THE BUDA CASTLE AND THE MÁTYÁS CHURCH

buda castle

THE BUDA CASTLE AND THE MÁTYÁS CHURCH

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The Danube view of Budapest is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Castle Hill and the Castle itself are the defining elements of the panorama, and within its medieval fortress system we find the Buda Castle and the historical residential area.
The palace once housed a Renaissance hanging garden, a unique collection of books and an elegant throne room, and today, after storms of history and numerous rebuilds, it today has a significant cultural function. The cityscape of the residential area is dominated by the Baroque style, but in the gates it is easy to discover a medieval detail, a mural or a statue. Particularly characteristic are the so-called Gothic seating, which is said to be the last memory of a part of the city famous for its viticulture – where the farmers sold wine stored in the cellars. The quarter houses many institutions, including the Alexander Palace, the seat of the President of the Republic, the building of the Hungarian National Archives, and several embassies.

In the middle of the quarter stands the Matthias Church, one of the best known symbols of the city, founded in the 13th century. It was used as a mosque by the Turks and was thoroughly rebuilt during the Baroque period, but its final form came at the end of the 19th century when architect Schulek Frigyes built the neo-Gothic church that is today visible. Two ornate towers are not the same height. The exterior features of the church include the Zsolnay glazed roof tile and the so-called Matthias Tower, the top of which you can climb up the winding spiral stairs. The interior has exquisite painters’ decorations, geometric tiles and stained glass windows. The visit will be completed by an exhibition, which will include, among other things, a former weathercock. The recently renovated Zsolnay factory in Pécs produced some 150,000 roof tiles for the recent renovation. It is viewed by nearly one million visitors each year – not by chance, it would be a mistake to miss it. Beneath the Castle Hill is a complex system of tunnels and caves.