The Church of our Lady
The Church of Our Lady is generally called the Matthias Church, because its southern tower bears the coat of arms with the raven (in Latin: Corvus) of Matthias (Corvinus) Hunyadi (1458-1490). Until the invasion of the Tatars the capital of Hungary was in another town, that was in 1241-42. After the invasion the king decided to move the royal court from there to Buda. It is first mentioned in a deed from 1247. It was built originally in romanesque style.
It first served as the royal chapel and later as the parish church of the Germans who lived in the Castle District. In the fourteenth century it was rebuilt as a Gothic hall church, but its construction, just as that of so many Gothic churches in Europe, was never finished, and the northern tower was not built. In Turkish times it became the main mosque and its interior furnishings were destroyed. According to their holy book the "Quran" it was forbidden to represent any human beings, no men, women, no animals, just these kinds of patterns on the columns.
All the walls were whitewashed, the columns were colorful only. Two of the candelabras were taken by the Turks to Istanbul - they can be seen today in the Agia Sophia. After the Turkish occupation, when the church was restored, those frescoes were founded. During the Second World War the damage suffered by the church was so heavy that it took two decades to repair it.
OutsideIt is a three-isled hall church with a nave, two side aisles and a pseudo-transept.
The north side is occupied by the row of chapels built by Schulek. From outside the most beautiful part of the church is the 80-meter (260 ft.) high stone-laced Gothic tower. The Matthias Tower is the most characteristic and most artistic part of the church - it is a relatively faithful copy of the original tower of Matthias' age, which had been pulled down by Schulek (it is 80 m high).
One of the reasons for the nice decorations was the fact, that many of the Hungarian kings were crowned here. The flags you can to see all over here were brought here for the coronation of 1867. At the south-side-entrance we can see the coat-of-arms of the family of king Matthias, on the lower part of the wall you can see two armored knights from the famous 'Black Army' of King Matthias and a profile portrait of the king. The frescoes depict the lives of Hungarian saints. The stained glass windows are not copies, they are original, because they were removed in 1942 and replaced after WW2. The organ was made in the Rieger factory in Pécs (here was made the largest organ of Europe, which is situated in Passau, Germany).
Near the chancel, in the former crypt, we find a museum of stonework remains, including medieval carvings. In the gallery a collection of ecclesiastical art is exhibited, containing old chalices and vestments as well as a replica of the crown of the Hungarian kings.