Gellért Hill Cave, often referred to as “Saint Ivan’s Cave” or simply “Cave Church” is a cave located in Gellért Hill in Budapest. The name “Saint Ivan” refers to a hermit who inhabited the cave and cured anyone who was sick using the waters of the thermal lake that is located next to the cave.
The cave was consecrated in 1926 and turned into a chapel and monastery by Pauline monks and it served that purpose until the year 1951, six years after the Soviet Red Army captured Budapest and raided the chapel. Over this time, it was used as a hospital for the Nazis during World War II. Before that, it was inhabited by a family who built a tiny adobe house inside it. After the raid by the Soviets, the chapel remained closed until 1989 and today, it remains a church where monks continue to work and has also been turned into a tourist attraction.
While in Budapest, make sure to stop by here as this is one of the most unusual churches in the world and a delight to visit along with its monastery which is carved into the rocks and features many rooms, a statue, turrets and more.