At the Pest side of the Elisabeth Bridge there is a church, part of the foundations of which rest on the remains of a Roman building, the Contra-Aquincum military fortress built here in the second century. The ruins of this fortress can still be seen today on March the 15th square. However, archaeological excavations carried out in the church between 2014 and 2016 also revealed that the former fort's camp commanders' room is located just below the Inner City Parish Church, which has been made accessible through a glass floor.
In the 11th and 12th centuries, the stones of this Roman fortress were used to build the Romanesque church, the foundations of which can still be seen in the undercroft of the Inner City Parish Church. This undercroft was built at the same time as the archaeological research. Its museum displays objects, sheet music, missals an icon of the Madonna of Brno recovered during the excavations. But it is also the site of the so-called Holy Cross relic, which was donated to the Order of St. Paul by Pope Pius XI in 1934.
The church also houses relics of three Hungarian saints. In addition to the relics of King Saint Ladislau I and Saint Elizabeth of the House of Árpád, the main altar also houses the heel bone and vertebrae of Bishop Saint Gerard of Csanád whose body was buried here in 1046, according to the legends. One of the building's most important treasures is the 14th century fresco of the Madonna on the Throne, which was discovered in 2010 in a surprisingly intact condition in the niche behind the sanctuary.
Did you know?
In the summer of 2020, the almost 300-year-old Baroque towers of the Budapest-Inner City Parish Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary opened a lift-accessible tower viewing platform on two floors, offering a view of the capital to several directions.