Budapest, Szent István tér 1, Hungary
(1) 311 0839
NileGuide Expert tip:
The surrounding square is pedestrian only; during the summer, there are open air classical concerts. If you do not mind standing, there is no need to purchase a ticket.
The monumental building of the St. Stephen's Basilica completed in 1905 after 50 years of construction is the largest Roman Catholic Church of the city, named after Hungary's first king St. Stephen who was later canonized for converting the once pagan nation to Catholicism. With such a lengthy construction period, the Basilica saw three consecutive architects explaining its architectural diversity; predominantly neo-Renaissance exterior with a hint of Classical, and an ornate neo-Baroque interior. The central dome being 96 meters high makes the Basilica the tallest building of the city, alongside the House of Parliament whose central dome also measures the same height. It is not just its size that makes the Basilica one of the most impressive religious building s of the country; the marble and golden interior with mosaics depicting biblical scenes and stain glass windows illustrating scenes from the life of Christ all contribute to its grandeur. One of its smaller chapels, the Chapel of the Holy Right Hand, houses something of interest for the morbidly curious: St. Stephen's mummified holy right hand. It is on exhibit in a golden shrine that needs illuminating by two 100ft coins. You may catch a glimpse this holy relic on August 20th, the feast day of St. Stephen, when it is carried around the city in procession in honor of the nation's first king.