Music events are hosted here too. Check out their popular concert series with Hungarian musicians!
Found on Castle Hill, this historic church is over 700 years old. It is a place fit for kings: it has been the site of several coronations, including that of the last Habsburg King Charles IV in 1916. It earned its name by virtue of the fact that King Matthias Corvinus married Beatriz here in 1474, ushering in a time when Castle Hill was the jewel of Buda as it became an increasingly influential European city.
Each part of the church dates back from a different era, and together they provide a cross-section of Budapest’s turbulent history. The eastern gate was built in the 13th century, when citizens moved to Castle Hill for protection from the Mongols. The central part of the church was built in the 14th century, and from then on it was the place to crown kings. During the Turkish occupation, it became the city’s main mosque; the walls were whitewashes and strewn with carpets. Later, in the 17th century, parts of it were restored in Baroque style.
But it was not until the end of the 19th century when it fully reclaimed its former splendour. Following the Austro-Hungarian Compromise it was the scene of a historic event: the coronation of Franz Joseph and his wife Elizabeth, which established the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
Till death do us part
Inside, the church is decorated with frescoes by two renowned Hungarian painters, Bertalan Székely and Károly Lotz, who also designed the magnificent stained glass windows. But perhaps the most famous item is the exquisitely carved double sarcophagus of king Béla III and his wife Anne de Châtillon, with their loyal hounds at their feet. Although he lived before the church was built, in 1848 archaeologists found his remains in the city’s ruined cathedral and transported it here.
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