Tuesday 9 September 2014

Beautiful Budapest

I spent a few days in Budapest last week and it was as architecturally striking as I have been told.  This is St Stephen's Cathedral.  However, be warned, if you go on a Sunday, having looked at their website advertising a Latin mass at 10am - it's only once a month (I think that's what was explained to me!)

The Cathedral puts on concerts in the evening and I went to hear Mozart''s Requiem.  The trick, I find, at concerts of religious music in church is to look at the art works and statues or close your eyes - otherwise the facial contortions of the singers are rather off-putting to any sense of being moved by the music.  What seems strange to me is that a concert of classical music all in Latin filled the church with visitors. I wonder when many in the Church will catch on to the fact that Latin is not a bar to attracting people!  In fact, they will actually pay to come in and listen to it.

The High A;tar is dominated by a statue of St Stephen - and very splendid it is.

 All the churches I went into were immaculately kept.  No plastic chairs stacked up in side chapels or the remains of last years CAFOD display festering in the porch.

On the hill of Buda stands the Mattias Church.  A vision of glory, with every surface ablaze with frescoes.

I wouldn't mind preaching from this pulpit - and as I've no Hungarian, the congregation wouldn't be able to make any complaints!

An extraordinary window in the baptistery, off-set in the wall mouldings.

A statue of Our Blessed Lady adorns the High Altar - crowned with a replica of the Hungarian crown, blessed by Pope St John Paul.

Actually, I didn't specifically go to see the churches. What drew me was the prospect of all the glorious Art Nouveau and Secessionist architecture - which abounds all over the Pest side of the city.
here are just a few examples.


Gertrude said...

24Father, have you visited St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague? The Mucha windows are spectacular - as is the rest of it. Also, no back copies of @The Tablet' or Cafod there either!

Fr Simon Henry said...

Indeed I have. Very different style but stunning as well.

David O'Neill said...

We visited Budapest as part of a Danube cruise in 2006 & your photographs of the cathedral remind us of that time - it was Christmas which we spent at Melk Abbey. Have you been there? It is magnificent! No wonder I intended (as a boy) to be a Benedictine.