Basilica of St. Stephen

Basilica of St. Stephen

The Basilica is located in the very heart of the city and is one of the most important monuments in the whole of Hungary, as it houses the nation's most revered relics of the mummified hand of King Saint Stephen. But the interior itself is also beautiful, with its giant organ, which is decorated with paintings and statues.

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The cathedral is consecrated in honour of King Stephen, who completed the unification of the tribes living in Hungary and is considered the founder of the Hungarian state. The basilica is also the most important Roman Catholic church and, at 96 metres high, the third tallest building in Hungary.

Together with the equally tall Parliament building, it forms a landmark of Pest, a historic city on the left bank of the Danube.

You can take the elevator to the gallery of the main tower or climb the 364 steps to enjoy a beautiful view of Budapest.

The church is the second largest church in Hungary after the Esztergom Basilica, both in size and height.

History of the Basilica

This neoclassical building was begun in 1847 according to plans by József Hild, but was unfortunately slowed down by the collapse of the dome in 1868, probably due to the effects of groundwater from the Danube.

After this unfortunate event, Miklós Ybl was put in charge of the construction, and he built three floors of drainage cellars and adapted the entire building to the Neo-Renaissance style. In 1905 the basilica could be consecrated and in 1931 it was the first in Hungary to be given the title of Basilica minor.

Relics of St. Stephen

One of the most important relics housed in the basilica is definitely the so-called Holy Right Hand, the mummified right arm of Saint Stephen, which was supposedly found intact in a grave 45 years after his death.

The arm is kept in the Chapel of St. Stephen inside the basilica.

Admission and opening hours

The Basilica is open to the public daily from 9:00-17:45 (Sundays from 13:00), and the viewing platform on the tower from 10:00-19:00. Entry is always possible at least 30 minutes before closing time.

Tickets are available in three variants.

Adult Student, senior
Basilica only 2 300 huf 1 700 huf
Viewpoint + Treasury 4 300 huf 3 400 huf
All together 6 000 huf 4 800 huf

Discounts are available for students with ISIC card, seniors over 65 and family tickets (2 adults + 2 children under 12), see the official website for more details.

Location and transport

Szent István Basilica stands right in the centre of Budapest within easy walking distance of all other major sights. The Basilica is also very accessible by public transport:

  • Bajcsy-Zsilinszky út station - metro M1; buses 105, 178
  • Szent István Basilicastop - bus 9; trolleybuses 72M, 73M
  • Deák Ferenc tér station - metro M1, M2

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