Jesus Christ! The Matthias Church at Buda Castle Hill
This post is not going to be incredibly popular with church folk but since I continue to fascinate a relatively small circle of readers (hello family & friends!), I might as well…
We visited the Buda Castle and the Matthias Church in Buda (you know about the towns of Buda and Pest, that are now one, right?), where we missed the chance to save a good amount of money by not buying tickets. It’s not obvious! When you are standing in front of the ticket booth, you actually think you need tickets for those sights. But you do not. After this post, you can save some money. Which you can invest in some underground horror at Buda Castle Hill!
Everything you want to see: Buda Castle, the Fisherman’s Bastion, the little streets of Castle Hill and surrounding Gothic residential architecture can be done for free. No difference between ticket holders and poor romantics.
The Fisherman’s Bastion (Halászbástya) can be walked up and around for free, on one side. It does have an identical twin side, featuring the same mural work and view, which for some reason has to be paid for. We walked into that money trap – but there is no need to repeat foolishness by generations to come.
The proclaimed romantic atmosphere at Buda Castle Hill. Up here, we just needed that Bastion’s wall to get going.
Something is hazy. My love stricken mind, probably.
If the wall doesn’t spice things up for you, the hot gentleman with the sword and his knightly outfit will.
No? Well, just enjoy the view then. Tomek is posing for the view picture. We hunt down viewpoints but are not easily excited by landscapes. That’s the one thing we agree on, which is why our relationship is soooo strong.
This view turned out quite well. Admire the Hungarian Parliament Building.
To enter the Matthias Church (Mátyás-templom) you will have to buy a ticket, if extreme sightseeing or blatant curiosity are your thing. Personally, I don’t think you should be made to pay to see a church. Even the greatest cathedral in Germany, the Kölner Dom, in my hometown Cologne, is free to enter.
The atheist tourist contributes to save religious institutions. For your contribution at the Matthias Church, you don’t get any brochures, there are no info signs about the church inside, nor were tourists told that there is ongoing renovation.
Anyhow. The Matthias Church has a a funky tiled roof and pointy spikes everywhere. The church structure has undergone massive changes during the course of history since its formation in 1015. In the 16th century the Turkish occupiers turned it into a mosque.
Inside the Matthias church.
Close up on Virgin Mary, who finally scared the Turkish away. This is called the Mary wonder: In 1686, a wall collapsed during a fire, which made a hidden Mary sculpture appear in front of praying Muslims, that scared the shit out of them. So they left. Sometimes complicated matters are easily solved.
And the other, major part, that is covered in scaffolding. If you like sightseeing time being reduced at religious institutions, now is the time to visit the Matthias Church.
I was surprised to find Art Nouveau patterns at the walls. It makes gloomy church interiors look pretty. There is also the statue of Sissi, the empress of Austria and Queen of Hungary. You can marvel at her chic headdress from the pulpit. She had a thing for fashion and was a dedicated anorexic, with a weight of 43kg and a height of 172 cm, which was her figure trimming record.
Then you move on to the exhibition of some great works of restoration.
Jesus got his head accessories back.
You know, how certain things, can set us off anytime…
Well, looking at ecclesiastical objects, I suddenly got this fresco of Jesus in my head. The world’s most famous restoration fiasco of ‘Ecce Homo’, originally painted by 19th-century painter Elias Garcia Martinez. The touch-up was performed by an elderly lady in Spain, who happened to have some colour and a paintbrush. Good intentions and a thought set her off: ‘Hey, I’m just going to paint over that historic piece of art.’ It’s so ridiculous, it makes me laugh every time.
Three pictures. Before, after and final – that is, if the lady would have been given the chance to proceed. She was upset about the fact, that they do not let her finish, which, I agree, she clearly wasn’t!
I actually like it better now. Try to think positive. There are benefits. Monchhichi conveys a positive attitude, plus, it is now the most original Jesus painting, bringing fame and tourists to the village.
However, if you do not wish to be haunted by pictures of Jesus in your head, there is no need to see the Matthias Church inside.
Instead, I am sorry to tell you, that you might be haunted anyway, by the clashing architecture at Buda Castle Hill, of church and hotel. It’s Matthias versus Hilton up here.
Picture-round-two goes to the Hilton. So does picutre-round-three. The ruins are crumbling. A sad result, Hilton is coming through as a clear dominator of Castle Hill. With brown-glass windows. That is such a wrong architectural twist in history.
But really, the place is nice. Budapest is great for couples (and single travellers and everyone else).