Matthias Church – one of the original medieval wonders of Hungary – is located in Buda, the older, Brahmin sister to the self-obsessed Pest. From the heights of the Castle District, there’s a splendid view of Parliamentary spires and prostitute-packed quays.
It’s a fake, of course. Or, rather, an Austro-Hungarian concept of ancient splendor. Though it has a thoroughly respectable Romanesque pedigree, it’s been trussed up by Gothic architects, stripped bare by Ottomans and halfheartedly meddled with by Baroque fanatics. By the time the 19th century plastic surgeon, Frigyes Schulek, finished his work, there was barely an original stone left.
The purple-roofed Sancho Panza to the quixotic Matthias Church is, you guessed it, a Hilton hotel.