History of the Collection

To Function as a museum, library, and archives,-The Cultural Ministry authorized the ecclesiastical history and sacred arts collection in the Roman Catholic vicarage since 1967. The foundation of the collection are the artworks and books of the local church. As the result of a continous collecting work the house developed with the unused liturgic accessories of the Zemplén-Abaúj parishes, old books and documents and ecclesiastical bequests. In the earlier times people could see some parts of our collection in temporary exhibitions in the cultural houses of Baja, Budapest, Eger, Miskolc, Sajólád, Sajószentpéter and Sátoraljaújhely or at the southern gateway of the catholic church of Sárospatak. Since 1995 the neighbouring Picture Gallery gives place to the exhibition „The Adornment of the House„ which is also part of our collection. Nowadays the collection held in the parsonages of Bodrogolaszi, Girincs, Köröm, Megyaszó, Sajólád and Sárospatak found its place in the Saint Elisabeth House , - the former secondary school also returned to the property of the catholic church.

Sárospatak and its region always played an important part in the history of our country and church. As a őprincess domain and the birthplace of Saint Elisabeth it gave settlement for Black Friars, Franciscans, Paulites and Premonstratensians. . As the centre of the Rákóczi family domain it also gave place to Jesuits and Trinitarians. László Szalkay, the later archbishop of Esztergom also studied in its plebanic school. The fame of Sárospatak is undiminished as a schooltown since then. In the middle of the 20th century the nuns and many other religious societies make the spiritual life of our town colourful. The main goal of the Roman Catholic Ecclesiastic Collection is to unfold, cultivate, protect and display this valuable heritage.

The catholic church and the parsonage of Sárospatak are among the oldest buildings of our town. Their history strictly connected to the eventful history of the castle and the town. Within and even in tis walls a rich inheritance accumulated during the centuries thanks to the noble patrons and offerings of the congregation. Only the most spectacular finds could be displayed in the exhibition of the newly renovated church from the objects found in the 1963 excavations and wallworks. The gravestone and building fragments called for a lapidarium replacement. A cellar stone exhibition and a courtyard lapidarium was realised in 2012 to give place to all the scripted stones and fragments. The wealth of the region Hegyalja also appeared in affluent church interiors in Sátoraljaújhely, Szerencs, Tarcal, and Tállya in the 18th century as it was more or less saved from the turks. Baroque statues found in loft of the Szerencs church are among the greatest artworks of the Hungarian baroque period. The trinitarian main altar crucifix of Sárospatak adrifted in the attic of the nearby Hercegkút church. This high art also affected the surrounded settlements and their region.

The Saint Ladislaus statue of the Tállya church made in 1775, the crucifix of Mád, the portable Maria statue from Szerencs are all irreplaceable treasures of the provincial baroque and folk art. Furthermore invaluable paintings are the crucification of Christ in Sárospatak, a bleeding Mary devotional picture copy from the XVIIth century, and the baroque paintings of the Social Mission Society Cloister of Szikszó.

The painted bookshelf and Holy Cross tabernacle both works by Jesuit brothers. It is also an original memory,- a painted Bethlehem star from Miskolc. The chalice decorated with enamel pictures from the Trinitarians of Sárospatak is also a distinguished piece of art. The inheritance of the couple László Harangi and Vilma Boros are also important records as well as the paintings, documents and the library of István Demeter, roman catholic priest.


Kuklay Antal ret. collection director

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