St. Stephen Basilica and it’s unlucky history

St. Stephen Basilica is among the most popular sights in Budapest. It is named after the first king of Hungary (Szent István/St. Stephen) who was the founder of the state. I’m pretty sure everyone who comes to Budapest sees this building but most people have no idea about the struggle this building has been throught!

The construction started in 1810. The church was designed by 3 architects. The first one (József Hild) died in 1867, then Miklós Ybl, a well-known architect at that time took over his place and finished the building itself, but because of his death the interior design was left to József Kauser. The construction lasted 95 years, it was only finished in 1905. ( But if you ever visit it you’ll agree that is was worth waiting 😉 )

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Plans made by Miklós Ybl

During this 95 years there were quite a few difficulties and not just the death of two of its designers. There was a revolution in the country from 1848 to 1849 and then the dome designed by the first architect collapsed in 1868. The second architect, Miklós Ybl, made new plans and he also changed the appearance a little bit according to his taste. The former classicist style was exchanged to neo-renaissance.

The difficulties did not stop after it was finally finished. During the second world war the roof was destroyed and when they wanted to renew it the wooden parts of the dome started burning. In 1982 during a storm a part of the dome was blown away by the wind, but after all the renovations I guess we can say the struggle is over , the dome is not causing any more trouble and it is prettier than ever! The church itself, the interior design and the view from the top is breath-taking. If you didn’t want to visit it so far, let me show you a few pictures to convince you!

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Basilica from outside- “Ego sum via veritas et vita”
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Basilica Interior
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View from the top
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