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Holy Crown of Hungary

Known as “The Hungarian Holy Crown” or “Crown of Saint Stephen”, the Hungarian royal crown is the most important piece of the Hungarian royal insignia. It is located at the Hungarian Parliament, while a copy is on display at the Hungarian National Museum. 
According to the longer version of Saint Stephen’s legend, created around 1100, the king, founder of the country, received a crown for his coronation from Pope Silvester II. Tradition says this is the crown in question. The crown is composed of two parts: the diadem with 9 pendants and frontispieces (the so-called “Corona Graeca”) covered by an upper band (the so-called “Corona Latina”), with a crooked cross on top. The diadem has the shape of a Byzantine empress’ crown, with semicircle- and triangular-shaped enamel frontispieces. The primary decorations of the diadem are a series of Byzantine cloisonné enamel pictures, alternating with gemstones. The “Corona Graeca” was a diplomatic gift of the court of Constantinople to Géza I, probably sent to Hungary with his Byzantine artistocrat fiancée. The whole “Corona Latina” (pictures and cross-band) was likely made on the request of a Hungarian king, Coloman (r. 1095-1116) or maybe Béla III (r. 1172-1196).

These plaques of the “Corona Graeca”, whatever the object that they originally adorned, form two distinct groups, centered respectively on Christ and on the emperor Michael VII Doukas (r. 1071 to 1078), who alone occupy arched frames. Christ is flanked by the archangels Michael and Gabriel and by four saints, all of whom pay deference by turning their heads or eyes toward him. The emperor is flanked by his son Constantine on his right and by the lower-ranked Geza I, the king of Hungary, on his left; like the saints accompanying Christ, the Hungarian king indicates his submission to his overlord by turning his eyes toward the emperor.

Corona Latina

Corona Graeca

Emperor Michael VII Doukas

Constantine Doukas

King Geza I

St. Cosmas

St. George

Archangel Michael

St. Damian

St. Demetrius

Archangel Gabriel

Christ Pantokrator

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