Among the oldest major sites in Budapest, Matthias Church on Castle Hill provides a fascinating glimpse of myth, history, and war over the course of a millennium. The first reported church on the site dated around 1015 was a Romanesque building that lasted for two centuries before being destroyed by a Mongol invasion. The building that took it’s place is essentially the one that exists today–a late Gothic wonder with flourishes of the Oriental and Hungarian style. After being largely stripped of it beauty and treasure during the Turkish occupation in 1541 that lasted 150 years, the church was finally restored to its original splendor in the late 19th century.
Matthias Church leads an active Catholic parish with regularly scheduled masses. Visitors are welcome to tour the church to enjoy its exquisitely decorated interior. Monthly concert performances are open to the public for a modest fee. The church is sited between the Fishermen’s Bastion and Buda Castle and is often included in a walking tours of Castle Hill.