Surrounded by forests, located on the top of the hill of Saint Martin 15 km from Győr, Pannonhalma, founded in 996, is one of eight UNESCO heritage sites in Hungary.  It is also the largest active monastery in Hungary and considered one of the top three most important Benedictine abbeys, second only to Monte Casino.

The actual building of the church dates back as far as the 13th century, but earlier – eleventh-century – remains have been found due to archaeological research. The last important medieval abbot, Mattheus Tolnai had a late Gothic chapel built on the northern side of the church. The monastic buildings were partly built in the thirteenth and fifteenth century, the latter one is indicated in the north-eastern corner of the cloister with the year 1489. A small part of the earlier wall with a Vir dolorum fresco can be seen in the northern wing of the cloister, left from the thirteenth-century Porta Speciosa.

The monastery played an important role as fortification, too. In 1242 Abbot Uros defended it against the Mongol troops, in the sixteenth century it became part of the defense system against the Ottoman conquest. In this time the abbey was left by the monks several times for shorter or longer periods.

The Benedictines finally returned to the monastery in the late seventeenth century. The reconstruction of the buildings happened under the Arch-abbot Benedek Sajgó (1722–1768). The work was interrupted by the abolition of the religious orders under Emperor Joseph II, and was finished only after the reestablishment of the monastery in 1802 by Francis I.

The Abbey played an important role in the twentieth century, as well. Two of its monks, Kolos Vaszary and Jusztinián Serédi became archbishop of Esztergom. The monks gave shelter for many persecuted persons during WW II when the building complex stood under the protection of the Red Cross. The opening of the secondary boarding school in 1939 brought considerable changes in the life of the monastery since many of the monks became teachers there. This school was one of the eight remaining catholic schools during the communist regime (1950–1989).

The monastery houses a library with over 360,000 volumes, an archive with more than hundred medieval documents (not visitable) and a museum with many percious liturgical and secular artefacts (paintings, goldsmith’ works, liturgical dresses, etc.). The beside the medieval and Baroque parts Pannonhalma Abbey is also known for modern art and architecture: the secondary school (mid-twentieth century), the bronze gate of the tower (1996) and the new furniture of the church (2013).

Pannonhalma is also a leading producer of fine wine for the Pannonia region, owning over 100 hectares of land nearby for their vineyard.