St. Stephen's Basilica

Budapest, Hungary

St. Stephen's Basilica is a Roman Catholic basilica named in honour of Stephen, the first King of Hungary (c. 975–1038), whose supposed right hand is housed in the reliquary. It was the sixth largest church building in Hungary before 1920. Today, it is the third largest church building in present-day Hungary.

The basilica was completed in 1905 after 54 years of construction, according to the plans of Miklós Ybl, and was completed by József Kauser. 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.

The architectural style is Neo-Classical; it has a Greek cross ground plan. The façade is anchored by two large bell towers. In the southern tower is Hungary's biggest bell, weighing over 9 tonnes. Its predecessor had a weight of almost 8 tonnes, but it was used for military purposes during World War II. Visitors may access the dome by elevators or by climbing 364 stairs for a 360° view overlooking Budapest.

At first, the building was supposed to be named after Saint Leopold, the patron saint of Austria, but the plan was changed in the very last minute, so it became St. Stephen's Basilica.

The Saint Stephen Basilica has played an active role in the musical community since its consecration in 1905. The head organists of the church have always been very highly regarded musicians. In the past century the Basilica has been home to choral music, classical music as well as contemporary musical performances. The Basilica choir performs often in different parts of Europe as well as at home. In the summer months they perform every Sunday. During these months you can see performances from many distinguished Hungarian and foreign organ players alike.


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Founded: 1905
Category: Religious sites in Hungary


4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

S. F. A. (2 years ago)
Beautiful church. Worth a visit. The entrance it's not too expensive. Inside it's simply stunning and you can go up for the best rooftop view of the city.
Muzafar Umarov (2 years ago)
Very nice place to visit. The interior is beautiful. Climbing the tower part was awesome. A lot of steps, but it's worth it. There is a toilet at the middle part of the tower. The views are incredible
Kshitij (2 years ago)
This is very beautiful basilica in center of town. It is one of the postcard image place of Budapest.There is no charge to see the Basilica, it is free of charge but you should give some donation. Also you can go on the top to have a panoramic view which cost you around 10 euro, there is an elevator. There are lots of good restaurant nearby
Taro Mikami (2 years ago)
Very nice basilica. We can go up to the view point near the dome to get a good view of the city. You can choose either elevator or stairs!
Martin Lutaaya (2 years ago)
The place at the time of visit was crowded, but still had the time and space for observing and appreciating the architecture. It is of great historical importance to the people. There was a service going on but the experience was wonderful especially the amazing sounds from the pianoforte. Highly recommended.
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