St Stephen’s Basilica

St-Stephen's Basilica front of the church

St Stephen’s Basilica is the largest catholic church of the city.

The all marble interior, the shining stained galss windows will take your breath away. St Stephen’s Basilica is a truly mesmerizing sacred place.

It’s more than a church, because you can enjoy the beautiful and unique panorama from the top. Watching the sunset from the top is truly an unbelievable experience! Do not miss the panoramic tower of the St Stephen’s Basilica because you’ll never forget!

St-Stephen's-Basilica-inside-marble interior

History of the St Stephen’s Basilica:

The St Stephen’s Basilica was build over 50 years and was completed in 1905. This church was designed by József Hild in the Neo-Classical style, using Greek cross floor plan.

Construction began in 1851 and was taken over 1867 by Miklós Ybl, who added the Neo-Renaissance dome after the original one collapsed in 1868 due to defects in material. He corrected the mistakes by redesigning the entire plan, applying elements of the Renaissance.

When Miklós Ybl died in 1891, the interior, furnishings and decorative work was based on an integrated programme of iconography by architect József Kauser and Parson Lénárd. József Kauser completed the St Sthephen’s Basilica in 1905. Consecration took place in 1905. The building went under complete renewal between 1983 and 2003.

The grand interior celebrates St. Stephen, Hungary’s first Christian king. St. Stephen was also the founder of the Hungarian state.

1000 years ago St. Stephen recognized that Hungarians need to integrate to Western-European nation states. He helped Hungarians convert to Christianity. His personality exerted great influence over history by making Hungary a Christian state.

The church received the title of Basilica in 1938, the 900th anniversary of St. Stephen’s death.

St Stephen’s Basilica exterior:

The main tympanum of the St Stephen’s Basilica:

A bas-relief by Leo Feszler, showing the Virgin Mary surrounded by Hungarian saints. Under the bas-relief you can read a latin phrase (Ego Sum Via Veritas Et Vita) which means: I am the way, the truth, and the life.

St-Stephen's-Basilica-a bas-relief by Leo Feszler

The main entrance of the church:

You can see the heads of the 12 Apostles on the main portal. This massive door is amazing.


Over the Apostle’s Gate by Ödön Szamovolszky, the porch is marked by a marble tondo, shaped by Károly Senyei, of the patron saint of the church. The semicircular mosaic with Christ enthroned on clouds is a work of art by Mór Thán.

St Stephen’s Basilica interior design: 

Inside the St Stephen’s Basilica:

The church’s interior is dimly lit but gorgeously restored. All the gilded decorations glitter in the low light. You will see St. Stephen glowing above the high altar.

St. Stephen is standing under the canopy of the peripteral high altar, with an apostolic cross and an orb as tokens of his apostolic authority as well as royal power in hand.

The canopy is topped with the statue of Archangel Gabriel holding the Sacred Crown. Above the altar, you can read the supplication “King St. Stephen intercede with the Eternal King Of Centuries for us”


The Our Lady altar of the nave is aborned with a painting by Gyula Benczúr, representing the historic event of St. Stephen offering his country to Virgin Mary.St-Stephen's-Basilica-Lady-altar-of-the-nave

The Holy Right Hand:

St. Stephen died on August 15, 1038, was canonized on August 15, 1083 in Székesfehérvár and his intact Holy Right Hand relic has been highly esteemed ever since. The Holy Right Hand has been put in glass case since 1987, protected with double reliquary.

Saint Stephen King of Hungary's Holy Right Hand

Saint Stephen King of Hungary’s Holy Right Hand-image from wikipedia.org

The Holy Right Hand of St. Stephen which is kept in the small chapel. You can see his withered, blackened, millennium old fist in a gilded reliquary in the side chapel. As one of the most important religious relics of the country. It is a piece of thousand year long history.

St-Stephen's-Basilica-inside- the main altar

The Breathtaking dome from inside:

The Dome is 96 metres tall (315ft). Same height as the Hungarian Parliament. The cupola decorated with beautiful mosaics designed by Karoly Lotz.

(The number of 96 is very important in Hungary. The number 96 has symbolic value. Hungary was founded in 896. Budapest’s metro was built in 1896. Hungarian national anthem should be sung in 96 seconds. No building in Budapest can stand over 96 metres.)  


St Stephen’s Basilica opening hours:

  • Monday-Friday: 9:00am-5:00pm
  • Saturday: 9:00am-1:00pm
  • Sunday: 1:00 pm-5:00pm

St Stephen’s Basilica prices:

  • Entrance fee of the St Stephen’s Basilica is free of charge, but 200HUF (less than 1EUR) donation strongly suggested.
  • 360 degree panorama tower costs 600HUF (2EUR), Do not miss this opportunity, because the view from the top is extraordinary experience. Click here if you would like to know more about the panorama lookout! 

St-Stephen's-Basilica--view-from-the-top of the Basilica

Best spot to watch the sunset! Panoramic view from the top of the Basilica.

Round the high dome of the St Stephen Basilica a stone barred terrace has been shaped at the height of 65 metres. It is the highest look out of Budapest with a unique panorama of the metropolis.

St Stephen’s Basilica mass times:

  • Sunday:  8:30am , 10:00am Great mass (in Latin),  12:00pm , 4:30pm (in English),  6:00pm
  • Weekday: 7:00am, 8:00am, 6:00pm


  • Weekday: 4:00pm-6:00pm
  • Weekends: 9:00am, 10:00am, 12:00pm, 6:00pm
  • Weekends (Sunday): 6:00pm (in english and french)

Short video around the Basilica:


  1. Celeste B

    Hi Lilla! what time is the Mass in St. Stephen’s Basilica on Saturdays? Thanks.


    1. Lilla Varga (Post author)

      Hi Celeste!Mass time:9am,10am,12,6pm at the weekend.


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