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

ASAD (6 months ago)
This place never sleep. It has quite many people at night time. Most of them are tourists which are exploring the beauty of Budapest. This area also have some food and coffee spots and it's close to the major tourist attractions such as Buda castle, parliament building and the mesmerizing bridges.
A. Z. (8 months ago)
This position appealed to me simply because of its central position. There's a lot to see and do in the region. It's a very quiet environment inside. If you are photogenic, you should brave the arduous climb and relax on the terrace while taking in the city views. Don't get me wrong: these views are stunning. In one shot, you can see the Budapest Airport, the Parliament Building, the Hills, and the River.
Paul Thomas (9 months ago)
Beautiful example of a Catholic Cathedral. I observed part of a Saturday night Mass and was impressed with the number of attendees. They did a good job of keeping the tourist flowing along the back where you can see everything but still be kept out of the way. They have a few pews available for tourist as well. There was only one other tourist in the 10 minutes I was there....pandemic restriction I guess.
Amish Agarwal (11 months ago)
I loved this place just because of its central location. There are a lot of things nearby. It is very peaceful inside. If you are a photogenic, you can take take the tedious climb and enjoy the views of the city from the terrace. Mind it, these views are breathtaking. You can see Budapest Airport, Parliament Building, Hills, River etc, all in one frame.
Victoria Muñoz (2 years ago)
The entrance to the church is free, but if you want to enjoy the fantastic views of Budapest from the dome, you will have to pay 1-2€. In this church is also kept one of the most valuable things of Budapest, the right hand of Saint Stephen I, the first king of Hungary; to light up the reliquary where the hand is and see it, you’ll have to pay about 1€. You can also find a majestic and enormous organ in this church, if you’re lucky maybe there’s an organ concert there during your stay at Budapest, fortunately they’re quite frequent! :) The cheapest ticket usually costs about 20€.
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