The Cistercian Abbey of Zirc has been through a lot over the past 800 years. It was left without residents on several occasions, and survived a plague epidemic, the Mongol invasion and the Turks.

The original, Romanesque building, which was erected in the 12th century, is hardly visible anymore. After the battle of Mohács, the village of Zirc became uninhabited, and wasn't repopulated until one and a half centuries later: the dilapidated abbey was salvaged and renovated in 1732 when a group of monks moved in from Silesia. The church has been regarded as one of the pretties baroque buildings in Hungary ever since, and it’s home to the religious community to this day.

Tip: Make sure you check out not only the medieval ruins, but also the Historic Cistercian Library, which houses 18th century volumes, and the ancient trees of the Arboretum.

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