• Second workshop from project  „Patrimonium, culture and hospitality. Benedictine monasteries as a place of meeting” – Tihany 24 – 25 April 2012. The second meeting was devoted mainly to aspects of contemporary Benedictine hospitality. The place of workshop was chosen with full awareness by the project partners – Tihany (monastery dependent on Pannonhalma. It is visited by most people throughout the year (about 130 thousand)). Naturally, the discussion began with the tourism aspect, because this type of a visitor dominates in Tihany, as well as Pannonhalma and Tyniec. In tourism we identified two categories – heritage tourism, and recreational tourism. In the first one, the visit to the monastery is a direct reason for arrival. It represents an important part for these monasteries, and dominates in Pannonhalma. In 1996 Pannohalma was added to the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List (annually visited by about 80 thousand people). Recreational tourism, noticeable in Tyniec, dominates in Tihany – the monastery is situated on the shores of Lake Balaton, and is visited by many tourists seeking recreation on the water and strolling along the picturesque surroundings.

Next the reasons for religious visits to the monastery were examined. One can distinguish a broad spectrum of them – from a short arrival at the Mass and a meeting with the monk to coming to the guest houses for silence, meditation, or participation in retreats and workshops. On many occasions the visits are motivated by the desire to observe the life of monks, which in the modern world seems more mysterious, and even exotic. There are also economic reasons – the monastery is more often the place of work of which Pannonhalma is a particularly powerful example with employees exceeding the number of 300 people (school, tourism, industry, culture, etc.). Undoubtedly, for each visitor the monastery is an encounter with beauty – important for a tourist, but also for those wishing to meditate and commune with nature. Benedictine monasteries are famous throughout Europe for their very picturesque location.

The summary of the discussion was expressed in a question of how to reconcile these different, often disparate functions of Benedictine hospitality, and at the same time not destroying the monastic life and character of the community.

On the second day of the workshop participants visited Pannohalma which was an interesting addition to this discussion. The huge monastery plays many different  functions – there is a separate infrastructure for various individual visitors – tourists are welcomed before the hill (there is also a cafe and restaurant) and the tourist traffic is unidirectional, unobstructed (which allows for maintaining the character of the monastic courtyard); guest houses are at a distance, in a quiet place, the school is located in the wing of the monastery.