WHENEVER A PEOPLE FORGET ITS WORTHY PAST, THE DAY WILL COME WHEN IT WILL NOT HAVE A PAST WORTH REMEMBERING.
-Inscribed on the crypt wall of the Alba Regia Memorial Chapel
THE CHAPEL'S HISTORY
In 1973 the owners of the Hungarian Mt. Tabor Development in West Virginia donated a ten-acre parcel of land to the Hungarian Freedom Fighters Federation (HFFF) for the purpose of establishing a large Hungarian-family park. The Alba Regia Chapel was built in 1980 and was dedicated on the 25th anniversary of Hungary's 1956 revolution against Soviet oppression. From stone and bronze we have erected a memorial to the heroes as well as to the victims of wars and the ensuing national, religious and political persecutions. In the chapel crypt we protect with compassion the ashes of almost one hundred of our compatriots who have been united with their families, coming from Europe to settle throughout the length and breadth of America.
A PART OF HUNGARY IN BERKELEY SPRINGS
What a peculiar notion: a Hungarian memorial chapel on a West Virginia hilltop. what logic could there be in choosing such an isolated spot, far from the people and events being commemorated? No coronations, uprisings, public assemblies, or nation-rousing speeches took place here. Surely more suitable sites exist, close to the centers of power and population, where crowds gather and large demonstrations could be organized. Such misgivings evaporate as the visitor approaches and realizes that this chapel manifests in a profound way the abiding, tenacious spirit that has enabled Hungary and her people to endure in the face of wars, plagues, ethnic upheavals, great power manipulation, and numerous other national calamities. This spirit is not bound by time or place; rather, it resides in all those who consider themselves Hungarian and share a certain historical consciousness and cultural outlook which set them apart. Since one out of three Hungarians lives outside the mother country, this 'Hungarian-ness' has spread across the globe, including to the top of Mount Tabor, outside of Berkeley Springs, West Virginia. Located there is the Alba Regia Chapel, a humble yet most fitting monument to the Hungarian spirit. Built and maintained by the Hungarian Freedom Fighters Federation U.S.A., the chapel is especially significant to the Hungarian Americans who have contributed so much to their adopted land while continuing to cherish their native heritage.