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(HUNGARY) The cross sitting on top of Hungary’s largest church has been hiding a 176-year-old time capsule that was only recovered during renovation work this year #AceHistoryDesk report

#AceHistoryReport – Apr.17: The sealed copper canister was found inside the cross on the 100-metre dome, the highest in Hungary, which survived being bombed during World War II:

‘176-year-old time capsule found inside cross on top of Hungary’s Esztergom Cathedral was discovered in January, but its contents, including documents relating to the building of the cathedral, were only made public on Thursday’

Video: https://twitter.com/Reuters/status/1382936799597707264?s=20

Posted 7h ago

Paper items from the time capsule laid out on a table.
The contents of the cylindrical capsule were largely undamaged.(Reuters: Bernadett Szabo)

The container was found to be badly damaged by shrapnel.

However, historians discovered documents in near-perfect condition when it was opened.

Csaba Torok, director of the Cathedral’s Treasury, said the papers gave a rare glimpse of the period when the church was built, from 1822 onwards.

The cylindrical capsule was placed inside the cross in 1845 by Archbishop Jozsef Kopacsy and chief architect Jozsef Hild, who took over after his predecessor was murdered.

A large cathedral on a hill.
Construction on the Esztergom Cathedral started in 1822.(Reuters: Bernadett Szabo)

“Archbishop Kopacsy knew he would not be able to complete the construction in his lifetime, so when the cross was finished he wanted to leave inside an imprint of the memory of the builders and of that era,” Mr Torok said.

The documents depict milestones in the construction and include the names of clergymen and parishes.

“These were last touched by human hands when they were placed there 176 years ago, so somehow we felt a sudden connection in time,” Mr Torok said.

“Unfortunately, we did not find any coins from the period in the capsule, so there was nothing to help pay for the renovation.”

Black cursive writing on a white paper.
Documents containing milestones in the construction and a book with names of clergymen and parishes were found inside.(Reuters: Bernadett Szabo)

The Catholic cathedral was built on Castle Hill, where a church was first founded more than 1,000 years ago.

Its iron dome was built in the Austrian capital Vienna and carried in sections down the Danube on barges.

For its consecration in 1856, Hungarian composer and pianist Franz Liszt composed a mass. But the cathedral was still not finished, with the main portico and interior only completed later in the 19th century.

A new time capsule might be placed in the cross for future generations, but its copper cover will be sealed on June 30, so they will have to move quickly, Mr Torok said.

Reuters

#AceHistoryDesk report ……….Published: Apr.17: 2021:

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