architecture : urban : visual culture

Perspectives of Faith

As a pilgrimage site for the Greek Orthodox community, Máriapócs is a place where people go for encountering the divine. The buildings by Ferenc Salamin and Pál Salamin provide for this sacred experience, without eliminating or shutting out the everyday life of the surrounding square. 

The situation after getting rid of the Turkish rule made it possible to create the iconostasis presenting God’s Mother, the Virgin Mary in a tiny village in the Nyírség region, which was then called Pócs. It was painted by László Csigri to show his gratefulness after being freed from captivity. On November 4th, 1696 the painting started to shed tears, and the miracle repeated itself several times in that year.

Máriapócs has evolved into the largest pilgrimage site of Saint Mary in Hungary for the Greek Orthodox community. The modernization of the surroundings of the pilgrims’ site had been completed by the end of 2016. The rural character of the square in front of the church has been transformed into that of a town as a result of the spatial walls of the buildings completed now.

The last members of this group of structures, Családvár (Family Castle) and Immanuel House round off the spatial row embracing the square: they continue the spatial wall of the pilgrims’ house on its western site and close it down to the south. This is also the site where the market hall building is going to be built later on to join the present-day parapet wall of Immannuel House.

Bálint Botzheim


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