Built heritage: Saint Helen’s Church of Gyenes, The Blessed Virgin’s Church of Diás, Darnay’s (or Dornyai’s) Cellar, Statue of Virgin Mary, The Herdsman’s House, Vitéz’s Cross, Statue of Saint John of Nepomuk, Saint Joseph’s Monastery.
Saint Helen’s Church of Gyenes
As early as 1807, the inhabitants of the vine-growing village decided to erect a chapel for God. To this end, they demolished the ruins of the Saint Elizabeth’s Church of the former village of Falud. Since Count György Festetics, the then owner of the land, did not approve of the construction, the stones from demolition were sold and the capital obtained this way was deposited at interest. After Count Festetics died, his son, László Festetics, encouraged the construction of the chapel and allotted an area for this purpose. The classical church was completed in a matter of a year and dedicated to Saint Helen on 18 August, 1826, commemorating Count Laszló’s daughter, Helen, as well. This is the only church in Hungary named after Saint Helen.
The Blessed Virgin’s Church of Diás
It was erected in the place of a former chapel, to the design of Ákos Radits, an architect from Budapest, in 1894. Most of the building costs were covered by the estate of deceased Mihály Dornyai. Some of the building material was provided by Count Tasziló Festetics, while the costs of equipment were borne by the inhabitants of Diás. The polychromic altar of Renaissance style was made by József Runggaldier, a sculptor from Gröden, Tyrol.
Darnay’s (or Dornyai’s) Cellar
This log cellar from the 17th century is a typical item of original rustic architecture. Its main girder beam carries the date of 1644 engraved. Log cellars used to be built as long as landowners let people cut and use oaks, which used to grow in neighbouring woods in abundance and offer a useful building material.
Statue of Virgin Mary
The statue of Virgin Mary (Patrona Hungaria, i.e. ‘the Patron of Hungary’), consecrated in 1990, is located on the top of a hill above Highway No. 71, within a Nature Conservation Area. A work of art by Sándor Boldogfai Farkas, it also commemorates the last queen of Hungary, i.e. Queen Zita, wife of Emperor Charles IV.A
The Herdsman’s House
A typical item of rustic architectural traditions, it was built in the middle of the 19th century for the current local herdsman’s official quarters. The building now owned by the Municipality, the front room is occupied by a travel agency, while archeological relics of local history are on display in the two rooms at the rear.
It was erected by János Vitéz and his wife, Anna Ságvári, in 1807. It is special for its long age and its date of erection being marked in cipher. The Roman numerals can be gathered from the Latin epigraph. There are several (i.e. 16) more, though younger, crosses in the village.
Statue of Saint John of Nepomuk
Erected by János Talabér in 1828, this statue is located near to the Saint John’s Spring, with the head missing since 1964.
Saint Joseph’s Monastery
This Carmelite monastery was built in 1993 with financial support from the Netherlands and dedicated to the Holy Heart of Jesus Christ. Three beautiful statues (of Jesus Christ, Virgin Mary, and Saint Joseph) are located in the chapel of the monastery, made by Bavarian wood-carvers.