My next destination was the St. Stephen’s basilica Budapest which falls in the list of the largest churches existing in Hungary. It is a Catholic Basilica of Rome and is titled after the country’s first King named Stephen. His right hand is even preserved in thereliquary. One of the locals told me that the St. Stephen’s basilica Budapest currently holds the third position in terms of largest church buildings. It holds the utmost importance in the country and witnesses a large number of tourists from different parts of the world.
He also told me that it took more than 50 years for completing the church in 1905. Mr. Jozsef Kauser who had planned the entire building died in the year 1867 and it was Miklos Ybl who was an extremely reputed architect in Europe during that time, took the responsibility of continuing the work. Even the second architect couldn’t witness the entire construction of this church due to this death in 1891. The main reason for the long duration of construction was the dome getting collapsed in 1868 which resulted in the destruction of all the works that was completed till then.
The building was actually designed in the Neo-Classical pattern but Ybl finished the structure in the Neo-Renaissance pattern. The ground plan was however resembled that of a Greek cross. There were two huge bell towers anchoring the facade. The largest bell of the country is located in the tower on t he south. The bell has a weight more than 9 tonnes. I also accessed the dome through the elevators. In order to have a complete view of the overlooking Budapest, I had to climb around 364 stairs but I gave up that idea.
The dome has a height of 96 meters which is exactly equal to that of the Parliament and that shows the importance of the church for the country. I also saw the mummified hand of St. Stephen who is the church’s patron saint preserved in a casing made of glass and housed in a chapel on the left side of the chief altar. I also examined the extraordinary interiors and felt proud of the gifted artists who were responsible for the same.