› Eger Castle Baptistery
› Eger Castle Baptistery

The Baptistery                                              

Last resting place of Saint Buldus?

It was King István, the first Christian king of the Magyar tribes, who established Eger as one of the ten bishoprics of Hungary in 1001.

Local legend has it that he oversaw the construction of the first church form a small hill to the south of here.

This may well have been the case, but it is unlikely he stayed until it was finished; the church is recorded as taking 8 years to build (1001-1009).

The first church was built primarily of wood and in 1241, with the coming of the Huns, the building and the castle that protected it was destroyed.

eger baptister

The tomb that is said to have been the burial place of Saint Buldus

1248 saw construction begin on a new church, one made of stone and it is from this building that the Baptistery remains.

The Baptistery (or Rotunda) is next to the 'Sötét Kapu' ('Dark Gate') which leads into the Casemates. Not much remains of the walls, except for the southern arch and a small part of the northern arch but it is the tomb which is of greatest interest.

The Baptistery, the oldest part of the castle unearthed so far, is not much to look at being just seven metres in diameter and, quite frankly, uninspiring; its significance, however, does not lie in its aesthetic qualities but in what it holds, or rather, is purported to have held.

eger baptistery

Just seven metres in diameter, the Baptistery is the oldest part of the Castle compound to survive

Due to the position of the grave and the artifacts contained within, it has been speculated that this tomb was that of Bishop Buldus (Bűd), the third Bishop of Eger. He held this position for ten years until his untimely death in 1047.

If you have visited Budapest, then you will most likely have seen Gellért Hill named after the Bishop who was rolled down the hillside in a barrel and met his death in the Danube.

Gellert Hill Budapest

Bishop Buldus met his death on Gellért Hill

On that unfortunate day, the Bishop of Eger was with Gellért and also met his maker, but rather than being drowned the pagan crowd stoned him to death.

For his sacrifice, Buldus was canonised as was Gellért.

The full story is written in English on a plaque next to the grave

Nobody knows for certain if the owner of the grave was Buldus just as they don't know where the body was taken or why; however, it is now taken as read that this is the the bishop's tomb.

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