The St. Stephen's Basilica may be Budapest's largest church, but the Matthias Church (Mátyás-templom) in the castle district is the best known. By the way, the official name is Church of the Assumption of the Buda Castle. In the 19th century, the name Matthias Church came into use after a former king. This king Matthias built the southern octagonal tower in the 15th century. Hungarian kings were crowned in this church. Royal weddings were also held there.
Like the castle, this church was destroyed and rebuilt several times. When the Turks took Buda in the 16th century, the church turned into a mosque and the frescoes were removed. With the arrival of the Habsburgs, the church was badly damaged again. The current neo-Gothic form dates from the 19th century. The last time the church was damaged during the Second World War.
Despite the destruction, the interior of the church is particularly beautiful. The ceilings and Gothic columns are richly painted and the stained-glass windows depict Hungarian saints. In the treasury are the Stephen's Crown and other royal attributes, but these are all copies. The original can be seen in the parliament building.
On the outside the roof is particularly striking, consisting of slates in different colours. These glazed slates were very popular at the time of King Matthias. The large entrance is decorated with a relief of scenes from the life of Mary.
Close to the church is the Fisherman's Bastion. It was built by the architect Frigyes Schulek, who also restored the Matthias Church in the 19th century. With the Fisherman's Bastion, he wanted to give the church extra shine. It is not a real fortress, but rather a terrace with snow-white natural stone walls, stairs, towers and arcades. It is often visited because of the beautiful view over the old city and the sights in Budapest. A large staircase leads down to the Fishtown, the domain of the fishermen.
Website: Matthias Church
Address: Szentháromság tér (Trinity Square)
Opening Hours: 09.00-17.00
Consult the website of the Matthias Church for up-to-date price information and opening hours.