Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Budapest - Matthias Church

On our first day walking around Budapest, we were on the other side of the river, and saw this across the Danube.  There was a collective gasp as we didn't think anything would top the Parliament building.  We were wrong.  This is the Matthias Church.  Wikipedia says it's constructed in a florid late Gothic style.  I think I'd have to agree about the florid part.  It is so beautiful.  The tile work of the roof is just spectacular.  It's part of the Castle District.  The Palace of Budapest and the Fisherman's Bastion is up there, as well.

The original church dates from 1015, but was heavily restyled to this form in the second half of the 14th century.  The doo-dads on the spires are my personal favorites. They add a touch of whimsy to the building.

There is another guy on a horse.  I have no idea who this is.  All of the carving on the base was in Magyar.  Update to post - that's St. Stephen I.

The inside of Matthias Church is also over whelming.  It's big, it's beautiful.

This is a crypt.  Sorry, no data on who is buried here.

There were stairs going up to a small display room and a balcony overlooking the church.  They have spent quite a bit of effort restoring the garments worn in various coronations.  They're all behind protective materials so photography wasn't possible.  Suffice it to say, much gold thread has been consumed in this project.

There is also a Fisherman's Bastion on the grounds, but we did not go in there.  It has seven towers which represent the seven Magyar tribes that settled in the Carpathian Basin in 896.

Is he not lovely?  But what, you wonder, is that modern monstrosity behind him?

It's a Hilton Hotel.  How does this happen?  They have wedged a hotel onto the grounds of antiquity.  The stone wall is from the 1100s or so, and it has been incorporated into the Hilton.

It's a terrible looking building.  The triangular things on the side are probably a nod to the flying buttresses on the church.

This was an interesting statue, and there was English to explain it.

This is something you do not see in the US.  They are laying cobblestones.  The craftmanship is just amazing.  They're straight, they're level.  That is a lot of work.

We reached the Castle District via a Hop On Hop Off bus service.  I feel like we were seriously ripped off by the whole thing.  They don't run as often as the ticket seller says they do, and there was much waiting because they are so often full.  It was good because it would have been a killer walk, but it was a very disappointing service.

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