The Virgin Mary Church

Széll Kálmán tér 9, 9970 Szentgotthárd ( Map )

Description

The Virgin Mary Church (Nagyboldogasszony templom) was built in Baroque style between 1748 and 1779 on the basis of the plans by Franz Anton Pilgram. The bearing of the church was laid only on 14th August 1748 but the construction was moved on so fast that before the end of the renovation, on the occasion of the hundredth anniversary of the Battle at Szentgotthárd, the church could have been consecrated by Alberik Fritz, successor of Robert Leeb who had died meanwhile. The inscription on the traceried façade of the church states that the construction was started by abbot Robert Leeb and finished by his successor Abbot Alberik. János Szily, the first bishop of Szombathely, accomplished the consecration on 16th March 1779. The wrought iron gate was prepared in 1791. From the murals of the church emerges the artwork about the victory of Szentgotthárd above Turkish, painted by Stefan Dorfmeister (1725-1797) who mainly worked in Hungary. As a Cistercian custom, the church's painting of the high altar illustrates the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The painter of the main altar and all the other altars was Matthias Gusner (1694-1772). The statues of the church are creations of Joseph Schnitzer (1707-1769), a Cistercian sculptor. The first organ of the church was built in 1764 in the workshop of organ builder Ferdinand Schwartz. In 1987, a new mechanism was built into the nice baroque organ by the Aquincum organ factory in Budapest.The artistically carved pulpit deserves special attention. The highly ornamented singing-gallery with twenty seats, the benches and the sacristy's dressing cupboards had been carved by Kaspar Schrezenmayer (1693-1782), a lay brother. The biggest bell in West-Hungary, which is almost 40 quintal, can be found in the tower of the church.