The Saint Stephen`s basilica was originally built according to the plans of József Hild, in classic style. The construction began in 1851. On the 21th of january 1868, one year after Hild`s death, the cupola collapsed. Fortunately Miklós Ybl, the architect who continued the works, changing the plans from neoclassical to neorenassaince style, had already evacuated the basilica, so there were no casualities. The external parts were ready, when in 1891 also Ybl, the great architect died. The man who finished the projects of the internals was József Kauser. The church was consacrated on the 9th november 1905. In the 2nd world war the basilica suffered several damages, but was saved by a real miracle. A big bomb, stucked in the cupola was found only in 2002, not much before the end of the long reconstruction, that lasted for 18 years, finished. If it exploded, it would have blast the whole church.
See images of the extraction of the bomb from the cupola here
The Basilica now is in perfect shape. I hope that within a couple of years, also the renovation of the Matthias church will finish.
After undergoing years of renovations with the requisite scaffolding covering much of the building, St. Stephen's Basilica (Bazilika) is finally restored to full glory for you to enjoy. Construction took much longer (1851-1905) than expected because the first dome caved in. A room to the side houses important treasures and relics, including the mummified right hand of King. St. Stephen, who brought Christianity to Hungary and founded the Hungarian state in 1000. On a clear day, it is worth climbing the stairs above the cupola for some great views of the city. Everyone tells me the Bazilika is the same height as the Parliament, easier to tell from the higher elevation! There are periodic concerts as well. Look for announcements in the renovated square in front. See my Hungary albums for more pictures.
Named after the early king who brought Christianity to Hungary, this massive church holds up to 8000 worshippers and with the Parliament ( which is exactly the same height) dominates the Pest skyline. Built between 1851 and 1905 by three famed architect designers, a dome collapse in 1868 required essentially a complete rebuilding. The final result was a building considered so sturdy that during WWII bombings, documents and other important art treasures were stored inside it. The most treasured item is a mummified right hand stated to be that of St. Stephen himself, but the interior paintings marbleworks and sculptures are well worth the time taken. A statue of St. Stephen himself is over the main entrance doors.
During a reconstruction of 2003, the St. Stephen's Square in front of the church was also cleaned out. At the margins, two upscale and highly techno-decorated bar-restaurants with eclectic international menus draw the chic crowd. One is Nigro, more a bar, while the other (whose name I have forgotten) is more the restaurant. For the next trip.
This impressive neo-classical basilica was named after St. Istvan who was the first Hungarian Christian King. Construction began in 1851 and in 1857 the famous architect Miklos Ybl added the Dome after the original collapsed. The basilica was completed by Jozsef Kauser in 1905.
Inside the basilica you will find the beautiful Main Alter which contains the marble statute of St. Istavan and scenes of his life are depicted behind the alter. There are paintings by Gyula Benczur as well. The Dome is equally amazing with mosiacs which were designed by Karoly Lotz. The Dome reaches an impressive 315 ft. and can seen from all over Budapest.
Located in the Chapel of The Holy Right is the mummified preserved right forearm of King Istvan.
If you are lucky enough to be visiting Budapest when the Dome is open to the public, you can climb to the top for some excellent views of the city.
The Basilica of St Stephen is Hungary’s is one of the largest churches 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. Besides enjoying the many works of art inside the church, visitors can travel by elevator to the left tower on the second floor where they can enjoy a panoramic view of Budapest. In the right tower, you’ll find the largest church bell in the country, weighing about 9 tons. During the summer, evening organ concerts are presented quite frequently and are quite a treat for the classical music aficionado.
Stephan is considered to be the founder of Hungary, having united the country under his rule from 1001 until 1038. His presence is still felt atop Castle Hill next to the Mattias Church in the form of a large equestrian statue. The statue dates from 1906 and Arlajos Stobel, a fin-de-sicle salute to ancestors past
St.Stephens Basillica in located in Pest, it is huge beautiful Basillica that is packed full of history.
While we were here there was a wedding! Along with other visitors we were allowed to watch from the sides and the end of the aisle - it was amazing!
So from this experience we were aware that this beautiful place is still very much used by the people of Budapest.
Be sure to go into the chapel and see the mummified hand! And to also take a trip up into the dome for spectacular views over both Pest and the Buda hills. There is a lift part of the way and stairs for the rest...its not that scary!
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.
Named for the 1st Hungarian King, entrance to the church is free (unlike St. Mathias) but I'd also encourage you to go pay the 500 ft to go to the top for a beautiful view over Budapest.
You can take an elevator almost to the top (you have to switch elevators 1/2 way up) or there are stairs you can climb which inexplicably most people seemed to be doing even though the elevators were quite speedy. Maybe they didn't see the elevators or maybe they were trying to work off dinner from the night before. Or maybe the elevators are only for special guests :-)
St. Stephen's, Budapest's largest church, was built between 1851 & 1905. The dome, which is exactly as tall as Parliament, caved in, delaying completion until 1905.
A visit to the interior of St. Stephen’s Basilica is a real treat although it does seem to be constantly filled with tour groups. However it has some well maintained and beautiful sights and it is worth joining the crowds. For a fee you can go up to the viewing gallery just below the dome. There is just one rather inadequate lift but if you decide to use the steps be aware there are quite a few of them and you will need to be reasonably fit. The views across the city and over the river to the Royal palace are worth the climb though.
Take the lift and walk the few steps to dome at St.Stephens Basillica.
The views over the city are amazing and they are completley different from the views that you will experience on the Buda side of the city.
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.
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.
When we arrived in Budapest, had checked in and so on, we decided to go on an investigatory stroll.. That stroll brought us to this basilica. And to our suprise it was still open. So we had a quick look around since the guy who was to lock up was already closing the place down for the night. But in that quick glance we could see we had to get back here during the day. Even if it was just to go up to the dome and see over the city.. We never made it to the tour that we also planned to do. There were too many things to do in Budapest...
You can get to a balustrade that spans the outer dome of the St. Stephen Basilica. First you have to climb quite some stairs. Then you get to a place where a small but hyper modern lift will take you up for the rest of the trip. When you get out of the lift you're right next to the inner dome (the ceiling of the Basilica) and you just have to take a final flight or iron steps to get outside.. And you can take a very good look over Pest and see the Royal castle on Buda hill..