Visitors arriving in Kalocsa will first catch sight of the twin towers belonging to the cathedral of the millennium old archiepiscopal town. Kalocsa is almost as old as the Hungarian history, it has been an archiepiscopal see since the establishment of the former Hungarian Kingdom, as well as a significant centre of the Hungarian Catholic Church. The present-day cathedral is the fourth one built at the same location and its first archbishop was Abbot Asztrik who had brought the crown for King Saint Stephen.
A typical baroque church presents itself to our view. Light colours, such as white, pink and gold are dominating the interior of the building. The main altar-piece praises the work by Viennese painter Leopold Kuppelwieser and it represents the Assumption (1854). The painting won a prize at the Paris World Exhibition.
The monumental organ was manufactured in the noted Angster factory, and it was first played by Francz Liszt. It has been reconstructed several times since that time (nowadays it has got 4668 pipes, 64 organ-stops, 3 manuals and 1 pedal). This magnificent instrument fascinates thousands of tourists with its unique sound.
The Archiepiscopal Treasury was opened in the northern part of the cathedral chapel in 1988 in order to present the collection of religious jewels located in the diocese. Visitors can view this exhibition at 2 Hunyadi János Street at present. In addition to the treasures, numerous medieval rarities can be found here, such as the wooden statue of John the Baptist, or the gilded herm of Saint Stephen which is ornamented with gems. The red marble ’Kalocsa King’s head’ is also a well-known piece of the collection. Besides these, several other curios can be seen here from the Middle Ages.
The medieval prebendal and archiepiscopal private collections formed the basis of the present-day library. Numerous codices and incunabula have been accumulated here. The members of the chapter tried to rescue the books during the Turkish invasion, however, a lot of them vanished without trace, only two incunabula were recovered and replaced.
The present-day library was established thanks to the efforts made by Adam Patachich. He was the Archbishop who left his private collection of approximately 19,000 volumes to the diocese. Thus the Archiepiscopal Library could be opened. The archbishops of Kalocsa were keen on enriching the collection which can boast with about 130,000 volumes nowadays. Among them you can find the Scriptures, psalters, collections of ecclesiastic preaches, as well as medical, legal and astronomical works.