Showing posts with label Szatmár. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Szatmár. Show all posts

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Medieval seal matrix of Nagybánya stolen

After some good news reported yesterday, today I have something sad to write on. As reported by Hungarian and Romanian press alike, the seal matrix of the town of Nagybánya has gone missing some time in late July. (Nagybánya was known as Asszonypataka or  Neustadt in the Middle Ages, and was one of the most important mining towns in Szatmár county. The town is today called Baia Mare, and is the seat of Maramures county of Romania). The seal matrix was stolen from a glass showcase in the County Historical and Archaeological Museum of Maramures County. The theft was announced on August 2nd.

The octagonal silver seal matrix of Nagybánya is one of the celebrated miniature masterpieces of 14th century Hungarian goldsmith work. It can be dated to the 1360s, and was probably made in a royal workshop. King Louis the Great (1342-1382) has given several privileges to the emerging mining town, and supported construction of its great parish church, dedicated to St. Stephen. The seal shows a seated king atop a hill - likely St. Stephen, with two miners working below. The inscription on the perimeter reads: S[igilium] d[e] R[ivulo] D[ominarum], Mutuus amor civiu[m] optimu[m] e[st] civitatis firmamentu[m] (roughly: 'The mutual love of citizens is the best foundation of the city').

The original seal matrix and a modern cast on display at Baia Mare

After missing for centuries, the seal matrix was found in a vineyard in 1904. It was put on display in the history museum in 2004. Hopefully it will be recovered soon.

Read more: news report in Romanian and in Hungarian.

Most recent overview of the medieval architecture and sculpture of Nagybánya - in particular an overview of the church of St. Stephen - is available in a new volume about medieval Szatmár county, available in full text in Hungarian and Romanian. Look for the studies of Szilárd Papp and Veronika Csikós. 

Saturday, June 04, 2011

The Route of Medieval Churches in Szatmár county

Csengersima,  parish church 
A major research project, aimed at surveying and documenting the churches of medieval Szatmár country, was completed last week, and its results are now largely available on the web. As the territory of medieval Szatmár country is today divided between Romania and Hungary, the research project was a joint Hungarian-Romanian one, funded by the EU. The project documented a large number of medieval churches, including some only known from excavations. The area preserved some important medieval buildings, such as the Romanesque basilica of Ákos (Acâş), but most surviving buildings are small medieval parish churches.

The project consists of the following main elements: Mapping out a thematic route of medieval churches in the Hungarian-Romanian border area (in historic Szatmár county), which is the first common thematic route of Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg and Satu Mare counties. This route is supported by very useful and informative material: maps, brochures and on-site information. The route includes 30 medieval churches - 20 of them located in the Hungarian county of Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg, while another 10 in the Romanian country of Satu Mare. 

A brand new website was also developed, which contains all the necessary information about the route and the churches. This website is available in Hungarian, Romanian and English versions. English readers should maybe start on this page. The website - even though the English-language texts are only summaries of the Hungarian versions - provides ample information in English on the medieval buildings of the region, and is thus highly recommended.
Csenger, parish church 

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Conference on medieval ecclesiastical architecture in Transylvania

The monastery church of Ákos (Acâş),
the most important Romanesque monument
 of Szatmár County
This coming weekend, on October 8-10, 2010, an international conference will be dedicated to medieval ecclesiastical architecture in Transylvania. Jointly organized by the County Museum of Satu Mare (Romania) and the Museums of Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg County (Hungary), the conference will be held at Szatmárnémeti (Satu Mare). Speakers will include noted archaeologists, art and architectural historians both from Romania and Hungary. Topics include mainly Romanesque and Gothic church buildings and medieval wall-paintings. I uploaded the program of the conference, you can read it by following this link.

The present conference is the 7th in a series started in 1997. This long tradition and the international nature of the conference makes it one of the most important forums to present new research on medieval art in Transylvania. Another important factor is that the conference papers are published in bilingual (sometimes tri-lingual) publications. So far, four volumes have been published, and volume V is currently in preparation.

You can reach these books, and many other publications of the County Museum of Satu Mare on a website they dedicated to monuments of the county.

Here are the direct links to the individual volumes:
Volume II (2002)
Volume III (2004)
Volume IV (2007)
(Volume I is not available on the website, but you can find the contents of it in the database of the Regesta Imperii Opac).

Finally, if you would like to know more about the monastery church of Ákos (pictured above), visit the database of architectural monuments on the same website. All information is available in English, Hungarian and Romanian.