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Matthias Church

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Located in the Buda Castle District, Matthias Church was originally constructed in1015, however the structure that exists today was erected originally in the 14 th century. The church was renamed after King Mattias after originally being named the Church of Our Lady. In 1541 upon the capture of Buda Castle, the church was transformed to become the city's largest mosque. Renovations and restorations have been ongoing for centuries to return the church to its former glory. Gothic elements were discovered as well as new motifs and other elements that were added by architect FrigyesSchulek. This is a very significant landmark for the city and is part of the district that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, drawing huge numbers of visitors each year. The interior has been restored very nicely and this massive church is an attraction that is a must see when in Budapest.

Guided tours are available here for a minimal charge and there is free entrance to the museum of the church. While here you should also take time to visit the Ecclesiastical Art Collection here which is open from 9-5 daily. The Chapel of St. Stephen, or Gara Chapel, is also quite an interesting place to see with its stained glass and relics that make for a surreal setting. The Royal Staircase lead up to the upstairs exhibits and feature a statue of Queen Elizabeth. The Knights of Malta Room puts on display the 16 th century altar and the Bela Rooms put on display the wealth of the treasures found within the church. The Royal Oratory is also an interesting place to visit while within the churches confines.

The church can be visited very easily on your expedition through the Buda Castle District and setting aside an hour or so to tour this attraction is a good idea. Historically this church has been a very important sight for the people of Budapest as during the Turkish occupation Christians would look to the church for the continuing reign of the crescent moon. This is the church that has been used throughout history as the location where Hungarian Kings enjoy their coronation ceremony. If there is anything that is disappointing about the church, it would have to be the fact that the entry fee does not enable guests to go into the tower that raises high above the church.

Here there are many different pieces of beautiful art features and the church ceiling and walls are so ornately designed that it may be difficult to keep your attention on your tour guide and off of the beautiful surroundings. The Church continues to undergo restoration efforts to this day and it is clear that this is a place that the Hungarian people prize as a national treasure. It is easy to get sick of seeing every church along the tourist trail in Europe however you will surely be glad that you chose to come and see this one as it is much different than the others you will see in the region.

 
 

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