Our Lady of Fátima Shrine

Our Lady of Fátima Shrine

Architect
Robert Gutowski Architects
Location
Alsószentiván, Hungary | View Map
Project Year
2019
Category
Churches
Tamás Bujnovszky

Our Lady of Fátima Shrine

Robert Gutowski Architects as Architects

The shrine of Mary, situated in the remote village of Alsószentiván in Hungary, has long been visited by a multitude of pilgrims. The popular pilgrimage site has recently been renovated according to the plans of Robert Gutowski Architects.

After the apparitions of Mary in 1917 near the small Portuguese town of Fátima, places of pilgrimage appeared all over the world. The events were first commemorated in Alsószenitván in 1951. Since then, the small village, with a population of barely six hundred, has been visited by pilgrims every month between May and October, on the days of the apparitions. The infrastructure of the place has not been developed for decades, and therefore the main goal of the project was to provide an environment that would allow pilgrims to be received with dignity.

The open-air liturgical space has been renewed and a new procession path has been built, the turning point of which is a clearing opening onto the adjacent field. The building of the former mansion situated in a wooded area has been renovated, as well as the church space in the listed building.

The new stone altar is the emotional centre of the interior renovation of the church. The altar was constructed from the plinth of a twenty-ton monument found at a site formally occupied by Soviet military barracks. The gigantic uncut block of stone was transported back to the original site, as tools suitable for cutting it into smaller pieces were only available at the mine. We determined the method of cutting based on the directions of the lines, cracks, and patterns in the stone, which was then sculpted by stone carvers into its final shape. The new altar is a metaphor encompassing the cultural history of an entire century: just as the prophecies of Fátima foretold the destruction that would take place in Eastern European history and then the collapse of communism, we are also becoming fulfillers of the prophecies, even three decades after the events of the change in the political system in 1990.

During the landscape architectural renewal of the surrounding area, our primary goal was to preserve the original ambiance and atmosphere. Natural materials, mainly wooden structures, were used to build the new outdoor area for a holding site, benches, a belfry and a lavatory building. Our main concept was to utilize cheap, easy to build, and yet very precisely designed structures. The former classicist mansion is a legacy of rural architecture favoured by the nobility of the era. During the renovation of the building, we sought to preserve the original spaces and used traditional materials. We intended the architectural interventions to have a healing character and therefore, after the demolition of the foreign elements, we also implemented some small-scale reconstruction work.

With the completion of the pilgrimage site, a contemporary-romantic milieu was created that carries on the history of the place. The message of architecture today seems to be the search for deep layers of our humanism, almost anonymous structures, and the service of a community.

 

Material Used:
Roofing: tiled roof, wooden shingles
Outdoor constructions: timber, concrete pedestral
Wall covering: smoothed plaster, oak enclosure
Floor covering: Kelheim limestone paving, Keramit paving bricks, cobblestone
Furniture: oak benches, stone altar

 

Project Credits
Product Spec Sheet

Featured Projects
Latest Products
News
25 best architecture firms in Madrid
27 Jun 2022 News
25 best architecture firms in Madrid

Madrid is a center of gravity for European architecture. Spain’s capital city is host to an am... More

Lviv’s Radio Garage offers an experimental space for temporary exhibitions with a focus on radio, sound art, VR-art, and interactive media
25 Jun 2022 News
Lviv’s Radio Garage offers an experimental space for temporary exhibitions with a focus on radio, sound art, VR-art, and interactive media

In Lviv, Radio Garage is a media art centre and an experimental gallery for temporary exhibitions wi... More

Urban infill project Manifesto Market Andel activates an underutilized gap in Prague’s urban fabric
25 Jun 2022 News
Urban infill project Manifesto Market Andel activates an underutilized gap in Prague’s urban fabric

Located in Prague’s Andel District, Manifesto Market Andel is an urban infill project activati... More

Amsterdam’s iconic Droogbak building transformed into a 21st-century office space for a prestigious law firm
24 Jun 2022 News
Amsterdam’s iconic Droogbak building transformed into a 21st-century office space for a prestigious law firm

An iconic 19th-century building next to Amsterdam Central Station, Droogbak has been transformed int... More

Renovated hacienda-style villa in Belgium respects its history while exploring form and materials
24 Jun 2022 News
Renovated hacienda-style villa in Belgium respects its history while exploring form and materials

House VD-B by Graux & Baeyens architecten is a renovated hacienda-style villa in Evergem, Belgiu... More

Landmark urban renewal project comes to the heart of Bruges with the completion of The Bruges Meeting & Convention Centre (BMCC)
22 Jun 2022 News
Landmark urban renewal project comes to the heart of Bruges with the completion of The Bruges Meeting & Convention Centre (BMCC)

In the heart of the historic city of Bruges, The Bruges Meeting & Convention Centre (BMCC) is a... More

Award-winning New Museum of Ethnography by NAPUR Architect opens in Budapest
22 Jun 2022 News
Award-winning New Museum of Ethnography by NAPUR Architect opens in Budapest

Designed by NAPUR Architect, the recently opened New Museum of Ethnography in Budapest is a purpose-... More

New Royal College of Art campus by Herzog & de Meuron unveiled in Battersea
22 Jun 2022 News
New Royal College of Art campus by Herzog & de Meuron unveiled in Battersea

The Royal College of Art unveiled its new campus in Battersea, London this past month.  With a... More