The Inner City Parish Church or Belvárosi Főplébánia templom in Hungarian is located on the Pest side of the capital, on the March 15th square, right next to the white Elisabeth bridge. It is a Roman-catholic church, the main parish church of Budapest. It was built on the site of the Contra-Aquincum fortress. This fortress was built in the 2nd century by the Romans, who occupied the western side of the Danube in the second half of the 1st century. They also established a military camp and town called Aquincum in the territory of Old Buda (Óbuda) in the northern part of today’s Buda side of the capital. Nowadays visitors can find a museum and ruins of this town in the mentioned area, too.
The earliest features of the Inner City Parish Church date back to the Romanesque period. If you have a look at the Buda side, you cannot miss noticing the Gellért-hill with the Liberty statue on top. Bishop Gellért was and Italian priest helping our first king, Saint Stephen to convert the pagan Hungarians to be Christians, but poor Gellért ended up being the first Christian martyr in our history in Europe. He was buried in the Inner City Parish Church in 1046. In the 14th century the church was rebuilt in gothic style and then in the 15th century two new side ships were added. In the first half of the 16th century the Ottoman Empire occupied some parts of Hungary and they used churches as mosques for more than a century. This was the case with the Inner City Parish Church as well. You can still find a relic of the mosque in the south-eastern wall of the sanctuary. After a fire in 1723 the reconstructed the church between 1725-39 in baroque style. They restored it more times after this and such great Hungarian architects worked on it as János Hild or Imre Steindl. They built many of the important constructions of Budapest.
In 2011 they renewed the park and square in front of the church, so it has nice surroundings now, during the summertime there are many programs here. When the Elisabeth bridge was being rebuilt after destruction of the second World War, the Communist government of Hungary wanted to demolish the church, but the ecclesial authorities managed to save this historic treasure. The church could have been moved a bit with a method that had become a routine around the world, but eventually the axis of the bridge was built in a way that it bypasses the church.