4+1 facts you may don’t know about the St.Stephen’s Basilica

  1. It is among the largest buildings in Budapest, and definitely the biggest church there. Basilica has the same height as the Hungarian Parliament with its 96 metres (315 ft) high peak. This height is the maximum limit according to the urban architect laws in Budapest, which can be considered as a symbol that secular and christian arm is equally important. To climb up and see the breathtaking 360 degree panorama of Budapest, one has to take 364 stairs – or get into the elevator.
  2. Before a temple was established there, the former building served as a theatre, even animal fights were held in the place. In the beginning of the 19th century started the plans of building a church after a temporary one operated there. After half a century of construction, for 1905 the today shape of the Basilica was done. Even the famous architect, Miklos Ybl was participated planning this monumental building in the heart of the city.
  3. St.Stephen’s has altogether six bells. Five smaller in the left side tower, and one in the right side. This latter is called just like the Basilica itself: Saint Stephen, named after the very first king of Hungary. It is the biggest bell in the country, weighs 9250 kilograms and can be heard only twice a year (expect some other special occasions): once at the kings national celebration on the 20th of August, and at midnight on New Years Eve. Four bells of the five smaller were named after Hungarian princes and saints and was founded in Passau 1993, except the one dedicated for Virgin Mary founded by Ferenc Walser in 1863 in Pest, which is the biggest among the others with its 3100 kgs weigh.
  4. The great pipe organ of the Basilica was made in 1905, by József Angster. The disposition specification and size may remind experts of the French principles, due to the fact, that Angster studied at the famous Aristide Cavaille-Coll in Paris, therefore follows the structure the French style. The case of the organ was made by cabinet-maker Endre Thék. This instrument was improved many times in the last century. The last renovation was in 1982, when she got a new, 4 manual keyboard, a new frontage and 13 additional registers. It now has thus 93 registers, 6507 pipes! The largest is 10 meters, while the smallest one is only 6 millimeters, little more, than ½ centimeter! No doubt, this pipe organ is the greatest and most beautiful instrument of Budapest.
  5. +1: Speaking of which, if you are about to fulfil the astonishing experience of wondering around the monumental walls of St.Stephen’s Basilica with listening of the marvellous sound of the great pipe organ, you can make that twice a week! You can choose shorter (and economical) concerts on Mondays or the exclusive ‘2 organs – 2 soloists’ Friday conterts, on which you also have the chance to observe how the big organ sounds compared to the smaller one. Keep in mind, the smaller you can listen to anytime, but the great pipe organ can be heard only at our Monday and Friday concerts.