November 30, 2021

Alba Iulia. Saint Michael’s Cathedral

Author(s)/Editor(s): KOVÁCS András

Year published: 1996

Page count: 20

Size: 12 x 19 cm

Languages: Hungarian

ISBN 973-97772-5-2

Publisher: UTILITAS

Sponsors: Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Alba Iulia

Stock availability: On order

Sell Price: 0.00RON

Alba Iulia. Saint Michael’s Cathedral

The Series Historic Buildings in Transylvania, launched in 1993, presents the most precious examples of Transylvanian built heritage connected to the Hungarian culture, with the purpose of drawing the general public's attention on values, heritage and our responsibilities towards these. The publications of this series are recommended especially to those who at present own or use such values, but also to those who are interested in history, architecture and the Transylvanian art.

Number 26 of the Series Historic Buildings in Transylvania presents St. Michael’s Cathedral in Alba Iulia. The first cathedral of the Transylvanian Bishopric, founded according to tradition in 1009, which was a basilica (with a nave and two aisles) with an apse, respectively the rotunda connected to it, are only known from archaeological excavations. The first Maiestas Domini relief, presently to be found in the southern gate’s lunette, belonged to this first church. The present basilica with a nave and two aisles, a transept, side apses and choir was finished around 1241, but at this point it fell victim to the Mongolian invasion. After its reconstruction (when the early Gothic western portal and the polygonal choir were built), in 1277, a fire destroyed it. The western bays of the nave were finished around the 14th century, along with the heightening of the western tower. Two chapels were added to the cathedral, the Lászai Chapel, the first Renaissance building in Transylvania in 1512 and the St. Anne Chapel in 1524. The Baroque sacristy and interior furnishing are the product of the Catholic restoration (as the church was Protestant for a period).