This is a sensation in Hungary because apart from the Habsburg kings and queens of the country who rest in Vienna, there are only a few Hungarian monarchs whose grave or tomb is preserved or even known. Details below.
According to index.hu, archaeologists found the basement of the tombs of Andrew II (1205-1235) and his wife, the Yolanda of Courtenay (1200-1233) of Constantinople near Egres (Igris, Romania).
The archaeologist Péter Langó, professor of the Pázmány Péter Catholic University, thinks that it is very probable that the two tombs of the king and queen were in the basement they found.
“I laugh and cry at the same time because it seems that we could find the place of the tomb of one of our kings of the Árpád-dynasty, but it is very likely that
we will never find their mortal remains”
– he added.
Regarding the tombs, Langó said that they could only be sure that they found the ones belonging to the royal couple when the excavation of the Cistercian monastery is finished. Up to now, only 10 pc of the local church has been scanned.
Where are the tombs and graves of the other Hungarian monarchs?
The first Catholic King of Hungary, Stephen I (997-1038) was buried in Székesfehérvár together with his father, Grand Prince Géza (962-997). However, this did not become a tradition then.
Péter Orseolo (1038-1041 and 1044-1046) was buried in the cathedral of Pécs, his original tomb was probably found in July, but the bones are missing though in this case, the leader of the excavations is optimistic about finding them. According to the chronicles, Samuel Aba (1041-1044) rested in Abasár, but his tomb is yet undiscovered. Andrew I (1046-1060) was buried in the benedictine monastery of Tihany where
his tomb was preserved and can be visited.
Béla I (1060-1063) was buried in Szekszárd but his tomb was never found while Géza I‘s (1063-1076) was probably discovered in Vác but researchers did not have enough money to analyse each bone in and around it without which nothing sure can be said. King Solomon (1063-1074) had to flee Hungary
and died in Pula (today Croatia) where his mortal remains rest in the main altar
of the cathedral and his tombstone can be seen in the local museum.
László I (1077-1095) was buried in the destroyed cathedral of Nagyvárad (Oradea, now Romania) together with Holy Roman emperor, Hungarian and Czech King Sigismund (1387-1437) and his wife, Queen Mary of Hungary (1382-1385). Their graves are probably somewhere hidden under the surface and
systematic excavations are needed to bring them out.
Stephen II (1116-1131) was also buried in Nagyvárad but not in the cathedral but in the local Norbertine Monastery which was destroyed in the Middle-Ages and in its former location family houses were built. Allegedly, László IV (1272-1290) was also buried somewhere in Nagyvárad while Stephen III (1162-1172) rested in Esztergom but his tomb was never found because the city’s cathedral built by Grand Prince Géza perished.
King Emerich (1196-1204) was laid to rest in Eger and his tomb (together with the ancient cathedral) was destroyed which was the fate of Béla IV’s (1235-1270) tomb in Esztergom, as well. Stephen V (1270-1272) was buried on the Margaret island but his tomb was looted in the early 19th century and only his crown remained intact. The last ruler of the Árpád-dynasty, Andrew III (1290-1301) was buried in a church in the Buda Castle but the building perished since then.
It became a custom only from 1116 (and as could be read above, there were some exceptions), after the death of King Coloman (1095-1116) to be buried in Székesfehérvár. The city became the official burrial place of the Hungarian monarchs in the Middle-Ages. However, the cathedral there was looted and destroyed many times by the Ottoman forces. Today, there is
a chamber in which the bones of the monarchs, bishops, aristocrats buried there
are collected, but nobody knows which bone belongs to who.
Only Béla III‘s and his wife’s tomb and grave were found accidentally in 1848 and they were reburied in the Matthias Church (Buda Castle) in 1898 on the expenses of the Habsburg Emperor and Hungarian King Franz Joseph I. However, researchers today say that it was King Coloman and his wife who were found under the ruins of the Székesfehérvár cathedral, not Béla III.
Interestingly, Governor János Hunyadi‘s (1446-1453) tomb is also intact in its original place, in the St. Michael’s Cathedral of Gyulafehérvár (Alba Iulia, Romania).