The monastery was founded in 1055 by Andrew I. An interesting titbit of cultural history is that the founding charter of the monastery is the oldest Hungarian document preserved in its original form. The document’s Latin text also uses Hungarian words, making this the oldest written record in the Hungarian language.
The monastery has endured numerous blows over time. The first major changes for the building complex came in the 16th and 17th centuries: due to Ottoman attacks, monastic life was practically eliminated in Tihany, with soldiers taking their place in the monastery. Following the wars of liberation, the monastery passed into the ownership of an Austrian abbey, and was only taken back into Hungarian ownership in 1716. Although the reconstruction of the church and the monastery was restarted afterwards, a fire in 1763 hindered these efforts. The monks were then forced to abandon the monastery on two other occasions: once in 1786, and then again in 1950. The buildings were only returned to the Benedictine order in 1994, and comprehensive renovation works started in 1996 to ensure that the Benedictine Abbey of Tihany could be restored to the full glory you see today.