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5082 views | updated 12/18/2008 by ROUNDUS
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Pano Thumbnail St. Stephen's Basilica
Although not technically a basilica (the pope hasn't given it that honor), Hungarians call St. Stephen's Church in Budapest "the Basilica" in honor of its sheer size. It is the largest church in Hungary.

It took over 50 years to build the Bazilika, which was completed in 1905. Three leading architects, two of whom died before work was finished, presided over its construction. The delay was due in large part to the collapse of the dome in 1868, requiring complete rebuilding from the ground up.

After its completion, St. Stephen's was considered so sturdy that important documents and artworks were stored in it during the World War II bombings.

In 2003, a full-scale renovation of the church and neighboring square was finally completed.

The cleaned-up front of the church graces the colorful and grand Szent István tér (St. Stephen's Square), where travelers sip their coffee in open-air cafes.

The bust above the main entrance is of King Stephen, Hungary's first Christian king. Inside the church, in the Chapel of the Holy Right (Szent Jobb Kápolna), you can see Hungarian Catholicism's most cherished holy relic: Stephen's right hand.

Organ concerts are held here at 7pm on Monday evenings from July through October; tickets cost 800 Ft ($3.60).
St. Stephen's Basilica
V. Szent István tér 33
Budapest, Hungary
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Daily Mass: 8am, and 5:30 and 6pm;
Sunday Mass: 8, 9, and 10am, noon, and 6 and 7:30pm.
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The view from the Northwest Tower is amazing.
by Andrew.Eckerson on December 19th, 2008 09:19:01
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