writes that Budapest’s oldest church, the Downtown Parish-Church, is now open to visitors again. The church reopened its gates for tourists and believers on the 27th of September, UN’s Touristic World Day after two years of reconstruction.

Besides the history of 2000 years and the relics of the 1000-year-old Christianity, a unique architectural record can also held by the church, which is the curiosity that it was built in 14 different styles.

[box type=”info”] The Assumption Parish-Church found at Március 15. Square was built on the walls of the Contra-Aquincum fortress. There’s nothing left of the Roman pre-church. Bishop Gellért was buried here in 1046. The church has been rebuilt several times: first in the 14th century with the approval of King Zsigmond, but later it was expanded during the time of King Matthias. The Turkish used it as a mosque. It was restored in baroque style after a firestorm in 1723. Then it was renovated by János Hild in 1805, Imre Steindl in 1889 and László Gerő in 1945. The inner space was repainted a few times and this was how the Virgin Mary fresco was discovered in 2010. At the time of Elizabeth Bridge’s renovation, the whole church had to be moved. [/box]

After the latest renovation, Roman wall remains can be now visited in the crypt. That is also where you can find the Nurnberg Madonna statue and other tombs, bones.


Entering the church you are welcomed by Judit Józsa’s ceramic group of statues designed on a tree trunk. A marble plate reminds visitors that the parish-church had famous visitors: Ferenc Liszt lived there until his home at the Academy of Music was built. He even played on the organ and conducted the choir.

The inner spaces of the church are beyond all praise. The gothic frames, the altar, the 24 gothic sedilia, the frescos and the reconstructed fractions are all brilliant. You can also see a prayer chamber left behind from Turkish times.

The relics of Saint Gellért, King Saint László and Saint Elizabeth can be seen in front of the high altar. The triptych is closed during Lent.

A special treasure is the cope from the 1800s, which can be seen in one of the side-chapels. There are four bells in the bell-tower. Only two are used currently, but all of them will be used after finishing all reconstruction works.


The parish-church can be now visited by anyone, the entry ticket costs 1000 forints but it comes with a useful and detailed guide booklet. Praying believers can approach the benches on a different path.


Copy editor: bm


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