Matthias Church is one of the finest churches in Budapest, and the most unique churches in Europe. Located atop the Buda Castle hill, it has been serving the citizens of the Buda Castle Hill since 1015, its foundation by the first Hungarian king. Bored with churches? Not this time.
Full of surprises, mysteries and treasures, the church has a breathtaking interior with colours inspired by orientalism and romantic historicism. Its mystically exotic atmosphere paired with its Neo-Gothic features differentiates it from any other church.
Photo Gallery of Matthias Church
Matthias Church on the Castle Hill
Matthias Church is unlike many of the typical churches dating back to the Middle Ages. Be prepared to be surprised for its off the beaten track inner beauty.
The church was used as a coronation church by Hungarian kings for centuries, also a mosque for over 150 years by the Ottoman Turks, once owned by Franciscans, Jesuits, now a thriving Catholic church with holy masses, concerts, plenty of weddings, thousands of tourists. The graceful architecture and stunningly rich, all embracing wall paintings of the majestic building will leave you speechless.
While the outside of Matthias Church offers the historical beauty of traditional Gothic churches with delicate turrets, the coloured tile roofs already give away that this church is not following the usual recipe: entering inside the church you will experience one of the most welcoming combinations of warm lights, shadows and colours with orange, brown, golden hewed frescos reaching from floor to ceiling, beautiful stain glass windows, far reaching arches, century old wooden pews, medieval remnants.
(Subject to Church Events)
Mon-Fri: 9 am – 5 pm
Sat: 9 am – 1 pm
Sun: 1 pm – 5pm
Liturgies have priority, and will affect regular Opening Hours.
Good Saturday: worshippers only
Adults: HUF 1,500 HUF
Students (with ID): HUF 1,000
Seniors (60+ with ID): HUF 1,000
Family (2 Adults + 1 Child): HUF 3,500
Address: 2 Szentharomsag Square Budapest 1014
History of Matthias Church
Matthias Church (officially called the Church of Our Lady, but all locals call it “Matyas Templom”) has quite the history and a story to tell.
According to historians a church called Church of Mary stood on the site of the current building founded by Saint Stephen, the first king of Hungary in 1015.
The current Roman Catholic church was founded by King Bela IV. after the Mongol invaders left Hungary in 1242 in complete ruins, and King Bela IV decided to move the royal residence from Esztergom in the Danube Bend, to the Buda Hills.
King Matthias the Fair
Instead of St Matthias, the name of the church refers to King Matthias Corvinus the Fair, who remodelled and expanded the building in Gothic style in the 15th century, adding the southern high tower, called Matthias bell tower. He also made the church one of the best wedding venues in Hungary. After all it was his favourite wedding place too. King Matthias was the son of legendary John Hunyadi, the ingenious military opponent of the Ottoman Empire, the Governor of the Hungarian Kingdom, the Voivode of Transylvania. King Matthias’ father can also be credited for ringing the church bells all over Europe at midday every day. King Matthias was not less legendary than his father.
He was crowned the king of Hungary without a royal blood line. Then quickly became a mythical hero of many a Hungarian legends: he was said to be travelling around in disguise to get a true picture of the lives of his subjects, doing justice to the suppressed poor, and publicly shaming the powerful and arrogant.
The Turkish Occupation: Mosque from Church
In 1526 the Turks occupied Buda, ruined most of the churches, but left the Church of Our Lady erected and turned it into a mosque. Artefacts were taken away, ornate furnishings were destroyed, altars and paintings were covered with whitewashed brick walls.
When the Christian mercenary troops led by Charles V, Karl V. Leopold imperial generalissimo re-gained the Buda Castle from the Turks, not much survived the Ottoman years by the end of the siege of Buda in 1686. After the Turkish era, a new church was constructed on the remains in Baroque style.
Present Days of Matthias Church
In the early 19th century the church was finally restored in Neo-Gothic style by Frigyes Schulek between 1873 and 1896. Not only did he restore Matthias Church, but he also made it a beautiful gem on the Buda Castle hill, surrounded by the Fisherman’s Bastion viewing towers, the historical Holy Trinity Square, and the five star luxury Hilton Hotel.
Today Matthias Church is a lively religious and cultural focal point in Budapest, with several church events, weddings, beautiful classical music concerts, choir performances, Christmas masses, Easter celebrations and more. Needless to say, the events affect the opening times of the Church, and tourists will need to schedule their visits accordingly. Once a year, on Good Saturday (the Saturday before Easter), the church can only be visited by worshippers.
Concerts in Matthias Church
Matthias Church is not only one of the top attractions and one of the most romantic places to see in Budapest but a perfect venue for classical concerts as well. Matthias Church Concerts are usually available every month throughout the year on affordable prices (tickets are from approx. €13). The concerts are provided by one of the most well-known ensembles in Hungary: the Hungarian Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra.
Tours in Matthias Church in the Buda Castle District
Book an Entry to Matthias Church with a Castle District walking tour to gain more insights into the history and secrets of this beautiful attraction. The walking tour includes a visit inside the Matthias Church, where you can see the Treasury, or walk up to the big Tower to get a better view. The tour ends with a coffee and cake in a nice cafe in the Buda Castle.
Matthias Church offers free admission to a range of visitors:
- Children under 6 years
- Church institutions
- Handicapped visitors
Bus: 16A Bus from Szell Kalman Square (M2 metro station) or 16 Bus from Deak Square (M1, M2, M3 metro lines).
Funicular: From Clark Adam Square to the Castle Hill, and an approx. 10-15 min walk from the Funicular.