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.
The first day after arriving in Budapest, I made a bee-line to the Basilica of St. Stephen's, I was that curious about the architecture inside this church, and I was not disappointed. The building of the basilica was started in 1851 but was not completed after many problems in design and collapse of the dome, in 1905. It is a fine neo-renaissance building, inside there are lots of capitals decorated in gold leaf, copula and a dome, all very tasteful and pleasing to the eye. Also beautiful are the stained glass windows.
It is a definite must do when visiting the Pest side of the city.
This church - completed in 1905 after 54 years of building efforts - is the third-largest church in Hungary and one of the two tallest buildings in Budapest. During construction the dome collapsed, and building had to start all over again. It is named after King Stephen who converted his pagan Hungarian nation to the catholic faith, thus establishing Hungary as an accepted kingdom in western Europe and drawing it out of the orthodox-byzantine-russian cultural orbit. The St. Stephen`s cathedral is stunningly beautiful - easily overlooked are the beautiful stained-glass windows in a hidden chapel.
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.
St. Stephen’s Basilica is biggest church and with the Hungarian Parliament Building it is tallest building in Budapest. It dome is 96 meters high and it can been seen from every part of City. Its is 3th biggest church in whole Hungary.
This is Roman Catholic church and it is dedicated to holy king St. Stephen, first Hungarian king and founder of the Hungarian state.
It is obligatory part of every touristic tours within city and, thanks to its location, it was part of my individual tours as well. Square in front of church with same name is always overcrowded. There are lots of tourists and local performers.
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 St. Stephen's Basilica is not just a church, also the center of culture and music. What is more, you can visit several concerts from Thursday until Monday in the evening time. The beautiful athmosphere of the building with the best accustic - thanks to the great structure- is an unmissable experinece!
Here you can get more information, if you interested: http://www.gotohungary.net/index.php?partnerid=1169&progid=Org&lang=en
After visiting St. Stephen's Basilica, we ran into this life size bronze statue of an over-fed Hungarian Policeman. He was wearing the old uniform of the Hungarian police in early 1900.
I loved it! He looked so life -like and had expression!
The "Police" has become one of the most photographed monuments of the city, with many people giving the extra large tummy a rub and a hug! I could see that by the shine of the bronze.
A fun statue to your photo taken by!
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.
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.
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!
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)