Explore the 750-year history of Buda Castle. Discover the hidden treasures of the Castle and visit the Matthias Church. Use the popular Sikló, start today!
Get to know the sights and unknown side of the Buda Castle District. It is really worth taking a walk in the former King’s Garden or wandering around the Palace District and Polgálváros. Imagine that the history of Buda Castle will be 750 (!) years old! Here you will also find the popular Matthias Church, Szent György tér, the variable Fisherman’s Bastion (Halászbástya) and the Várkert Bazár, which was renovated a few years ago. With the Sikló, – a UNESCO World Heritage – you can easily reach the Buda Castle District if you don’t feel like climbing a lot or just want to try something special.
The best-known Hungarian church is the Matthias Church (Mátyás-templom), covered with colorful Zsolnay tiles with snow-white, lacy towers and the most popular building in Budapest. As a result of a 7-year complete renovation completed in 2013, the church is once again shining in its old light. Its original name is the Nagyboldogasszony-templom in Buda, it got its popular name from the fact that both weddings of King Matthias were held here. The temple, founded after the Tartar invasion in the 16th century, was originally built in the Gothic style on a French model, later rebuilt by King Louis the Great, and then the main tower of the church was built in the time of King Matthias.
In Turkish times, it was converted into a mosque, several parts were demolished, and after the liberation of Buda, it was given to the Jesuits, who completely transformed the church into a Baroque style. The large rose window is walled in, the Gothic tower helmet is demolished, and a baroque onion roof is replaced. Later, Frigyes Schulek essentially dreamed up the building, with the northern chapel row and the upper part of the large tower following his ideas entirely. This is when the decorative interior of the church was painted, with frescoes and stained glass windows. During the Second World War, during the barricade of Buda, the building suffered severe destruction, and it is fortunate that the whole thing was not ruined after the war. Following, they worked on the building almost continuously. By the end of 2013, one of the prides of the castle had been restored to its original condition.
The temple can be walked all the way around, Schulek’s neo-Gothic reconstruction was so successful that we can even imagine even the northern chapel line he designed in the time of King Matthias. If you entering here, the first thing appears that the walls are decorated from top to bottom with plant and geometric patterns painted in warm colors. This Art Nouveau world was invented by Frigyes Schulek and Bertalan Székely, although the interior of the original Gothic church was also colored. In the center of the main sanctuary, which closes with seven sides of a fourteen rectangle, stands the altar of Frigyes Schulek, which bears notes of style. The statue of the Madonna at its center was crowned with a copy of the Hungarian Szent Korona on the 1000th anniversary of the founding of the country, in 2000, with papal acceptance.
To the left of the altar is the balcony of the royal oratorio, where the ruler took a seat at the ceremonies. You can also arise the King’s Stairs, and an exhibition of the latest reconstruction has been set up in the rooms surrounding the gallery. In the oratory next to the main gate, can be seen the chapel of Loreto, stands the statue of the church. The statue of Mary in the dome was not destroyed by the Turks, only walled up.
The Fisherman’s Bastion (Halászbástya) is one of the most famous monuments in Budapest, established in the 1st district. Due to the unique panorama of Budapest seen from the Neo-Romanesque lookout terraces, it is one of the most significant tourist attractions. The main façade of the Fisherman’s Bastion parallel to the Danube is about 140 meters long, so you can enjoy the fantastic view during a short walk. Its pointed stone towers symbolize the seven Hungarian conquering leaders. Its name can be traced back to the Middle Ages when this part of the castle wall was protected by a guild of fishermen. It has been a part of Budapest’s World Heritage since 1987, as part of the Buda Castle District.
You can visit free of charge The Fisherman’s Bastion all day long in autumn and winter season, but in spring and summer, you have to buy tickets at certain times of the day. Don’t worry, it is a good „value” for the money!
We can admire the Neo-Renaissance style building that was born as the closing of the Royal Gardens, we get to know the person and work of its designer, Miklós Ybl, while adoring glittering Zsolnay ceramics, artistically shaped wrought iron, perfectly painted glass windows and fragrant rose gardens. The visitors can find the opportunity to have entertaining, and cultured amusement at any time of the year. The building also hosts temporary exhibitions, outdoor and indoor events (music events).
The Sikló (formerly the Buda Hill Railway) is a special line, one of the means of approaching the Buda Castle in the 1st district of Budapest, and has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1987 as an integral part of Budapest’s Danube spectacular view. The length of the track is 95 meters. The level difference between the lower and upper station is only 50 meters.