Photographer's Note

Evening lights with snowfall

The winter arrived onto Budapest. One entirely recent progress report from the downtown…

St Stephen´s Basilica (Szent István-bazilika), Budapest

The largest church in Budapest and the second most important in Hungary is St Stephen's Basilica. It was built by Jozsef Hild, Miklós Ybl and József Kauser in a neo-Renaissance-Classicist style. The mummified right hand of Hungary's first Christian ruler King Stephen the Saint's (István I) is kept here.

St. Stephen's Basilica was built on a Greek cross plan. The interior space is in nine parts; the central section is covered by the dome, the nave by a barrel-vault. Leo Fessler created the sculptures decorating the facade tympanum and the niches in the towers, and the sanctuary, as well as the exterior sculptural ornaments of the cupola.

The interior is also rich in artwork. It is decorated with mosaics, paintings, and sculptures created by the greatest Hungarian artists of that period, including Bertalan Székely, Gyula Benczúr, Alajos Stróbl, János Fadrusz, and Pál Pátzay. Alajos Stróbl made the Carrara marble sculpture of the high altar. A bust of King Stephen the Saint, Hungary's canonized first Christian King after whom the church was named, can be seen right above the main gate.

The most important relic of Christian Hungarian statehood, King Stephen's mummified right hand, is kept in the Chapel of the "Holy Right Hand" (Szent Jobb-kápolna) located behind the sanctuary. Every year, on 20th August, the relic is taken in a magnificent procession around the downtown streets close to the basilica.

It is worth climbing (by lift) to the top of the Basilica's south tower to enjoy the extraordinary view. Weighing 9 tons, Hungary's largest bell is found here. (Source:Vendégváró)

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Additional Photos by George Rumpler (Budapestman) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 8900 W: 3 N: 20435] (82620)
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