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

4.5 out of 5 stars 135 Reviews

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

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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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  • mallyak's Profile Photo

    St Stephan on horseback

    by mallyak Written Dec 16, 2010

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    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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  • Sergiods's Profile Photo

    St. Stephen's Basilica

    by Sergiods Updated Nov 18, 2010

    Szent István-bazilika is an ecclesiastic basilica in Budapest, Hungary. It is named in honour of Stephen, the first King of Hungary (c. 975–1038), whose mummified fist is housed in the reliquary. Along with the Hungarian Parliament Building, it is the tallest building of Budapest (96 m). It was completed in 1905 after 54 years of construction. Much of this delay can be attributed to the collapse of the dome in 1868 which required complete demolition of the completed works and rebuilding from the ground up.

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    Phone: +36 1 317-2859
    Directions: Near Deak Ferenc ter (central metro station (M1 M2 M3), terminal for buses 4 9 15 and trams 47 49;M1 or bus 4 express Bajcsy-Zsilinszky ut station/stop.
    Website: http://www.basilica.hu

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  • MikeBird's Profile Photo

    Enjoy an evening concert

    by MikeBird Updated Nov 1, 2010

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    It seems the authorities that manage the Basilica offer a range of evening concerts that are a wonderful way of taking in the atmosphere of this ornate Cathedral.
    I happened to be passing at 5pm and noticed that a concert was scheduled for later that Monday evening. For HUF2,500 I was able to enjoy a 50 minute concert of an organ recital and the voice of a mezzosoprano. Most of the pieces were popular items including amongst others Albinoni's Adagio, Franck's Panis angelicus, Gounod's Ave Maria and to finish J.S.Bach's Toccato and fugue in d minor. All good stuff and for me, rather moving and emotional pieces.

    On the following evening there was to be a different concert, I think of a choir. So it's pot luck as to what type of music you'll hear but to experience it in that setting was really wonderful.

    The main photo shows the cathedral from a side road but the other photos show some daytime detail of the building's impressive exterior.

    St Stephen's Basilica from a side road Exterior detail of the dome Daytime view of St Stephen's Basilica
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  • antistar's Profile Photo

    Central Pest: St. Stephen's Basilica Views

    by antistar Written Jul 24, 2010

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    Entrance to the walkway of the Basilica's cupola is separate to the main door, and so it gets a separate tip. Although it's just an excuse to post five more pictures. The views from the top of the Basilica are outstanding, among the best in Budapest, and so it's more than worthy.

    Getting up to the cupola is not obvious, and easily overlooked if you aren't aware of it. When you approach the main door, walk to the right and find a smaller door. This has a kiosk where you can buy entrance tickets for a couple of euros. Then you must walk to the top.

    This is a tough hike, but there is a lift hidden away that can take you part of the way. If I remember correctly it's up a few stairs to your right as you enter an open area about half way up. There was another boarded up lift when I was there which might be operational when you visit.

    View from Basilica Roof, Budapest View from Basilica Roof, Budapest View from Basilica Roof, Budapest View from Basilica Roof, Budapest View from Basilica Roof, Budapest

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  • german_eagle's Profile Photo

    St. Stephen's

    by german_eagle Written Apr 3, 2010

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    This church is decidcated to the first christian King of Hungary, Isztvan (about the year 1000). St. Stephen's is a basilica minor, built 1851-1905 in neo-classicistic style (long time due to static problems, the dome collapsed in 1868 and was rebuilt in neo-Renaissance style).

    The interior of the church is decorated with mosaics, frescos, the material is marble, stucco plaster etc. - the result is that the church appears quite dark. In a chapel behind the chorus (entrance left side) the mummified lower arm of King Stephen is on display. Quite bizarre IMO.

    The ascent to the dome was unfortunately closed when I was there (open April - Oct) but I think you'd have a very good view over the city from there. Fee must be about HUF 500 I think.

    St. Stephen's interior the dome an altar chapel of the Holy right hand
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  • illumina's Profile Photo

    St Stephen's Basilica

    by illumina Written Jan 18, 2010

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    Another building that is more modern than it appears; the Basilica was constructed between 1851 and 1905 in a Neoclassical style. It is named after Szent Istvan, the first King of Hungary (c975-1038), and contains a relic consisting of his preserved right hand.

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  • ViajesdelMundo's Profile Photo

    LARGEST CHURCH in the CAPITAL

    by ViajesdelMundo Written Jul 30, 2009

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    After 50 years of construction, the Italian Neo-Renaissance style church was finally completed. The dome is 65 meters high!
    It is a very ornate and beautiful sight to behold inside; should NOT be missed.

    DOME The Dome Saint Stephens Cathedral
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  • Andrew_W_K's Profile Photo

    Rooftop Panorama

    by Andrew_W_K Updated May 4, 2009

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    At St Stephen's basilica you can, for a small fee, climb the tower to the roof for some outstanding views across the city. Its a bit of a slog climbing to the top but you'll be well rewarded if you make the effort.

