Matthias Church - History and Facts | History Hit

Matthias Church


Matthias Church is an ornate medieval structure which has been the site of royal weddings and coronations.

Antara Bate

24 Nov 2020
Image Credit: Shutterstock

About Matthias Church

Matthias Church (Matyas Templom) is an ornate medieval structure that has been the site of royal weddings and coronations.

Matthias Church history

Matthias Church was built in the 13th century, and since then it has been extended and rebuilt so many times: each era, style, ruler and Castle siege has left its mark on the building. It was even a mosque in 1541 during the Turkish occupation.

It is one of the city’s oldest buildings and it is located on the Buda hill, in front of the Fishermen’s Bastion, not too far from the castle. Also known as the Church of Our Lady, this holy building constructed in the florid late Gothic style has more than 700 years of history. It has been the site of several coronations as well as two royal weddings.

Matthias Church was returned to its gothic characteristics in a 19th century restoration. The roof is covered with the famous Zsolnay ceramic tiles, giving an extra touch of charm to the whole structure. The church is characterized by a unique atmosphere and it is decorated with frescoes that have been added during the restoration works between 1895 and 1903.

On the left wall, there is a fresco representing the Renaissance; it includes some eastern details representing the Turkish reign in Hungary. Matthias church is home to the ecclesiastical art museum, showcasing several sacred relics and replicas of the Hungarian royal crown and coronation jewels.

Despite being founded in the thirteenth century by King Bela IV (some posit that the first church here was built in the eleventh century), the name Matthias Church is actually a reference to the monarch Matthias Corvinus who was twice married there. Its official name is the Church of Our Lady.

The diverse and often turbulent history of Buda is reflected in the eclectic style of Matthias Church, which includes a mostly gothic dramatic exterior and a vibrant interior with allusions to the various rulers of the city, including the Ottomans.

Matthias Church today

Upstairs in Matthias Church is an ecclesiastical museum and, in the basement, visitors can view its crypt. It is part of Budapest’s UNESCO World Heritage listing.

Due to its impressive acoustics, Matthias Church often hosts organ and classic music concerts.

Getting to Matthias Church

The church is situated in the vicinity of Buda Castle. Visitors can take the castle bus No. 16 and 16A-116 from Széll Kálmán tér.

In order to reach the church, you can climb Castle Hill by taking the funicular that leaves just in front of the Chain Bridge, or you can take one of the many paths that will take you up to the top of the hill.

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