At the southern end of Castle Hill, the Castle Museum is housed in the former Royal Palace, which was built mostly by French architects...
Below Castle Hill on the banks of the Little Danube is Víziváros, the colourful 'Watertown' district of pastel town houses, churches and...
Below Castle Hill in the picturesque riverbank Watertown (Víziváros) district is the former Bishop’s Palace, today housing the...
This cafe-cum-cultural centre in Watertown with mix-and-match furnishings, a steady stream of events and a shop selling a rare mix of...
With a sheer rock face topped by a castle bastion as the backdrop to its courtyard, Padlizsán has the most dramatic setting of any...
Lonely Planet review
The basilica, the largest church in Hungary, is on Castle Hill, and its 72m-high central dome can be seen for many kilometres around. The building of the present neoclassical church was begun in 1822 on the site of its 12th-century counterpart destroyed by the Turks. József Hild, who designed the cathedral at Eger, was involved in the final stages, and the basilica was consecrated in 1856 with a sung Mass composed by Franz Liszt.
The grey church is colossal, measuring 117m long and 47m wide. Its highlight is the red-and-white marble Bakócz Chapel on the south side, which is a splendid example of Italian Renaissance stone-carving and sculpture. The chapel escaped most – though not all – of the Turks’ axes; notice the smashed-in faces of Gabriel and missing heads of other angels above the altar. The copy of Titian’s Assumption over the church’s main altar is said to be the world’s largest painting on a single canvas.
On the northwest side of the church is the entrance to the basilica’s treasury , an Aladdin’s cave of vestments and church plate in gold and silver and studded with jewels. It is the richest ecclesiastical collection in Hungary.
The door to the right as you enter the basilica leads to the crypt , a series of eerie vaults down 50 steps with tombs guarded by monoliths representing Mourning and Eternity. Among those at rest here is Cardinal József Mindszenty. It’s worth making the tortuous climb up to the cupola for the outstanding views over the city; the 400 steps leading up to it are to the left of the crypt entrance.