The first floor of the Esztergom Basilica houses the Treasury, which opened in 1886 with the aim of preserving and displaying the liturgical instruments once used in the cathedral, old artworks and some works of art from the 19th century.
However, the exhibited items are not only outstanding masterpieces of a particular period, but also important relics of national significance. For example, one of the most ornate Gothic chalices in the world, made in the 15th century using a special goldsmith technique, ordered and donated by the Transylvanian nobleman Benedek Suki, is on display in the Treasury collection. When Pope John Paul II visited Esztergom in 1991, he used this Suki chalice, decorated with 32 tiny sculptures, for the Holy Mass.
Another valuable piece in the treasury is the 5.4 kilogram heavy gold cross from France, known as the Calvary of King Matthias since he had a new pedestal made for it as a work of a master goldsmith from Florence. The 72.5-centimetre-high cross, decorated with more than a hundred precious stones, is today Hungary's largest jewellery treasure.
In addition to art treasures and liturgical items, visitors of the treasury can also see a considerable amount of textiles. Among other things, valuable cloaks, Gothic vestments and ceremonial dresses worn by the high priests two or three hundred years ago are on display.
It is worth noting that although the Esztergom Basilica and the Cathedral Treasury can be visited on your own, you can also register for group guided tours and educational museum sessions on the website of the basilica.