St. Stephen's Basilica - Szent Istvan Bazilika, Budapest

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1051 Budapest, Hercegprímás u. +36 1 317-2859

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  • St. Stephens Basilica
    St. Stephens Basilica
    by balhannah
  • St. Stephens Basilica
    St. Stephens Basilica
    by balhannah
  • Holy Right relic
    Holy Right relic
    by balhannah
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    THE HOLY RIGHT

    by balhannah Written Mar 19, 2014

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    St. Stephen's Basilica is visited by many to see the relic of St. Stephen.

    THE HOLY RIGHT..........

    It all began with the death of King St Stephen. After his death, times were turbulent, so the marble sarcophagus containing the embalmed and mummified corpse in the Basilica, was taken out of the scarcophagus and hidden in the tomb under the basilica.
    It was at this time, the right hand of the King, which remained intact and was believed to have miraculous power, was detached and taken to the treasury of the basilica.

    The journey of the Holy Right started in the 15th century, when pilgrims travelled to see it. During the early 1900s, it was taken to the Sigismund chapel in the Buda castle and remained there until 1944.
    In 1987, the cardinal and archbishop of Esztergom dedicated the Holy Right chapel. This is where I saw the holy relic of KIng St. Stephen. On the 950th anniversary of the death of King St Stephen, the Holy Right was carried around Hungary. Since 1989, the prayer procession has been organised every year on St. Stephen’s day.

    The right hand of Saint Stephen is the most revered relic of the Hungarian Catholic church.
    The preserved hand of St. Stephen is one of the Basilica's treasures and each year on the 20th of August it is ceremonially paraded through the city.

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    ST. STEPHENS BASILICA - INTERIOR

    by balhannah Updated Mar 19, 2014

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    Time to move inside the Basilica, so I shuffle in amongst the crowd, to a rather darkish interior, although, once my eyes adjusted to the dim light, then I could see just how large this Basilica was. Wow! Imagine 8,500 people filling this Church!

    The inside is stunning, and know wonder, as it was Hungary's most well-known sculptors and painters who were called upon to decorate the interior. Fifty different types of marble, stucco, gold leaf, elaborately decorated chapels, and many sculptures. The bust of the basilica's patron saint, who was the first Christian king of Hungary has prime position next to the Altar.

    The Basilica is free to enter [ DONATIONS APPRECIATED]
    Guided tours of the Basilica are also available Monday through Friday between 10 am and 3 pm
    Adult:..1.600,- HUF/person (or 1.100,-HUF/person without visit the look-out)
    Pensioner, student: 1,200 HUF/person (or 900 HUF/person without visiting the look-out)
    For foreign language guide
    2,000 HUF/person (or 1,400 HUF/person without visiting the look-out)

    Organ concerts are held on Mondays starting at 5 pm year-round. Tickets are HUF 3,000.
    Classical music concerts are held throughout the year.

    More photos in travelogue.

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    ST. STEPHENS BASILICA - EXTERIOR

    by balhannah Updated Mar 18, 2014

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    St. Stephen's Basilica, is one of the most beautiful churches in Budapest,
    one that is a MUST VISIT.

    The Basilica of St Stephen took 50 years to complete, and is Budapest's largest church. It is dedicated to St. Stephen, the first Christian king of Hungary. His right hand, the country's most important relic, I saw in one of the Chapels. The church was finally consecrated in 1905, then the following year, Emperor Franz Joseph laid the final stone.
    Pope Pius XI, gave the Church the title of 'basilica minor' in 1931, then in 1993, the church was given the title of Cathedral.

    The Basilica has a Greek-cross floor plan, with a majestic dome, which reaches a height of 96 meters in the centre. The height is deliberate, as it refers to 896, the year of the settlement of the Magyar tribes in the Carpathian Basin, which led to the foundation of today's Hungary.
    Visitors can access the look-out by using one of the two elevators.

