St. Stephen’s Basilica

The church is named after Saint Stephen I of Hungary, the first King of Hungary (c. 975–1038), whose incorruptible right hand is housed in the reliquary.  This is the most important church building in Hungary, one of the most significant tourist attractions and the third highest building in Hungary. Equal with the Hungarian Parliament Building, it is one of the two tallest buildings in Budapest at 96 metres (315 ft) – this equation symbolizes that worldly and spiritual thinking have the same importance. According to current regulations no building in Budapest can be taller than 96 metres. The Basilica was completed in 1905 after 54 years of construction much of this delay can be attributed to the collapse of the dome in 1868 which required complete demolition of the completed works and rebuilding from the ground up. The architectural style is Neo-Classical – read excessive and obscene use of rare marbles dripping with bewildering amount of gold everywhere, or if you are prone to migraines – skip these pictures.  This church  has a Greek cross ground plan and the façade is anchored by two large bell towers. In the southern tower is Hungary’s biggest bell, weighing over 9 tonnes.  Simply impressive.  There are 300 steps leading to the roof terrace for spectacular vistas of the city, luckily there is also an elevator in one of the towers that speeds up the climbing process.

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