View On Danube Esztergom Basilica Head(c)

Basilica of Esztergom

Basilica of Esztergom

The Basilica of Esztergom holds many secrets and is a fascinating testimony of Hungarian history. The construction of the imposing building took 54 years and was shaped by three famous architects.

Originally, on the site of the basilica in the 18th century stood a theater known for its animal fights. But in 1838 a huge flood devastated the city, which became known as the Great Flood of Budapest. The square where the basilica stands today rose from the plain of Budapest and provided refuge for hundreds of people during the disaster. The survivors saw their fate as a miracle of God and decided to build a church at the place of their survival. However, it took several years before construction actually began.

The construction of the basilica finally began in 1851 under the supervision of József Hild. Later, the renowned architect Miklós Ybl took over and replaced the earlier classical style with neo-Renaissance concepts. Ybl was one of the most famous Hungarian architects of his time and also designed the State Opera House and the building of the Burggarten Bazaar. Work on the basilica was finally completed in 1905 by József Kauser.

During World War II, the basilica served as a refuge for many refugees and also protected the valuable collection of the Hungarian National Archives from bombing in the basement of the massive building. However, the church, like much of the city, was badly damaged and required extensive renovation. In 1983, the city government finally decided to completely renovate the basilica, and the work continued until August 2003.

The Esztergom Basilica is not only an impressive architectural masterpiece, but also the largest and highest-ranking church in the country. As the cathedral of the Primate of the country, it has a special significance for Hungary. Already in the first decade of our statehood, Stephen I, the Holy King, endowed the first church at this place. The Castle Hill of Esztergom has always played an important role in Hungarian history since the founding of the state and maintained its significance despite the turbulence and challenges of the times. With its picturesque location above the Danube bend and the natural beauty marked by the surrounding mountains, the place was both easily accessible and isolated, easily defensible and at the same time attractive and relaxing.

So it is not surprising that the castle hill of Esztergom became first the seat of the Hungarian kings and later the most important center of the Hungarian Catholic Church. The Basilica of Esztergom stands as an impressive symbol of Hungary's faith, history and beauty, attracting visitors from all over the world.

Esztergom Bazilika © Hungarian Tourist Office
Esztergom Bazilika © Hungarian Tourist Office
Basilica Esztergom(c)
Esztergom, Basilica(c)Hungarian Tourist Office

Esztergom Basilica
2500 Esztergom, Szent István tér 1
phone +36 33 402 354


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