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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Details

Founded: 1905
Category: Religious sites in Hungary

Rating

4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Michel MRAD (17 months ago)
Amazing Catholic cathedral that faces a street that ends to the Danube riverside. Great architecture and beautiful view from the top of the towers on Budapest. I loved this place especially the square around it that is full of cafe and shops. A must visit place for praying or for taking pictures.
Frank S (17 months ago)
A large Cathedral in the main part of Budapest with a Square/Tér, in font of it that occasionally has different activities on it. The Cathedral is a large imposing building and is one of the many must see places in the city. In December during the Christmas season their is a lovely atmosphere, especially at night with an artificial ice, skating rink, a large decorated Xmas tree with fairy lights draped overhead and many many small stalls selling Food, drinks, and various souvenirs and trinkets.
Jayceon Scaglione (17 months ago)
Awesome basilica!! I have to admit this is the first time I had ever been in a Catholic church and this was mind blowing. Fantastic art and architecture. Also, went and saw the music concert at night which I highly recommend!! Definitely visit while in Budapest!!
Patrick Neumann (17 months ago)
A very beautiful church and definitively worth seeing. A a Pole I loved there is a St. Mary of Częstochowa chapel :) However, I did not like one thing: The relic of the right hand of St. Stephen is in a dark shrine. After throwing in some money the light goes on for 1-2 minutes and tourists can take photos. Please change that! Relics are no tourist attraction like in Disneyland. The shrine should be either dark or lit all the time for veneration of the relic without taking money for it. All in all the visit was a great experience, though! :)
AI WEN Yap (18 months ago)
Very beautiful historical building in Hungary. Most of the free tour starts here. The height of the church is 96 meters, 96 is a unique and special number to Hungarians. The Parliament building is also 96 meters. There is a law in Hungary saying all the buildings at the Pest side of Budapest cannot be taller than 96 meters because no one can be above God and government. The entrance of the church is free, but feel free to donate money to the church, or you can also buy a small coin token at the vending machine there. The interior of the church is also very beautiful. If you have time, please join the free tour, it is much more informative and the tour guides are very friendly and helpful. Of course, they earn by tips, feel free to give based on what you think the tour is worth. It is totally fantastic.
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