Oxford in the foothills of the Alps

Facelifted Benedictine Convent House, Kőszeg

Architect: Robert Gutowski
Text: Dr. Ferenc Miszlivetz
Photos: Tibor Ohr

An eventful year started in 2014 when ISES Foundation was commissioned by the Prime Minister’s office to work out a study on viability with the aim to save the architectural heritage of Kőszeg almost on the brink of complete deterioration within the framework of the KRAFT programme. The functions of the Benedictine convent house and secondary grammar school, both its dimensions and its position reinforce its rank as one of the most imposing buildings of the inner town. After the Jesuits left the town in 1773 both institutions were taken over by the Piarist order and from them, later on by the Benedictines. Following the nationalization of the convent house, it was used as a residential building and later on as an office block. The Hungarian Congregation of the Benedictine Order was given the ownership of the building in 1990. Its most recent renovation and restoration as a historic building was realized in two stages. The first part was meant to create the majority of the accommodations for the participants of the projected research work within the framework of the Institute of Higher Education Studies based in Kőszeg, whilst the second stage involved interventions with the result of extending the thermal centre, the engineering systems, and the electricity capacities.