Hungarian National Gallery English

Current exhibitions

Books, manuscripts, documents

The certificates and prints in this room are the documents of some great moments from the history of Hungarian culture and statehood. In the first show-case next to the entrance the earliest records of our determining laws can be seen. The compendium of laws and regulations, compiled by the prince of Transylvania, which is the decree of the Torda national assembly from 1568 about the equality of religious denominations, is of outstanding significance, as it was the first law of such content in Europe. At the Transylvanian national assembly the language of the jurisdiction was Hungarian and this body of law, compiled 100 years later, was also written in Hungarian.
In the second show-case the first Hungarian language New Testament translation can be seen. The translation by János Sylvester was published in 1541 in the printing press of Tamás Nádasdy, who was a royal officer in charge of justice, in Sárvár-Újsziget. The book of Ferenc Dávid is the establishment of the Unitarian religion, characteristic in Transylvania. Cardinal Péter Pázmány of Esztergom, from 1616, is the greatest figure of the Hungarian Catholic renewal. His works written in oratorical Hungarian language are epoch-making works of Catholic theological polemic literature.
In the opposite show-cases the peace treaties and national assembly decrees from the 17th and 18th centuries are on display. Especially important is the regal decree opposite the entrance about Transylvania being raised to the rank of Grand Duchy. This regulation of Maria Theresa's determined the coat of arms of Transylvania, in which the eagle or the turul (ancient Hungarian bird symbol) symbolises the Hungarian, the sun and the moon the székely (Magyar of Eastern Transylvania) and the seven bastions or castles the Transylvanian Saxon nation. In another interpretation the seven castles refer to the land itself, to its German name: Siebenbürgen.
In one of the show-cases of the short wall, next to the entrance, there are the manuscripts and the earliest publications of our two great national pieces of poetry and their music. Next to it the laws of the 1848 revolution founding the basis of the civil Hungary and the original copies of the Reconciliation (the Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867) made 20 years after the revolution can be seen. On the opposite short wall the 20th century copy of the Holy Crown and the only signed copy of the constitution of 1949 prepared on Soviet basis are to be seen. Its text, which was modified several times, was replaced by the new constitution come into force on 1st January 2012.