St. Stephen's Basilica
Its history, design, bell and views all add up to an amazing site indeed
A Prominent Symbol of Budapest
Budapest's Roman Catholic cathedral is a must-visit which despite its relatively recent vintage (inaugurated in 1905 after a whopping 54 years of construction, including the demolition and reconstruction of its dome) has become a distinctive icon of the city. What’s more, at 96 metres (315 feet) high, it is also Budapest’s joint highest building along with the national parliament. Built in honour of Stephen I, who is both Hungary's first king and its patron saint, the basilica is neoclassical in style, with a tower on either side of its façade and is even home to a holy relic: the saint's supposed left hand. The tower on the right of the façade contains Hungary's largest bell, weighing in at nine tons, which replaced the original that was melted down during World War II. It is also worth climbing the 364 steps of this tower for its sweeping views out over the city, although if you're really not up to it, there are lifts as well! The tower is open to the public April through October.