According to the writer of the article on, the old name of the church which is The Church of Old Lady was more appealing to him. To the questions of what does he mean by old, he responses with this picture which was taken before the reconstruction of the building, in the beginning of 1870s.

To the writer the old, mediaeval form of the building was more close to him than today’s building which is attractive but the former was better as it was reflecting the area’s style. However, it has to be mentioned that today’s building is very beautiful, good to look at, and it has an important value in regards in tourism. It is an important and beautiful element of the Buda Castle and the writer only wants to point out the fact that this magnificent building had a former state which is not well known today.

The folklore states that the building of the church was in connection with Saint Stephen in 1015, although, there is no evidence for this. In the 13th century, at the invasion of the Mongols, Bela IV has erected a towered basilica on the castle hill. This building was built in the gothic style. The constructions were made in two large parts. The king’s patron rights were given to the monastery of the Dominican sisters at Margaret Island.

From the beginning of the 1300s, after the Árpád dynasty has died out, the kings were announced at the Church Of Old Lady. Their coronation still happened at Széksefehérvár, however, the king has introduced himself to the crowd at the Church of Old Lady.

Under the reign of Matthias, the southern bell tower was reconstructed which had collapsed previously and the northern tower’s reconstruction also had been continued. On 22nd December 1476, Matthias and Beatrice of Naples had been married in the Church of Old Lady.

At the age of the Turks, the church was the main mosque for 145 years. After the liberation, the church was in the hands of the Jesuits who were erected a seminar building next to it which had a significant size.

The reconstruction of Matthias church which can be seen nowadays was between 1874 and 1896 under the direction of Schulek Frigyes. At this time they had destroyed the surrounding buildings and Shulek had broken down the walls till the ground to found the marks of the earliest constrictions. He had planned to restore the earliest state of the building which was achieved by creating new elements (which was the copy of the original).

Not well known and it  will be forgotten soon that after the World War II it was a possibility to break down the Church of Old Lady instead of reconstructing it as they had done with the Church of Mary Magdalene. It is a mystery to this day who or what changed this decision but between 1954 and 1970 the reconstruction of the building had begun.

Even though the Church of Old Lady is not a thousand-year-old building, it is a significant memory of the Hungarian history: the building which shared its fate with the nation.

Offical website HERE.

based on article of
translated by Andrea Toth



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