    Hungarian Parliament from the rooftop The stairwell Rooftop Splendour
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  • csordila's Profile Photo

    The second biggest Basilica in the world

    by csordila Updated Feb 28, 2009

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    This neo-renaissance and classicist church is said to be second in size to St. Peter's in Rome and can allegedly hold 8.500 people. Although not a basilica in the technical sense of the word, but Hungarians like to call "the Basilica" in honor of its sheer size.
    The cathedral has a height of 96 metres - exactly the same as the Parliament building. It took over 50 years to build it according to the design of Hild and Ybl. It was completed in 1905.
    The bust above the main entrance is of St. Stephen, Hungary's first Christian king.
    Inside the church, to the left of the Main Altar in the Holy Right Chapel you can see Hungarian Catholicism's most precious treasure, the mummified right fist of St. Stephen. On 20th August every year the Holy Right is carried around the city in a procession.
    In 2003 a full-scale eight years renovation of the church and neighboring square was completed, and now the cleaned-up front of the church graces the colorful and grand St. Stephen square, where travelers sip their coffee in open-air cafes.
    You can visit the viewing platform above the cupola from where, needless to say, you can admire one of Budapest's best panoramic views. The platform is open only between 1st April to 31st October.

    Notice: The renovation incl. the square was organized by me and my company from 1998.

    Daily Mass is held at 7:00am and 8:00am at the Holy Right Chapel, and 5:30am and 6:00pm in the Basilica
    Sunday Mass at 8:00, 9:00, and 10:00am, noon, and 6:00 and 7:30pm.
    Open: 9:00am - 5:00pm every day, in winter: 10:00am - 4:00pm
    Price 1600 HUF/ 6 € for an adult, 800 HUF/3 € for Senior (62+) and students

    St. Stephen offering his country to the Virgin Stained glass window of St. Stephen The Basilica around 1905 The bust above the main entrance
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  • gigina's Profile Photo

    St. Stephen's Basilica

    by gigina Written Feb 22, 2009

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    Fifty years in the making, the Basilica of St Stephen is Hungary’s largest church and the second highest in ecclesiastical ranking. Technically, it isn’t really a basilica but the sheer size of the structure has led it to be referred to in this manor.
    Building St Stephen’s Church
    Construction of the basilica began in 1851. The first architect to work on the design was Jozsef Hild, whose ideas for the structure reflected the Classical style. When Hild passed away during the construction of St Stephen’s, architect Miklos Ybl took over, adding his own touch to the basilica, which leaned more towards neo-Renaissance.

    A dome collapse in 1868 slowed the construction process significantly as did the death of the second architect, Miklos Ybl. The layout of the interior of the basilica and the completion of the building in 1905 was ultimately overseen by yet a third architect, Jozsef Krausz.

    The Basilica's Interior
    Krausz called upon many of Hungary’s most well-known sculptors and painters to contribute to the decoration of the inside of St Stephen’s. The incredibly ornate interior features about 50 different types of marble, elaborately decorated chapels, and many sculptures, including a bust of the basilica’s patron saint, who was the first Christian king of Hungary. Special Papal permission had to be granted in order to place the statue on the altar. You’ll also find St Stephens preserved right hand in the Chapel of the Holy Right.
    Many special documents and treasured works of art were stored here during World War II as the building was considered sturdy enough to withstand any bombings that might occur. In 2003, the church was given its most recent facelift and has been restored to its original grandeur.

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  • mikey_e's Profile Photo

    Neo-Classical beauty

    by mikey_e Written Jan 16, 2009

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    Saint Stephen’s Basilica is a massive basilica that is easily visible from Buda when you gaze down on the Danube from the Castle. Unfortunately, the growth of the city means that it is frequently obscured when you are in Pest itself, but it is hard not to see the top of the Basilica when you’re in its vicinity. Like so many other “historic” buildings in Budapest, this one is actually quite recent: it was only complete in 1905 (of course, it would have been done earlier, but the massive dome collapsed in 1868). The Basilica is in neo-Classical style, but with a much more somber undertone than, say, the Palace of Art or the Museum of Fine Arts. The entrance façade is much more subdued, relying more on the sheer size of the building and its two tall bell-towers to make an impression than on frills and caprices. Inside the Basilica, however, there is no end to the ornate garnishes and marble. The interior is actually quite dark, so be prepared with a good camera if you want to take pictures you can depend on of the interior. There is lots of gold leaf, especially in the altar area, which is not surprising given that the Basilica houses the mummified fist of Hungary’s first King, Stephen I. The cupola is also impressive, but for some reason the pews were blocked off when I visited, so I was only able to see it, but not photograph it. It is also possible to visit the top of the dome, from you get a great view of all of Budapest (so I’m told) owing to the fact that this and the Parliament are the two tallest buildings in the city.

    Szent Istvan Bazilika The cupola Entrance to the Basilica The Basilica from behind Detail of the entrance
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  • cjg1's Profile Photo

    St. Stephan's Basilica

    by cjg1 Updated Dec 29, 2008

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    St. Stephen's Basilica is named for the first King of Hungary. The King's mummified hand is in the basilica and is taken out during the festival of St. Stephen.

    The building itself is very impressive with a beautiful dome. We noticed this large structure from some locations in Budapest such as Fisherman's Bastion and Gellert Hill.

    Beautiful at Night Beautiful in the Day
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  • BruceDunning's Profile Photo

    St. Stephens Church

    by BruceDunning Updated Sep 21, 2008

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    Long range shot of church-We did not get there, but wanted to. After 54 years of work, the curch was completed in 1905. It was named after the first Hungarian king. Stephen. It is about 300 feet tall and width is 160 feet.

    in the middle
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