Cathedral Basilica of St. Stephen
Archdiocese of Esztergom-Budapest
St Stephen’s Basilica of Budapest is one of the most beautiful and significant churches and touristic attractions of the country. This is partly due to its historical heritage, of being dedicated to the holy king St Stephen who was also the founder of the Hungarian state, and partly to the architectural and artistic value of the building itself. A campaign to raise funds for the construction of the church commenced in the 1810-es, however, construction works did not start until August 14, 1851, based on the drawings of József Hild, a leading citizen and architect of Pest. József Hild supervised the works until his death as of March 6, 1867. The pillars holding the arches of the cupola were constructed with donated stones of assorted quality and solidity. The cupola drum was built on the inner rim of the arches underpinning it, resulting in a precariously balanced structure which distributed the load unevenly on the pillars. The imbalance of the structure in turn gave rise to the collapse, after which works paused for more than a year, when the removal of the debris and the demolition of the poorly constructed parts commenced and continued until 1871. From 1875, the Hellenistic forms and Classicist style were replaced by Neo-Renaissance elements applied by Ybl, and works continued, even after his death of 1891, according to his sketches and ideas until the long-last dedication of the church in 1905.
Szent István tér 1, Budapest, Hungary