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Margitsziget, ruins of a Franciscan Friary

budapest_margitsziget_ferences_001.jpgThe friary was founded by Béla IV. on the Isle of Hares. Out of this medieval monastic complex the façade of the Gothic church and the vestiges of one sidewall can still be seen today. The stones of the friary that had been destructed during the years of the Turkish occupation were utilized for the construction of the palatine’s villa being built round the year 1796. Later this house became an important literary life centre of the nineteenth-century Budapest.

The convent was founded by Béla IV. presumably after the Tartar invasion ended. The king madebudapest_margitsziget_ferences_002.jpg important donations to the order in other cities as well, (Esztergom) but his death put an end to the prosperity and development of the Franciscan house on the Isle of Hares, mainly because of the expansion of the Dominican nunnery.

budapest_margitsziget_ferences_003.jpgThe parts of the medieval building that can be seen still today are the vestiges of the Gothic facade and of a side wall of the church. The conservation of these parts were favoured by the fact that the remaining part of the convent, destroyed during the years of the Turkish occupation, were built in the villa of the Palatine being under construction in 1796. Later this building started to function as a hotel and became an important literary life centre of the nineteenth-century Budapest. The ruins of the building were pulled down after 1945 and smaller archaeological excavations were initiated. It was in this period that further fragments of the original complex were found: the graveyard of the monastery and the churchyard chapel.
 
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