Saint Stephen’s Basilica is the largest Roman Catholic church in Budapest, it has the second highest ecclesiastical status in Hungary.
The building was planned and built in 1851 by József Hild in classical style and continued by Miklós Ybl, who added a neo-renaissance taste to the original concepts. The inner layout and the completion of the building in 1905 is the work of József Krausz. Famous Hungarian painters and sculptors decorated the inner side, using 50 different types of marble.
The statue of the basilica’s patron saint by Alajos Stróbl stands on the high altar. It is quite unique to have the statue of a human on the altar, but on special Papal permission the statue of our first king, who converted the Hungarians to Christianity is displayed here.
The relic of the Basilica
The Chapel of the Holy Right is behind the sanctuary, where the right hand of the first Hungarian king, St. Stephen is held in a delicatly ornated reliquary.
An elevator takes up the visitors in the left tower, from where a magnificent panorama of the city can be enjoyed. Not only the streets and squares of downtown Pest, but also the Castle hill, the Citadel and the other Buda hills are visible. In the right tower the largest bell of the country – weighs 9 tons – can be found.
The Basilica has been recently renovated, its huge walls have been cleaned and the surroundings have been nicely arranged too. Hotel Central Basilica is a recently opened nice hotel in front of the Basilica. The square in front of the church became a beautiful pedestrian area with some cafés and benches to sit on.