The Matthias Church at the top of the Buda castle hill has been through many iterations since the first church was built on the site in 1015. The first building was destroyed by the Mongols in the 13th Century. The current building, in Gothic style, was built to replace that Romanesque building.
That building was eventually turned into a mosque by the conquering Ottomans in the 16th Century. The frescoes were whitewashed and the interior furnishings were destroyed or moved to other cities. When the Christians recaptured the city in the 17th Century it was restored in a baroque style, which thankfully was tossed out in the late 19th Century in favor of the current decoration by architect Frigyes Schulek.
The church was severely damaged in World War II as both the Germans and Soviets used it as a camp. The building was restored somewhat during the subsequent years. Finally, the interior decoration was restored between 2006-2013. And that's what we see today.
And what we see today adds up to one of our very favorite churches we've ever seen on our travels.
12 thoughts on “The Fantastic Painting of Matthias Church, Budapest”
This church was closed when I was in Budapest. Sorry I missed it. It looks fantastic. Great photos!
That’s too bad. Might be worth a return visit.
Interesting history, lovely building. Love the repeating pattern in this one!
They have just found some of the original stencils used in the decoration of the gallery. They were on display in hallway above the church main floor.
Tom and Kris, the photos are beautiful. Thank you for sharing your travels.
Thanks for reading, Pauli.
Wonderful photos. I love the gorgeous colors. I had gone into this church 23 years ago but don’t remember it’s beauty. The burial of St. Stephen
is stunning. Church reminds me a bit of San Anastasia in Verona which I saw this weekend. It is a similar Gothic style with lightly colored frescoed patterned walls. Just sent your blog to a friend who will be in Budapest this weekend. He is grateful.
Thanks, Jane. We were in Verona last year and didn’t see that church. If it’s like Matthias, we’ll have to put it on the list for our next visit.
Wow love these photos. So rich and gorgeous. We visited Budapest for a couple of days, but didn’t go to this lovely Church.
Thanks, Jo. It’s a gorgeous place to shoot, and one of the most unusual churches we’ve been in.