The oldest building in Kapisztran square is the Mary Magdalene Tower built in late Gothic style, also the only medieval monument maintained in its original form.
After the foundation of the Buda Castle in 1244, Hungarian civilians, still a minority among Germans at the time, built their own chapel on this site.
At the end of the 15th century, the sanctuary was expanded into a three-aisle church, while a tower still standing today was also constructed.
During the Ottoman occupation, this was the site of the only Christian church in operation, shared for use by both Catholics and Protestants. Later it was taken away from Catholics and was converted into a Muslim place of worship.
It was used as the church of the Franciscans, but it was again closed after the order of Franciscans was dissolved. In 1792, the building, unused at the time, also served as the coronation site of Francis I as Hungarian king.
In 1817, it was given to the Garrison of Buda and served as their place of worship.
The building was severely damaged again during the 1945 siege of Budapest. The restoration of the Tower as a monument began in 1950, but at the same time, the leaders of the anti-church regime decided to demolish the church.
After being closed to the public for decades, Mary Magdalene Tower opened its doors to visitors again in the summer of 2017.
The Lookout tower on the higher level offers an extraordinary panorama with views to the most important buildings of Budapest and the nearby Buda hilltops. The 15th century building will soon be home to a cultural and tourism centre providing insight into both the Buda Castle and the church, as well as the Midday bell chimes and how it is connected to Hungarian history.
(We regret to inform you that the charillon is out of order due to a thunderstroke in 2020. The most sensitive parts got seriously damaged. Collecting funds for the million-Forint reparation is in progress.)
The side chapel awaits visitors with temporary art exhibitions every month.