Cardinal's hat, a Galero, belonging to the Archbishop of Eger, József Samassa (1873-1912), the only cardinal to hold the Eger seat..
250 years of the Bishops and Archbishops of Eger doesn't seem the most alluring theme for an exhibition, and I very much doubt whether it is on many visitors' itineraries for their visit to Eger.
Don't be put off by the title, however; I had my reservations when I first decided to visit the museum but was pleasantly surprised. It really is quite fascinating and many of the items on display are a joy to behold.
Mass vestments - these beautiful garments were used from 1687 to 1799
The exhibition covers the time period between 1687, when the Turks were expelled from Eger, to 1943 - I am not sure as to why they chose this date as a cut off point.
Four bishops and 7 archbishops (Eger became an archdiocese in 1801) occupied one of the highest Church appointments in Hungary over the course of 250 years.
The museum concentrates predominantly on the former, as It was they who contributed most to the development and cultural regeneration of Eger following the 90 year Ottoman occupation
Eszterházy Károly (1725-1799) The bishop who perhaps did most to develop Eger during the eighteenth century
István Telekessy, Erdődy Gábor, Ferenc Barkóczy and Károly Eszterházy occupied the bishop`s seat during the eighteenth century, when the Baroque style was increasingly adopted in Hungary.
As well as holding one of the most important ecclesiastical positions in Hungary, these four were also wealthy and influential members of the aristocracy. This money and power was utilised by them in turning around Eger`s fortunes after 91 years of Ottoman occupation.
This opulence is plain to see among the exhibits on display here.
Mass vestments and liturgical finery, chalices, reliquaries, candlesticks and other treasures fill the display cases, reflecting the power and standing of the diocese.
Among the other exhibits are beautiful liturgical books and, most significantly, the robe worn by Maria Theresa at her Hungarian Coronation in 1741.
This coronation robe was a personal gift to Bishop of Eger, Erdődy Gábor from the Empress herself.
Maria Theresa`s Coronation in 1741- the robe she wore is the jewel of the Eger Ecclesiastical Museum
Unfortunately, the labeling of the exhibits is only in Hungarian and the very kind staff who show you around only speak a smattering of English, however, there is a very good guide book in Hungarian, German and English.
I would recommend that you buy this (it costs about 800 forints - as of April 2014) BEFORE you go around as it will add to your enjoyment immensely.