Main tower of Matyas Church - Budapest, Hungary

Large and imposing, the Matyas Church has many incarnations in its 750-years history. It was erected in 1255 by King Bela IV after he moved his court up to Castle Hill from Obuda. Though officially dedicated to Blessed Virgin, the church gets its popular name from an escutcheon bearing the coat of arms of King Matyas Corvinus (1458-1490). After the Ottoman reign the church was transformed into a mosque named after Suleiman the Magnificent, but after Budapest's liberation in 1686 the church came under the auspices of the Jesuits. In 1867 Emperor Franz Joseph was crowned King of Hungary here. After this event the church was completely remodeled to resemble a neo-Gothic fantasy of the middle ages as an age of gilded chivalry and rose-tinted piety.

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