Entrance to Parliament

Entrance to Parliament

Beyond the imposing staircase is the central rotunda, which houses the crown and symbols of the Hungarian monarchy. The crown (which cannot be photographed) is one of the oldest symbols of state in Europe. The rotunda is surrounded at ceiling level by statues of all the Hungarian rulers going back to Árpád (c. 840 – c. 907 who first united the Hungarian tribes. He was succeeded by Zoltán, which remains a very popular male name in Hungary. Another extremely important ruler of Hungary was Stephen I, the first King and Christian monarch, who was crowned in 1000 and ruled for 38 years and repelled the Holy Roman Emperor. Like most Christian rulers, he enforced Christianity with military might. Stephen was canonized by Pope Gregory VII in 108e and is now Hungary’s most popular saint (feast day Aug. 20 is a national holiday).

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About pcooperwhite

Christiane Brooks Johnson Professor of Psychology and Religion, Union Theological Seminary, New York NY
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