The Cathedral of Tours Saint Martin

Mukachevo, which is the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese, is divided by the river Latorica into two parts. The roman catholic church was built in the 14-th century. It was consecrated in honour of St. Marton. Probably the church had already existed at the time when queen Elizabeth, in her letter written in Berehovo (1376), allowed Mukachevo to engrave the picture of St. Marton on its seal. Queen Elizabeth often prayed here.

In the 1370s the church was reconstructed. Later, in the age of Hunyadies, it was renovated. During the period of reformation many citizens of Mukachevo accepted the new faith and took possession of the church. In 1660 Zhofia Bathory gave the church, the vicarage and the school back to the catholics.

In 1686 while Ilona Zrinyi was defending her castle, Caprara, the head of the imperial army, burnt down the town as well as the church. By 1725 the catholics had by and large set the building destroyed by the fire to order. In 1746 great transformations were carried out. In 1800 an altar was built for the church by order of the count Ervin Shenborn. The present altar-piece is also his merit. It portrays St. Marton on horseback as he is handing the half of his gown to a beggar. Later Marton finds out that it wasn’t really a beggar, but the Christ himself. The picture was painted in Vienna.

By the end of the 19-th century the nave was brought to such a condition that it had to be pulled down. Only the sanctuary, which was reconstructed into a chapel, remained from the old church. In 1896 on count Shenborn’s initiative the construction of the new church was put forward. The count’s family made a considerable contribution to its building providing half of the sum. The new church was built in 1905 by Marton Wagner, a master builder from Jasapat. He built it on the basis of Gyozo Czigler’s plans in a different, eclectic style. The basement walls of the new church were blessed on 7 August,1904. The newly built church was consecrated with great solemnity on 24 September,1905. After 1945 the church was in need of renovation, but the permission for this was obtained only in 1967. The embellishment and the partial restoration of the cathedral is going on today. A new fence was built in place of the demolished one and the chapel was renovated.The picture of St. Marton which is placed at the high altar was also successfuly restored. In 2004 the diocese again started an outside renovation of the cathedral on the ossasion of the centenary of its erection. Unfortunately this work is not finished yet.

On 27 March, 2002 the church became the cathedral of the newly established Diocese of Mukachevo. Its organ was built in 1913 by the Rieger Brothers from Budapest. At the entrance of the church one can see the altar-piece of the demolished church of Zhofiafalva, which is Viktor Madaras’s painting. The picture portrays king St. Ishtvan as he is offering the crown to Virgin Mary and through her to God who takes care of us.