    The tympanum has relief figures, there are statues that crown the colonnade of the church's apse, and large statues of the four apostles in the niches of the drum supporting the central dome. The massive wooden door below the tympanum is decorated with medallions showing the busts of the twelve apostles. In the right tower, is the largest Church bell in Hungary, weighing in at 9144 kg.

    I found the rear of the Basilica quite attractive too!
    This Church was one of the busiest with tourists in Budapest, even in off season, so be prepared to share with others!

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    St. Stephen's Basilica.

    by breughel Written Feb 23, 2014

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    St. Stephens Basilica - facade.
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    When looking from the Buda castle on the Pest side there are only two tall buildings: The St. Stephen's Basilica and the Hungarian Parliament Building. Both are exactly 96 m high and taller buildings are not allowed in Budapest.
    The architectural style is Neo-Classical with an imposing dome and two large bell towers; it was built in the second half of the 19th c.
    The façade is not a banal one but I wouldn't say I felt very enthusiast. Between St. Stephen's Basilica and the Hungarian Parliament Building, built in the same period of time, my preference clearly goes to the neo-gothic Parliament.

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    Central Pest: St. Stephen's Basilica

    by antistar Updated Oct 24, 2013

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    Set back from the Danube, the Basilica is still an imposing building on the waterfront due to its impressive height and distinctive features. Along with the Parliament it is the tallest building in the city. You can get great views of the city from its dome, or you can simply admire its fine neo-renaissance lines from many parts of the city.

    If you think the basilica is impressive from the outside, just step into the grand domed interior to be totally shell-shocked. All the basilicas I've visited in Hungary have been ostentatious displays of wealth and craft, but none of them are a patch on St. Stephen's in Budapest. The soft light falls through the ornate stained glass windows and illuminates acres of fine gold inlay, exquisitely detailed reliefs, and gracious, mathematically perfect curves.

    It's designed to dazzle, and it succeeds spectacularly. And you can see it all for free.

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    Stephen's Basilica

    by shavy Written Aug 31, 2013

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    Is a neo-Renaissance church in central Budapest. It is the second largest church in Hungary capable of holding 8500 people
    The basilica houses Hungary's largest bell. It is situated in the right tower and weighs 9 tons
    The Dome is 96 m (315 ft) high, the exact height of Parliament's dome

    Start your visit with the square in front of the church it became a beautiful pedestrian area with cafés and benches to sit on make sure to admire the building from all sides
    Enter the church and view the works of famous contemporary artists who decorated the interior
    do not miss the marvelous frescoes, statues and mosaics
    Go to the small chapel left to the Main Altar to see the Holy Right of St Stephen
    For a splendid panoramic view of Budapest take the elevator that takes you up until halfway. From there you have to climb the stairs to the cupola.(admission fee is 500 HUF)

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    St. Stephen's

    by GentleSpirit Updated Feb 2, 2013

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    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.

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  • mindcrime's Profile Photo

    st. Stephen’s Basilica

    by mindcrime Written Dec 16, 2012
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    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.

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  • Jefie's Profile Photo

    The most important church in Budapest

    by Jefie Updated Nov 11, 2012

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    The basilica on Szent Istvan Square
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    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.

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    St. Stephen's Basilica

    by hungariangirl896 Written Aug 25, 2012

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    St. Stephen's Basilica at night
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    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.

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    Szent István Bazilika (St Stephen's Basilica)

    by zadunajska8 Written Nov 23, 2011

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    Szent Istv��n Bazilika (St Stephen's Basilica)
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    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!

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  • ChrisnJan's Profile Photo

    A Beautiful Basilica.

    by ChrisnJan Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    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.

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  • Jetgirly's Profile Photo

    A Very Big Basilica

    by Jetgirly Written Apr 1, 2011

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    St. Stephen's Basilica, Budapest
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    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.

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  • Raimix's Profile Photo

    Cathedral of St Stephan

    by Raimix Updated Mar 4, 2011

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    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.

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  • mallyak's Profile Photo

    St. Stephen's Basilica

    by mallyak Updated Dec 18, 2010

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    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.

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