Results 1-9of 9 Reviews
January 18, 2012
From journal Some attractions in Budapest I forgot to tell you about
Moscow, Moskva, Russia
May 22, 2011
From journal Modern tourist Hungary
New York, New York
March 30, 2011
From journal Old World Charm with a Modern Outlook
September 13, 2010
From journal Hungary for More (sorry ...)
October 28, 2008
From journal "Buda"-ful Budapest
May 24, 2006
From journal 2 days in Budapest
Townsville, Queensland, Australia
March 18, 2006
The Basilica is the largest in Budapest. It has a dome height of 96 m/315 feet, and a capacity of up to 8,500 people. Construction began in 1851 when Pest was still just a small city. Jozsef Hild was the architect who began the project, and it was taken over after his death by Miklos Ybl in 1867. It is he who gave the Neo-Renaissance style to this monumental building. In 1868 the dome collapsed, luckily nobody died. Ybl drew up new plans and building started again, almost from scratch. He didn't see his work completed, since he died in 1891. József Krauser finished St. Stephen's Basilica in 1906.
You can really experience the vastness of the basilica from the inside. Walk around and view the works of famous contemporary artists who decorated the interior of the chancel. They dedicated most of their works to St. Stephen (975-1038), Hungary's first king. He was the one who converted the nomad Hungarian tribes into Christians. Although it's a bit dark inside, you can still admire the marvelous frescoes, statues, and mosaics. Take particular note of the main altar where there is a statue of Saint Stephen carved out of Carrara marble by Alajos Stróbl, with archangel Gabriel holding the Holy Crown above the head of the king. The Patrona Hungariae Altar depicts St. Stephen offering the Hungarian crown to the Virgin Mary and asking her to be a patron of Hungary.
You can see the most precious treasure of Hungary, the mummified right fist of King Stephen, in a small chapel to the left of the Main Altar. The relic is kept in an ornate glass cabinet. If this is your thing, insert a 100 Ft coin and the cabinet lights up. Others will be interested in the largest bell in the country, which tolls in the right tower. It weighs 9 tons.
There are guided tours in English on weekdays at 9:30am, 11am, 2:30pm, and 3:30pm; and Saturday at 9.30 and 11am. The tour includes the chapel and the flood-lit Holy Right of St. Stephen, the treasury, and the panorama view from the cupola (only between April 1st and October 31st). Tickets cost around $7, or $5 without going up the cupola.You can enjoy the excellent acoustics of St. Stephens Basilica by attending one of the organ concerts, which are held every Monday at 7pm between July and October.
From journal Budapest - The Pest side
Cinnaminson, New Jersey
July 11, 2005
On the side, there is a chapel that has the right hand of St Stephen inside the chest that looks like a small chapel itself, with lots of beautiful jewelry along the gilded top. St Stephen was the first Hungarian Christian king who established the Hungarian state and converted Hungarian tribes into Christianity. The history of Hungary starts with his arrival in Transylvania in year 896, and this is the year that Hungarians consider the beginning of the Hungary as a separate state. This is the reason that everything of importance has to have 96 in it. This church for example is 96 meters tall. St Stephen’s right hand is considered one of the most important historic objects by Hungarians.
The basilica is very large but is not heavy, not too extravagant in decoration, rather impressive and beautiful. The façade looks very tall, with two large bell towers and an even taller main cupola, a portico with Hungarian kings looking down at you as you are entering the cathedral, and massive columns supporting the entrance.
The basilica suffered significant damage during WWII and recently underwent an expensive restoration.
From journal Travels in Hungary - Budapest, Part II
May 1, 2002
The "highlight" of the church, if you will, is a mummified hand of King Stephen. Apparently it was a natural mummification, rather than a treatment with chemicals or ointments. This is apparently a clear indication of the saint's holiness, and the hand is paraded around each year to appreciative audiences.
From journal Hungary: Return to Budapest