View Full Version : The Hungarian Holy Crown (Szent Korona)

07-21-2009, 09:28 AM
The Holy Crown of Hungary and the Coronation Regalia

-The Hungarian Coronation Regalia-

Perhaps the most recognized medieval object from Hungary is the Holy Crown of Hungary, commonly known as the Crown of Saint Stephen. King Saint Stephen, the first Hungarian king received a crown from the pope in the year 1000. The surviving crown dates from later in the 11th century, but throughout ther Middle Ages it was regarded as the Crown of Saint Stephen.

The Crown consists of two pieces. The lower part is a Byzantine crown (corona Graeca), dating from the 1070s. Its enamel medalions indicate that it was a gift of Emperor Michael Doukas to the Byzantine princess Synadene, wife of the Hungarian King Géza I (1074-75). The upper part is cross-shaped, and originally probably had some other function. From its Latin inscriptions it is known as the Corona Latina. The two parts were joined into the present shape probably around 1200, at the time of King Béla III.

In a unique case in Europe, almost the entire medieval ensemble of coronation insignia survived. On January 1st, 2000, the Holy Crown of Hungary was moved to the building of the Hungarian Parliament from the Hungarian National Museum. The spectre, orb and the coronation sword moved to Parliament as well, but the Coronation Mantle remains at the National Museum. Thus the units of this complete ensemble have unfortunately been separated. (For a report, see http://www.ce-review.org/00/1/nemes1.html)

Images of the crown




Apart from the Crown, the ensemble also includes the following objects:

The Coronation Sceptre, an 11th century object, which includes a 10th century rock crystal.


The Coronation orb, the simplest part of the ensemble, a fourteenth-century replacement of the original orb.


The Coronation mantle, dating from 1031.


The Coronation sword, a 16th century replacement of the original sword.


Additional websites

-An illustrated overview of the Hungarian Coronation insignia (http://www.magyarkepek.hu/szelenyi/index.html), featured on the homepage of Bildarchiv Foto Marburg. With photographs by Károly Szelényi. (Seems to have been removed from the Marburg Site - But available on Magyarkepek.hu (http://www.magyarkepek.hu/szelenyi/index.html)). Essential resource!

-Hungarian National Museum – The Coronation Mantle (http://www.hnm.hu/en/kiall/kia_allando5.html)

-Wikipedia article (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holy_Crown_of_Hungary)

-Overview of regalia and related objects (A Thousand Year of Christianity in Hungary exhibition website)

-Excerpts from the history of the crown (http://www.hungarianquarterly.com/no158/032.shtml)

-Helene Kottaner's eyewitness account about the theft of crown in 1440 - overview (http://home.infionline.net/~ddisse/kottanne.html) in English, full text in Hungarian (http://magtar.atw.hu/cikkek/forras/kotanner.htm).

Select bibliography

Tóth, Endre - Szelényi, Károly.The Holy Crown of Hungary - Kings and Coronations. Budapest: Kossuth, 1999. - This beautiful illustrated book is also available in German and Hungarian.

Éva Kovács - Zsuzsa Lovag,The Hungarian Crown and Other Regalia, Budapest: Corvina, 1980, 1988.

Insignia Regni Hungariae I. Studien zur Machtsymbolik des mittelalterlichen Ungarns. Budapest, 1983.

Deér, József, Die Heilige Krone Ungarns, Wien, 1966.

Éva Kovács, "Casula Sancti Stephani Regis," Acta Historiae Artium V (1958), 181-221.

Kelleher, P.J., The Holy Crown of Hungary, Rome, 1951.

Révay, Péter. De Sacrae Coronae Regni Hungariae ortu, virtute, vicoria, fortuna, annos ultra DC clarissima brevis Commentarius Petri de Revva comitis comitatus de Turocz. Augusta Vindelicorum, 1613.

The memoirs of Helene Kottanner (1439-1440), translated from the German with introduction, interpretative essay and notes / Maya Bijvoet Williamson., Cambridge [England]; Rochester, NY: D.S. Brewer, 1998. - Describes the theft of the crown in 1440.


07-21-2009, 09:35 AM
I saw that when I was in Budapest. :)

07-21-2009, 09:43 AM
I saw that when I was in Budapest. :)

You saw it when it was still in the Museum or after it was transferred to the Parliament?

07-21-2009, 09:59 AM
You saw it when it was still in the Museum or after it was transferred to the Parliament?

In the museum. I was there in 2000.

Horka Ozul
11-11-2009, 04:54 PM
I am not aware that in current times there is another crown in Europe that has such a strong impact on a nation that this crown. It is not just a royal crown, it is the symbol of united and free Hungary. When it was in the possession of the Hapsburgs in the 15th century, our greatest king, Mathias Corvinus, payed one of the biggest rewards in Medieval history, just to justify that Hungary is truly a united and independent super power of Europe. Many self-aware hungarians consider the Holy Crown as the only ruling entity of the hungarians, and since nobody is justified to wear it, since the royal lineage which was destined to to wear it has diminished (I don't think there is today a member of the Hapsburg family who is worthy to wear it), the Crown itself should be considered as the impersonal ruler of Hungary, and a regent should actually rule over Hungary under the rays and the authority of the Crown, just as Horthy Miklós did between 1920-1944 (not even him haven't dared to crown himself with the Crown, because he didn't considered himself worthy to wear such an overwhelming symbol).

02-25-2018, 02:10 AM

03-30-2018, 02:35 AM