St. Stephen’s Basilica (Szent István-bazilika) is the largest church in Budapest. The building dominates the city centre with its height. It is 96 meter high, just like the Parliament, with this height the basilica is the 2nd highest church in Hungary. According to current regulations, there cannot be taller building in Budapest than 96 metres.
A brief history of St. Stephen’s Basilica
It is named in honour of Stephen, the first King of Hungary, whose mummified body is buried in the undercroft and his supposed right hand is kept in the reliquary.
The construction began in 1851 in accordance with the plans of József Hild. The dome collapsed in 1868, that required demolition of the completed works and rebuilding from the ground up. It was finished in 1905 after 54 years of construction, according to the plans of Miklós Ybl (he also designed the Opera House on the Andrássy Avenue) and was completed by József Kauser. It was built in neo-classicist style. The facade is framed by two large bell towers. Hungary’s biggest bell hangs in the southern tower, weighing over 9 tonnes.
The interior is characterized by rich ornamentation. Maybe it looks too much at first, just go closer and observe the details. Beautiful work is the five-part mosaic in the sanctuary displaying the allegories of the holy mass.
Panorama Lookout Tower
Don’t miss the panoramic view from the top. The ticket is cheap and the view is spectacular. The ticket office is at the church entrance. Walk up the stairs (364 steps) or take the elevators up to the dome’s observation deck. The stairs start at the ticket office, if you prefer to take the elevator, it’s on the other side behind the shop.
Up there you can walk around the dome, the view is amazing to every direction. The Parliament, Buda Castle and Citadel are also visible from there.
For more panoramas check out this other blog post: Top 5 viewpoints in Budapest, Hungary recommended by a local. (And yes, the local is me!)
Monday-Saturday: 9:00am – 7:00pm
Sunday: 7:45am – 7:00pm
Free (donation at the entrance) / Guided tours: 2000 HUF (Monday-Friday: 10:00am-3:00pm)
Panorama Lookout Tower
Opening time (every day):
June, July, August, September: 10:00am – 6:30pm
April, May, October: 10:00am – 5:30pm
November, December, January, February, March: 10:00am – 4:30pm
Adult ticket: 600 HUF / Student, pensioner ticket: 400 HUF
How to get there?
Address: 1051 Budapest, Szent István tér 1.
By public transportation
St Stephen square (Szent István tér) can be reached from many directions.
It’s halfway between Deák Ferenc square and Arany János street M3 metro stations. Metro line M1 station called, Bajcsy-Zsilinszky street is also close.
Bus 9 station called Szent István bazilika
Tram 2 goes on the Danube bank, 5 minutes walk from Széchenyi István tér.
Located in the V. district, in the city centre, few minutes walk from Deák Ferenc square and from the Danube.
This is one of my favourite spot in Budapest. I showed it to my parents, always recommend it to my friends and their friends from abroad. Enjoy your visit there and take a walk around the area!
Interested in towers, viewpoints, scenic panorama? Read my other post for more ideas.
How did you like it? Did you visit the Panorama Lookout Tower?