Saint Stephen’s Basilica

Name: Basilica of Saint Étienne
Category: Religious buildings
Location: 1054 Budapest, Szent István tér.


54 years of design, 96 meters of height, more than a century of history, plenty of tourists from every corner of the world and light coming through the enormous windows, not to mention the high-brow celebrations: this is Saint Stephen’s Basilica (Szent István Bazilika). The mostly neo-Renaissance church was named after Hungary’s first king, whose naturally mummified right hand is kept in the Saint Right Chapel. Don’t leave without visiting the panorama terrace to check out the wonderful view or you might as well sit on the stairs for some minutes to enjoy the rays of the sun.

St. Stephen’s Basilica
St. Stephen’s Basilica


The construction of this building took 55 years! Miklós Ybl who succeeded József Hild gave it a colossal look with neo-Renaissance inspiration. Several statues built by Leó Fessler are visible on the outside. The inside is surprising through its ornamentation. The chapel of Saint Dextre exhibits one of the masterpieces of the Church: a relic, which would be the right hand of Saint Étienne, and that is taken in procession on 20th August for the Saint’s day of Saint Étienne Ist.

Several musical programs are organized in the church throughout the year. Take a look at the entrance at the program schedule and buy your tickets there.

Good to know about Saint Stephen’s Basilica

  • St.Stephen’s Basilica is a neo-Renaissance church in central Budapest. It is the second largest church in Hungary capable of holding 8500 people
  • Its constuction began in 1851; after the fist two of its architects died, Jozsef Hild and Miklos Ybl, it was Jozsef Kauser who finished the church in 1905
  • In 1868 the dome collapsed and the church had to be rebuilt almost from scratch According to legend, afraid of a repeated collapse of the dome Emperor Francis Joseph was looking upwards during the whole consecration ceremony
  • The Holy Right of St. Stephen, the mummified right fist of Hungary’s first king, is kept here in an ornate glass box in one of the chapels
  • The great Hungarian soccer hero Ferenc Puskas, goal machine of the Magical Magyars and Real Madrid, was laid to rest here in 2006
  • The basilica houses Hungary’s largest bell. It is situated in the right tower and weighs 9 tons
  • The Dome is 96 m (315 ft) high, the exact height of Parliament’s dome

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