The Basilica honors Saint Stephen, the first king of Hungary and the ruler most responsible for bringing Christendom to present day Hungary.
The basilica was only finished in 1905 after substantial delays in the 54 year construction. More than anything else the biggest delay was due to the dome collapsing.
Though it doesn't seem that big, the basilica can fit about 8,500 people (they didn't say comfortably).
The reliquary contains the hand of St Stephen (didn't see this)
BEWARE- there is a lady that will tell you it costs money to enter, she is talking about the trip up to the top of the belltower. the basilica is free.
St. Stephen’s Basilica (Szent István Bazilika ) is a beautiful roman catholic basilica. The only problem is that is located in the city center which means a lot of other tourists will be at the door with you, most of them part of groups. It was built in 1905 (after 54 years of construction) in neoclassical style and it’s one of the highest buildings in Budapest with its height at 96 meters. The façade looks nice day (pic 1) and night (pic 5) with 2 bell tower and a large dome.
The basilica is dedicated to Stephen I,the first king of Hungary that ruled from 1000 to 1038 and is one of Hungrary’s patron saints. At the back side of the basilica you can visit the reliquary that houses the holy right hand (!) of Stephen that is kept as a relic (pic 4), locals believe that he held the Holy Crown with this hand when asked Virgin Mary to be the queen of his people!! Stephen was canonized on august 20, 1083, a public holiday in Hungary. He established Christianity in his region and discouraged several pagan customs. He brought law such as that each ten villages should build a church and brought lot of foreign priest to spread the new religion.
It’s a huge church that can house more than 8000 people. We noticed many nice paintings, sculptures, side chapels and other smaller details that kept us busy. Have in mind that low light condition will trouble your camera but still it’s a place not to be missed. If you visit it in the evening you may attend a concert (the basilica is famous for its concerts)
The basilica is open daily 9.00-19.00
There’s no entrance fee but a donation of 200Ft will be asked (in a non polite way)
There are guided tours in English (mon-Friday 10-15.00) for 1600Ft including chapel, treasury and view from cupola.
For a small fee you can visit one of the towers for a nice view but we didn’t do it because of the long queue.
St. Istvan's Basilica (St. Stephen's in English) is dedicated to the first king of Hungary and one of the country's patron saints. This Christian king reigned at the beginning of the 11th century and was largely responsible for establishing Christianity in the Kingdom of Hungary. He was canonized in 1083 after several miracles were reported to have occurred at his burial site. The king's "incorruptible" right hand is on display in the basilica's reliquary. It took a total of 54 years to build the Neo-Classical basilica, which was finally completed 1904. Construction was delayed when the dome, a late addition to the original design, collapsed in 1868 and required a complete demolition and reconstruction of the basilica. The dome reaches a height of 96 m, the same as that of the parliament building, thus symbolizing the equality of church and state in Hungary. One thing not to be missed when visiting the bailica is the observatory located at the top of one of its bell towers and offering really nice views of he city.
St. Stephen's Basilica is one of the biggest and most beautiful churches in Hungary. This basilica is named after King Stephen, who brought Christianity to Hungary. In 1905 the construction was finally finished. The main altar of the church is very large and includes a statue of Stephen. Many beautiful paintings, statues, and chapels line the walls. You can also climb the stairs to the very top of the dome, walk around, and see a breathtaking view of the city. Inside one of the basilica's chapels is the actual right hand of Stephen himself on display. The basilica should be on every tourist's list because of its breathtaking beauty.
Clearly a visit to Szent István Bazilika (St Stephen's Basilica) is going to be on most people's sight-seeing list when they visit Budapest and I wouldn't try to disuade anyone from going as it is very pretty. There is rather a lot of reflective surfaces inside and it's actually very dark so your pictures may not come out to well - take lots and some should be ok! What I was a little surprised at when we arrived was the way they collect the entrance fee. I don't object to there being such a fee although I was surprised as a number of guide books had said there wasn't one but here they don't call it an entrance fee - it is a donation. To me the word donation suggests that there is some voluntary element to it but here they have a priest ready to extract the 'donation' from you by whatever means necessary and in fact we saw the priest 'actively removing' the donation from a chinese family in front of us. The required donation is only 250Fts (less than £1 sterling) so it's not much but what a way to get it!
The basilica holds the 'holy relic' that is supposed to be the right hand of St Stephen who was the first Christian king of the Magyars and so seen as founder of the Kingdom of Hungary some 1000 years ago. This is exhibited in the 'Chapel of the Holy Right'. If you want them to switch the lights on breifly so you can see the relic this will be another 200Fts and a priest is again standing by to help you part with this tiresome burden of coinage!
This really is a beautiful church and is worth seeing. The entry fee (or 'donation') is next to nothing and so shouldn't put anyone off. It's just such a shame the catholic church have found such a way of asking for the money (which I don't imagine anyone would object to paying) which leaves you feeling like you've just been mugged!
The exterior is very impressive and very imposing; the interior is nothing short of magnificent.
I could go into detail and start quoting travel guides, but I think it would be better if you just went and marvelled at the beauty and history in person, you won't be disappointed.
This should definitely be added to your itinerary when visiting Budapest.
St. Stephen's Basilica (Szent István-bazilika in Hungarian) is a monolithic Roman Catholic church in the center of Pest. It was named after Hungary's first king, and today visitors can enter the Holy Right Chapel to pay their respects to St. Stephen's mummified right hand. The large dome can also be ascended, for about $2.50 US and the labour of climbing 300+ stairs. They say the view is worth it! In addition to tolling bells (such as the Great St. Stephen Bell, weighing in just under 10,000 kilograms!) visitors can attend organ concerts in the basilica. The basilica is open to the public; dress appropriately, turn off your flash and be polite.
Actually it is Budapest's largest church. Construction began in 1848 in neo - Classical style.
The main altar carries the sculpture of St. Stephen and many of frescos shows the life of St. Stephen.
The architecturally eclectic St. Stephen's Basilica is the largest Roman Catholic church in the country, and took more than five decades to build. The main attraction here is the mummified hand of St. Stephen, the first king of Hungary and founder of the nation; his hand is housed in the reliquary.
Created by Alajos Stróbl the statue of the state-founding king St Stephan on horseback was unveiled in Buda Castle in 1906. The king is wearing the Hungarian Holy Crown and has a golden halo; he is waving his sceptre over the people in blessing.
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