kinds of oils used when serving the means of grace and the sacraments. The catechumen’s oil is used on the occasion of baptism, of ordaining of priests and of the blessing of the altar; the oil of the sick is used at the sacrament of the sick; the chrism, a mixture of oil and balsam, is used for anointing in various church sacraments, such as baptism, consecration of a bishop and is generally used when reserved benedictions are celebrated by the bishop. Vespers-cope: its material, decoration and colours are the same as in the case of the chasuble. It is worn on the occasion of saying offices, procession, giving blessing by the means of grace and burials.
Stole: marking the power of the holy orders it has to be worn at mass, when touching the Eucharist and serving the means of grace and the sacraments. Its material and colours are the same as the chasuble. Monstrance: (monstrantia) it is used on the occasion of the exposition of sacrament, adoration, when blessings are given with the sacrament and the Eucharist is visible. It came into being in the 14th century in connection with the Corpus Christi procession. Being a piace of work made by a goldsmith it follows the style of the big artistic eras.
There was a castle in the 14th century where the present building is now standing. It is a baroque-style monument, which was built in the 1760s. It stands to the north of the Cathedral. In the Palace the most visited premises are the Ceremonial Hall and the Archbishop’s Library. In the Ceremonial Hall there are astronomical gadgets and maps from the Middle Ages. Here can be seen the first certified replica of the Hungarian Holy Crown with the sceptre and the orb. The frescoes in the Ceremonial Hall and on the ceiling of its chapel were done by Franz Anton Maulbertsch in 1783-84.
The Archbishops Library is based on the legacy of archbishop Ádám Patachich. It boasts 150,000 volumes which includes numerous partitives, codices, incunabula and bibles. The language of these books are: Latin, German as well as French and they have both theological and secular themes. Here can be seen one of the Bibles written by Martin Luther and there is also a collection of medals and coins. A rare volume is the oldest Hungarian Bible-translation, called: Vizsolyi Bible from 1540 (translated by Gáspár Károlyi). In the 19th century archbishop Lipót Kolonics ordered the volumes increased and that all books of the priests should be inherited by the Archbishops Library. Behind the Palace there is the Garden of the Archbishopric. It used to belong to the Palace with its valuable and varied plants. One part of it was given to the town as a present by Lajos Haynald. In this part there is an open-air theatre since 1962.
The Great Seminar’s baroque-style building lies to the south of the Holy Trinity Square. It was built between 1757 and 1764. Nowadays it works as the House of Culture of Kalocsa. Opposite the Main Cathedral the tourist can see the building of the Beta Hotel Kalocsa. It was built in the second part of the 18th century in baroque style for the house of the land-steward. Next to the Hotel the Home of the retired priests is working it was built in the 1770s. Every building in the Holy Trinity Square is yellow. It is because they were built during the reign of Maria Theresa and it was the queen’s favourite colour. At Szt. István kir. st. 6 we find the unique Hungarian Paprika Museum. History and importance of paprika, the „red gold”.
There are very few cultivated plants in Hungary which became so popular and indispensable since the time they were first imported. Nowadays it is one of the most characteristics spices of Hungarian cooking. Its fire red colour, its capacity to redden dishes and its hot taste turned it to our national spice and an export article well known all over the world. In autumn, in September the region almost like being on fire from it’s flaming red colour, thousands of acres of paprika ripens, which is rightfully called „red gold” everywhere. Its original home was probably Mexico and Central-America. They imported it to Europe at the same time as tobacco and potatoes. First it has been cultivated in Spain, later in Great-Britain and in the south of France. It was introduced by the Turks to Hungary. Our herbaria from the 16th century mentioned the paprika an „Indian pepper” or „Turkish pepper”. In the beginning it became known as an exotic plant brought from the New World but its ingestion soon became very popular and in the 19th century on it is important as a commercial article, too. The climate and soil of Szeged and Kalocsa are the most well known for producing paprika. Kalocsa as a settlement growing paprika is mentioned for the first time in a document of the Archiepiscopal Arch Eves of Kalocsa, dated 1729. From the middle of the 19th century paprika wasn’t milling in ship-mills or dry mills because mills became operated by vapour gas, oil and electricity. Nowadays paprika is produced using the traditional methods. The exposition of the Paprika Museum shows the preparation and the sale.
