The paper offers a brief survey of the excavations and conservation of the ruins of the medieval provostal church of SzEkesfehErv·r, that took place between 1936 and 1938, in connection with the 900th anniversary of the death of King Saint Stephen I of Hungary, celebrated with large-scale programs in 1938 (the King was the founder of the provostship, which became the place of coronation of the medieval rulers of Hungary, and at the same time the burial-place of Saint Stephen and many of his successors). In this process the art historian Tibor Gerevich, leader of the National Office for the Protection of Historic Monuments played an important role. The building of the so called mausoleum, where the marble sarcophagus from the 11th century, considered as the monument of Saint Stephen was placed in the centre, and a semicircular-arched gallery for the purpose of a lapidary were built on the border of the excavated territory. The buildings were designed by the young architect Géza Lux, in a modest, elegant style referring to the brickwork of some Italian Romanesque churches. The ensemble is an important part of the history of monument protection in Hungary, and at the same time it offers the highest level of the official state architecture of its age.
In the course of the archaeological investigation the burial chapel of the Angevin dinasty in Székesfehérvár, on the south side of the Provostry church could be identified. The chapel dedicated to St. Catherine was founded about 1370. The red marble tombs of King Louis the Great and of his daughter Catherine were localized on the basis of their fragments. The marble fragments have contributed also to the knowledge of the monuments, and are treated here mainly from the point of view of the costume as well as of their place in the history of 14th century sculpture.
In this survey of the most important exhibitions of art historical interest the following exhibitions and (if published, also with the indication of their texts or summaries in an other language then Hungarian) their catalogues are reviewed. History and its Images, the Relationships between Past and Art in Hungary – Hungarian National Gallery/Budapest Images of Hungarian History – Historical Gallery of the Hungarian National Museum/Budapest Medieval History in the Mirror of Seals. Medieval Seals of Esztergom – Cathedral Treasury/Esztergom Cult and Relics of Hungarian Saints – Christian Museum/Esztergom The Center of Europe around 1000 (an international exhibition) – Hungarian National Museum/Budapest „Basilica grandis et famosa‘ The Provostry Church of the Holy Virgin (stone carvings of the medieval royal Provostry of Székesfehárvár) – Museum of King St. Stephan/Székesfehárvár Three Codexes (the Csatár-Admont Bible, the Hungarian Angevin Legendary and the Psalter of Bishop Urban Nagylucsei) – Széchényi National Library/Budapest The Centuries of the Royal Palace in Buda – Historical Museum of Budapest/Budapest The House of the Nation, Parliament Plans for Buda-Pest, 1784–1884 – Museum of Fine Arts/Budapest Guardians of Hungay's Heritage. József Könyöky's and Viktor Myskovszky's evaluations of historic monuments (late 19th century) – National Office for Historical Monuments/Budapest Treasures of the Applied Arts in Hungary – An hommage to the donors – Museum of Applied Arts/Budapest Intuition, Innovation, Invention. Scientific and technical discoveries, artistic innovations from Hungary – Exhibitions Hall/Budapest Images of Time – Museum of Ethnography/ Budapest
The line from Bonfini's Decades used as a motto emphasizes the triumphal meaning of using marble, bronze and inscription together. For using red marble (replacing porphyry) there had been a tradition in Hungary since the late 12th century, when the Porta speciosa of the Esztergom Cathedral was built. The Bakócz Chapel of the same cathedral stands, as for the red marble, in the same tradition, but its inscription, executed in inlayed capital letters in guilt bronze, corresponds to another tradition too. Bronze letters represent a tradition of Antiquity which was kept by early (Salerno, San Vincenzo in Volturno, Corvey) and later (Bari, St-Denis, Westminster Abbey) mediaeval monuments, mainly in Italy. This tradition in Italy seems to have been the main source for the epigraphic style of the Esztergom Chapel.
Among the ruins of the medieval Benedictine monastery of Kács an inscribed tombstone was found in 1882. Together with other stone carvings, it went into canon of Eger Gyula Bartalos’s possession, then from his estate into the lapidary of the Liceum of Eger, and finally to the Castle Museum of Eger.