Matthias Church, Budapest
Yet another beautiful church of Budapest, the Matthias Church! Originally built in the year 1015, the exteriors got many restorations. The present look is the result of the extensive restoration work in late 1900s. Named after King Matthias, who ruled from 1458 to 1490, the church was the scene of several coronations including that of Charles IV in 1916 (the last Habsburg king). It was also the site for King Matthias’s two weddings.
Buda was captured by Turks in 1541, during the century and a half of Turkish occupation, the vast majority of its ecclesiastical treasures were shipped to Pressburg (present day Bratislava). The church became the city’s main mosque. The church was also a place of the so called Mary-Wonder. The interesting story is that, in 1686 during the siege of Buda by the Holy League a wall of the church collapsed due to cannon fire. As if by miracle an old votive Madonna statue hidden behind the wall got exposed. As the sculpture of the Virgin Mary appeared before the praying Muslims, the morale of the garrison collapsed and the city fell on the same day.
Architect Frigyes Schulek is credited with largely restoring St. Matthias Church to its original splendor. He added magnificent diamond patterned roof tiles and gargoyles. Here is a view of the beautiful tile patterns.