The building of 2 Hunyadi st. was built by István Katona, the first historian of Kalocsa, between 1795-1796. Here has been placed the Archives of Archiepiscopal Farming and the Collection of the Fine arts of Kalocsa. Asztrik Square (Asztrik tér) Going to the North-East from the Holy Trinity Square we get to the Asztrik Square. This place has been named after the first archbishop of Kalocsa (look the history part of this text). The building of the Convent is surrounded by horse-chestnuts. Its north side-wing with the church was built in 1860. The second floor was put on in 1913 and since that time it got its romantic shape. József Kunszt archbishop (1851-1866) called from Czech the sisters who had named themselves after Virgin Mary. They founded a school here which included a primary part for girls only, a teacher-training college and a training college for nursery-school teachers. This institute was one of the centres of the Hungarian girls’ boarding schools. After the II. World War in the secularization the buildings worked as a school of music, an agricultural secondary school and a students’ hall of residence for girls only. In 1991 the sisters removed back.
Behind the Convent there used to stand the Archiepiscopal farm-buildings. In the big stable there could have been a maximum of 300 horses. The four-towers building was already standing in 1772. The four-storey Granary is as old as the stable. They are specialities because of their sizes and age. Going to the South from the Holy Trinity Square the visitor can see the statue of Pál Tomori (archbishop and general who died at the battle of Mohács against the Turks in 1526) behind the Prosecutor’s Office of the Town. Next to the statue we find the building of the Teachers’ Training College, founded in 1856 by József Kunszt, which is working now as a secondary school for health workers.
Very significant was the town scape of the building of the Small Seminar (Szt. István kir. st. 12-14) which is connected the House of the Jesuit holy order by the Bridge of Sighs. The Jesuits had a church, a grammar/high school and a college, called Stefaneum, in the enormous building. The grammar school was founded by József Batthyány in 1765. The building complex have been ready by 1869. On the top of this building was founded the 18th observatory in the world. Its first astronomer was Gyula Fényi. The grammar school had a lot of famous scientist teachers and students. Today it is named after St Stephen. At Szt. István kir. st. 25 we find a former school building erected in 1886 which is today the home of the Viski Károly Museum. The institute, named after a local ethnographer, is mainly devoted to portraying the life of the Swabian, Slovak, Serbian and Hungarian people of the region. It also traces the history of Kalocsa’s renowned women folk painters. In addition there is also a specialist coin collection. Some way along Szt. István kir. st. 35 we can see the Town Hall, built in 1912 in eclectic style. Opposite it there is standing the building of the Court of district law. At No. 76 in Szt. István st. there is the Schöffer Miklós Museum, which displays the kinetic mobiles and installations of locally born Nicolas Schöffer (1912-1992), who spent much of his life in Paris. His metallic light tower, called Chronos 8, is standing at the far end of the main street, by the bus station. In the year 1999, a part of the Szt. István kir. st. had been closed away from cars. It became and used it now as a pedestrianized street. At the cross of the Grősz József st. and the Szt. István st. we find the newest statue in the town but indeed it is a fountain. It’s a memorial of the Crown of Hungary. Around it we can see the Maltese cross. Anyway other statues of archbishops are planned to erect along the street: Asztrik, Ugrin Csák, József Batthyány, Ádám Patachich, József Kunszt, Lajos Haynald and József Grősz (archbishop from 1943 to 1961 and was one of the defendants in a show trial after the events of 1956).
Kossuth Lajos street also opens from the Holy Trinity Square to the North-East. We can walk besides buildings from the 19th and 20th century. At No. 14-16 we can see the „House of teachers”, built in 1897, which is a secondary school today. Walking along down the street we reach the enormous building complex of the Hospital of Kalocsa. The hospital was founded by László Kollonits (archbishop from 1787 to 1817). The new hospital opened with 12 beds in 7 June, 1868. It was finally formed in 1948-1957.