UNIQUE ATTRACTIONS

Fishermen’s Bastion

Fishermen’s Bastion

Fishermen’s Bastion was built between 1895 and 1902 in Neo-Gothic style. It was designed and built by Frigyes Schulek.

In the Medieval age this part of the castle wall was guarded by the guild of fishermen, it was named after that. Obviously, the present Fishermen’s Bastion has never had any role of defence. It is a spectacular looking-out terrace, with impressive stairs and walking paths. The Pest bank of the river Danube offers its most beautiful view to the capital perhaps from this site whereas, looking from the side of Pest, Fishermen’s Bastion adds up to the beauty of the silhouette of Castle Hill.

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The bronze statue of King St. Stephen mounted on a horse can be seen between the bastion and the church. It was erected in 1906.
The pedestal was made based on the plans of Frigyes Schulek in Neo- Romanesque style, with episodes illustrating the King’s life. The sculpture was made by Alajos Stróbl.

Walking further on, we arrive at Hotel Hilton built in 1976 based on the plans of Béla Pintér. It is not only a modern hotel but also a store of several historical findings. It is an interesting fact that the hotel was built by using two famous monuments.

Its northern wing was built over the remnants of the medieval St. Nicholas Cloister, and its southern wing is formed by the walls of the Jesuit college that was built in the 18th century. At the place where the two are joined, we can find the reconstructed Miklós Tower: in 1930 a relief portraying King Matthias was fixed to it.

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The square in front of the hotel – Hess András Square – was named after the printer called András Hess who founded the first book-printing house in Hungary in house number 4. Today restaurant Fortuna operates at its place.

The sculpture of Pope Ince IX is standing in the middle of the square. The work of József Demkó, it was erected by the city in 1936, for the 250th anniversary of Buda’s liberation from the Turkish rule. Pope Ince IX initiated to create an alliance against the Turks and he also gave financial assistance for the liberating fights.

The building behind the sculpture is the so-called Red Hedgehog House. It was named after the relief over its gate. Until 1785 the only inn of the castle the “Inn to the red Hedgehog” operated at this place. Theatre performances were also held in its great hall.…

Matthias Church

Matthias Church

The Church of Virgin Mary, more commonly known as Church Matthias was built in the 50s and 60s of the 13th century. This was the first church of the Castle Hill, the construction work was started by King Béla IV directly after the establishment of the town.

At the turn of the 14th-15th centuries it was transformed into a Gothic church of a nave and two aisles and then, in the 70s of the 15th century, Matthias further expanded it by the royal oratorium and by the southern tower which can partly be seen even at present. At that time he placed there his coat of arms with the raven in it. After that time only minor changes have been made on it.

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From 1541 on, during the period of the rule of the Turks, the Turks used it as their main mosque. After 1686 it was given to the Franciscans and then to the Jesuits for a short period. In the 18th century is was damaged by fire and then by a stroke of lightning and, as a result, it was in rather bad condition by the 19th century. At that time is was already the main parish church of Buda, therefore they decided to reconstruct the church. It received its present neo-gothic form between 1874 and 1896, when it was reconstructed and expanded based on the plans of Frigyes Schulek.

During the second world war the church was seriously damaged. Its reconstruction was completed in the 70s. The roof of the church is covered by majolica tiles made in the Zsolnay factory of Pécs.

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We can enter the church through the southern gate. Gate Mary from the 14th century opens from the entrance hall. The relief at the entrance shows Mary’s death.

The church received its present internal ornaments at the time of its reconstruction in the 19th century. The work of Bertalan Székely is a colourful, rich painting consisting of geometrical forms and vegetative elements. The coloured stained glass windows of the southern wall were also made based on the drawings of Bertalan Szé kely and Károly Lotz. Episodes from the lives of Saint Elisabeth and Saint Margaret of the Árpád-House and those from the life of Virgin Mary can be seen on them.

The frescos on the wall were painted by Károly Lotz, with themes of praising Mary.

King Matthias’s famous coat of arms mentioned before can be seen on the wall of the southern tower.

