"Neo-Classical beauty" St. Stephen's Basilica - Szt Istvan Bazilika Tip by mikey_e

  Szent Istvan Bazilika
by mikey_e
  • Szent Istvan Bazilika - Budapest
      Szent Istvan Bazilika
    by mikey_e
  • The cupola - Budapest
      The cupola
    by mikey_e
  • Entrance to the Basilica - Budapest
      Entrance to the Basilica
    by mikey_e
  • The Basilica from behind - Budapest
      The Basilica from behind
    by mikey_e
  • Detail of the entrance - Budapest
      Detail of the entrance
    by mikey_e

Saint Stephen?s Basilica is a massive basilica that is easily visible from Buda when you gaze down on the Danube from the Castle. Unfortunately, the growth of the city means that it is frequently obscured when you are in Pest itself, but it is hard not to see the top of the Basilica when you?re in its vicinity. Like so many other ?historic? buildings in Budapest, this one is actually quite recent: it was only complete in 1905 (of course, it would have been done earlier, but the massive dome collapsed in 1868). The Basilica is in neo-Classical style, but with a much more somber undertone than, say, the Palace of Art or the Museum of Fine Arts. The entrance façade is much more subdued, relying more on the sheer size of the building and its two tall bell-towers to make an impression than on frills and caprices. Inside the Basilica, however, there is no end to the ornate garnishes and marble. The interior is actually quite dark, so be prepared with a good camera if you want to take pictures you can depend on of the interior. There is lots of gold leaf, especially in the altar area, which is not surprising given that the Basilica houses the mummified fist of Hungary?s first King, Stephen I. The cupola is also impressive, but for some reason the pews were blocked off when I visited, so I was only able to see it, but not photograph it. It is also possible to visit the top of the dome, from you get a great view of all of Budapest (so I?m told) owing to the fact that this and the Parliament are the two tallest buildings in the city.

Address: 1051 Budapest, Hercegprímás u.
Directions: Near Deak Ferenc ter (central metro station (M1 M2 M3), terminal for buses 4 9 15 and trams 47 49;M1 or bus 4 express Bajcsy-Zsilinszky ut station/stop.
Phone: +36 1 317-2859
Website: http://www.basilica.hu

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Jan 16, 2009
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