Memento Mori

Memento Mori Exhibition

In 1994, during the restoration work of the Dominican church on the main square of Vác, the builders found a walled expiration of the crypt under the church more than 150 years ago. Much to their surprise, they came across an excellently ventilated crypt that has been forgotten over time. The only thing more surprising than this was when the room was excavated and it turned out that the special climate preserved the walled historical period in a unique way. In fact, in 262 colorful, decorated coffins, mostly in good condition, the bodies of the spontaneously mummified citizens of Vác, who died and were buried in the middle third of the 18th century and at the beginning of the 19th century, survived in good condition thanks to the special climate, rested; men, women, children, craftsmen, monks, priests, military officers, officials... Since then, it has been revealed that the material is an international rarity, a treasure of cultural history.

After proper examinations, the excavated material was placed in the Anthropological Library of the Hungarian Natural History Museum. However, part of it can also be viewed in Vác, in the Tragor Ignác Museum, located next to the main square church.

The exhibition space is a patinated medieval cellar. Descending the steep stairs to the cool and deep cellar, the visitor is greeted by a list of Vác citizens identified next to the picture of the contemporary crypt. In the small hall to the left of the expiration, the excavated sacral appendices (crucifixes, rosaries, medals of grace) were presented. In the imposing great hall of the cellar, painted, colorful coffins for adults and children were placed. The depictions and symbols of Christ shown here also refer to the religious worldview of the contemporary man and his relationship to death. In the back of the hall, master tailor György Stefanovics, a middle-aged civil woman not known by name, and a 9-year-old girl, Magdalene Solomon, rest, reconstructed, dressed in a glass coffin in costume based on the original. This gives visitors an insight into the funeral and funeral customs of the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

The exhibition can also be viewed individually, however, with a guided tour you can get to know not only the exhibition, but also the era.

Memento Mori - photo: Zsuzsanna Dérné Laczhegyi

Photo: Zsuzsanna Dérné Lachegyi

Memento Mori Exhibition

Opening Hours

3 November 2022 to 12 March 2023


2600 Vác, March 15th square 19.