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 Basilica (Szent Istvan Bazilika) is one of the dominant features of the Budapest skyline. It is of course dedicated to the patron saint and in fact it is his figure that you see above the high altar inside. It underwent a clean up in 2003 and the area around it as well so that now in front is the nice Szent Istvan ter with sidewalk cafes, etc. One of the things that is unusual about this church is that it houses the purported right hand of St. Stephen. It sits in a chapel all its own and is contained in an elaborate, jeweled cathedral shaped box. Entrance to the chapel and viewing is free and for a few coins (maybe 1) you can get a light to turn on a light over it for a couple of minutes and you can get a photo.
Main photo courtesy of: http://cityguide.budapestrooms.com/sights/sights2.htm
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.
We couldn't get into the church because when we were there there was a wedding and after everyone got out the doors were closed so I couldn't see the beautiful church but the view from their panorama compensates for this. It's simply a must do even if you go to Gellért Hill to appreciate the view from there too.
Open daily between 10am and 5:30pm. You can go up the stairs or take the elevator.
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.
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.
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
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