The most important sights inside the church are as follows:
Chapel of Loreto: The picture of the Black Madonna that became blackish due to the smoke of the Baroque period is placed to the winged altar-piece of the late Gothic period. This is the place where the legendary sculpture of the Madonna made of red marble is standing.
Béla Tower: The frescos of Károly Lotz can be seen on its walls, showing the victory of Nándorfehérvár and the episode of ordering to sound the bells at noon. On the western wall there is the circular window with stepped casing. A neo-Roman christening basin can be found in front of it.
St. Imre Chapel: Frescos illustrating the life of St. Ferenc can be seen on its western wall (Károly Lotz). The pictures of the winged altar-piece were painted by Mihály Zichy, they show the most important events of the life of Saint Imre.
Grave Chapel of King Béla III: The sarcophagi of King Béla III and his wife are placed there. Originally, they were buried in the Basilica of Székesfehérvár; however, their graves were found during the excavations and the archaeologists succeeded in identifying them based on their bones. The chapel was built at the end of the 19th century, the sarcophagi with the lying figures of the royal couple on it and with the baldachin above them were also made at that time. (It was made by Ferenc Mikula and István Hauser, based on the plans of Frigyes Schulek).
St. László Chapel: The wall paintings showing episodes of the life of St. László were made by Károly Lotz.
High altar: The neo-gothic high altar is the work of Frigyes Schulek. In the lower line of the shrine’s stained glass windows the pictures of saints and apostles can be seen, in the upper line there are the saints who played roles in the history of Hungary.
Pulpit: with the figures of the 12 apostles.Right of the high altar there is a way to the crypt. Walking across it we reach the Museum of Church Art. The oratorium of the Maltese Knights can be found there.…

Bathing Halls of Budapest

Bathing Halls of Budapest

Altogether eighty natural hot springs of varying temperatures and chemical composition are to thank for the world-famous medicinal baths found all over the city. The 20 to 27 °C water from the four different groups of springs have been used since the Roman times for bathing and medicinal purposes. The minerals dissolved in the waters of the springs are effective in the treatment of numerous illnesses, especially movement related ailments.

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Perhaps the Romans founded Aquincum, the capital of their territory lying to the west of the Danube, in its chosen location because they liked the water of the area’s hot springs. The ruins of the huge bathhouses can still be seen even today in several locations of Óbuda, for example in the area of modern open-air Roman Bath.

The Turks, who for 150 years ruled over the country, built numerous bathhouses on the warm water springs of Buda. These are among the most well known reminders of Turkish times. Three of them have remained in their original form, and can still be visited today. The Pasha of Buda, Mustafa Sokollu, had all three of them built in the years between 1560 and 1570. The hot water springs of the Rudas Bath have been in use since the Middle Ages. That octagonal pool and the hemispherical dome make the building one of the most beautiful still standing Turkish bathhouses. The swimming pool and the steam bath are additions from the 20th century.

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The wings of the Király Bath in Fõ Street were also added in the last Century, but when approaching from Ganz Street one can see the characteristic exterior of the Turkish dome which covers the basin. (Men and women can visit the bath on alternating days).

The Császár Bath, with its octagonal dome covering the basin, has also remained intact for us from this era. According to a stone marker with a Turkish inscription it was built in 1570 on top of the ruins of a bath from the middle ages. The row of buildings surrounding the Turkish bath was built in the 19th century.

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Already in the 13th century a hospital was built to use the medicinal effects of the spring under today’s Gellért Therapeutic Bath, but the Turks built a bath here as well. The Eclectic building of the Gellért Therapeutic Bath and Hotel was constructed in 1918. Its beautiful indoor mosaiclined pool and the open air wave pool are refreshing for those of all ages.

The water of the just recently renovated Lukács Bath has a positive health effects, but the people of Budapest savor swimming in open air warm water pool both in the winter and in the summer, regardless of age and health condition.

Apart from using the naturally flowing springs, excellent bathhouses have also been built on artesian wells, which have been drilled since the 19th century based on the charts of the ingenious Hungarian geologist Vilmos Zsigmnondy. The likewise newly renovated Szé chenyi Bath in the City Park is one of these. This bath was built in the first years after 1900 to make use of 74 °C medicinal waters rising from a 979-meter deep artesian well drilled in 1870. Refreshment seekers will find steam, thermal, and open-air baths awaiting them here.…