Looks like part of a real old fortress, but Fishermen’s Bastion in Budapest is only 120 years old, and since its existence is a favorite lookout. According to urban stories in medieval times the fish market was nearby, and the bastion was built to commemorate the fishermen who protected, and in peace maintained this part of the citywalls.

Designed by architect Frigyes Schulek -‘ rebuilder’  of Matthias Church too – and built between 1899 and 1905, the white-stoned Fisherman’s Bastion is a combination of neo-Gothic and neo-Romanesque architecture and consists of turrets, projections, parapets, and climbing stairways. Construction of the bastion destabilised the foundations of the neighbouring 13th century Dominican Church which had to be pulled down. Schulek this way wanted to create not only a promenade above the city, but to ensure place and frame to the newly rebuilt Matthias Church alike.

The bastion is made up of seven towers – each one symbolizing one of the seven Magyar tribes that, in 896, settled in the area now known as Hungary. The structure looks straight out of some fairy-tale and conjures up thoughts of Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty. Still, it seems to be in sync with the style of the Church of Our Lady, which is the official name to Matthias Church, and nicely complements the church, which was the intention of the architect.

A monumental double stairway, decorated with reliefs of coats-of-arms and various motifs, connects the bastion with the streets below.

A bronze statue of Stephen I of Hungary mounted on a horse, erected in 1906, can be seen between the Bastion and the Matthias Church. The pedestal was made by Alajos Stróbl, based on the plans of Frigyes Schulek, also in Neo-Romanesque style, with episodes illustrating the King’s life. The costs of the statue and the bastion itself was supoorted by Emperor Franz Joseph, who was coronated as Hungarian king in Matthias Church in 1867.