The Gellért Hill above Buda contains a cave system that has become very interesting for visitors. The cave is also referred to as "Saint Ivan's Cave" regarding a hermit who lived there and is believed to have used the natural thermal water of a muddy lake next to the cave to heal the sick. Today, the hill contains a bath called ” Gellért Baths” which contain beneficial mud. The pools inside the bath are believed to use the water from the cave. In the mid-19th century, the cave was the dwelling place of a poor family who used the clay inside the cave to build a small hut. The entrance to the cave was then closed with a piece of wood, and was used by a part of the family as a garden.
In the 20th century monks expanded the cave and created a new entrance to it, a project for which a team of architects was employed. The entrance, as well as the cave, were blessed in 1926, after which the cave was used as a chapel and monastery until 1951, when the cave became a hospital for German soldiers.
After World War Two the cave served its primary function of a chapel and monastery, but only for six years, when the country started to quarrel with the Catholic church. The cave was raided and closed, with the person in charge of it sentenced to death and the monks being forced to serve a 10-year prison sentence. In 1989 the cave was re-opened to serve as a monastery once more, and the monks returned to serve there as well. Today, a small chapel is located inside the cave, and there is also a monastery carved in stone with neo-Gothic domes. The walls inside the castle were carved out without any material being added. A statue of Saint Stephen standing beside his horse is also inside the cave.
This underground world in Budapest is very interesting and worth a visit. Modes of transport which can be used to reach the cave include: the purple 17 tram, the 15 bus line and taxis which cost around €5 depending on where you start your journey.
The cave is open daily from 9:30am to 7:30pm.
Guests of Hotel Gellert do not pay entrance to the church (cave)
while others have to pay € 15.00 per adult and € 10 per child
Author of the article: Ljubiša Đuričić