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2 Szentháromság tér, Budapest, Hungary

Mátyás-templom Budapest Reviews

Andy99 Andy99
621 reviews
The Colorful Gothic Matthias Church Sep 29, 2011
Construction of the Matthias Church, or Mátyás-templom, on Castle Hill, began in the 13th century, under the sponsorship of Bela IV. First Romanesque, then Gothic in style, the invading Ottomans captured it along with the rest of Budapest in 1541. Under Turkish rule, the church became the Grand Mosque. It is said that the geometrical patterns used to decorate the interior, unusual in a medieval church, were retained for the mosque. During the ouster of the Turks in 1568, the building was damaged and later rebuilt in the Baroque style. So, the Parish Church of Our Lady Mary, as it is officially known, had already seen much history and change. (Despite its size, it is a parish church, not a cathedral.)

Looking towards the Millennium Celebration in 1896, it was decided to restore the church to its Gothic origins. Frigyes Schulek, the architect of the nearby Fishermen's Bastion, carried out a thorough restoration of the church in 1890-1896. In doing so, he uncovered much of the Gothic structure that has been built over and added on the remainder in harmony with the original style. Frigyes also created a new triptych altar, inspired by medieval designs.

The church is quite light and colorful when compared with many medial Gothic churches. Bertalan Székely worked on the interior decoration, based on the medieval geometric patterns. The resulting ornamental painting is unique to this Gothic style church. Colorful ceramic tiles were also added to the roof.

The church's conventional name derives from King Matthias Corvinus (1443-1490) whose coat of arms is displayed at the entrance.

This is another skillfully restored church in which it is difficult to tell what is old and what is relatively recent.
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spocklogic says:
Always interesting how such places are built, converted and restored to adapt to the reigning ideology. It's a journey in architecture as much as it is a journey in history.
Posted on: Feb 23, 2012
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