Extravagance and Devotion

For a study in contrasts, we visited the Esterhazy Castle and Pannonhalma Abbey.  The view from the monastery made me feel closer to the heavens.  It is also school where the students can make use of the largest monastic library in Hungary. 

Ironically, it is the Esterhazy Castle that is looking more worn for the wear.  Unfortunately it was abandoned for over 100 years and also used as a Soviet military hospital.  It was–and still is–the home of the Esterhazy family, as well as Hayden.  One thing is for certain–Hungarians have enjoyed very intricate, gilded (read busy and over the top) design work for centuries, and I am becoming hard-pressed to find a building with clean lines, white space, and modern design.  Perhaps I will find something more my style at the WAMP fair this afternoon in Budapest.  There is beauty in restraint!

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