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The Basilica of Esztergom, being the cathedral of the Primate of Hungary, is the first in rank, and also the largest among the churches in the country. The church in the place of the present Basilica was founded by King St. Stephen during the first decade of our statehood. 

At a time when the king himself had been staying in Esztergom, it was consecrated in honour of St. Adalbert, and was called „beautiful church". It had been completely destroyed during the time of the wars with the Turks. Only one of its side-chapels escaped destruction, built in the years following 1507 by archbishop Tamás Bakócz to be his burial chapel. It is one of the earliest and most beautiful renaissance buildings outside Italy. 

The construction of the present basilica was started by Prince-Primate Sándor Rudnay, according to plans by Pál Kühnel and János Packh, in classicist style. The laying of the foundation-stone took place in 1822. The construction had taken almost 50 years, because of long intervals due to the vacancy of the archbishops seat, and because of the 1848 War of Independence. Changes had been made by József Hild in the original plans. Finally the basilica was consecrated on August 31, 1856 by Prince-Primate János Scitovszky during the mass composed for the occasion by Ferenc Liszt. 

The dimensions are 117 metres in length, 47 metres in breadth (97 metres at the towers). The total height of the basilica is 100 metres, the inner height is 68 metres. The originally planned classicist equilibrium cannot be found in its inner decoration and construction which, planned by József Lippert, bear the eclectic style. The altar paintings are the work of the Venetian master Michelangelo Grigoletti. The frescoes were painted by a master from Munich Ludwig von Moralt. The statues were carved by the Italian sculptors Pietro Bonani and Pietro della Vedova, and by the Austrian Johann Meixner. Three Hungarian sculptors also worked for the basilica: the statue of St. Stephen the martyr is the work of István Ferenczy, the large statue of János Simor is that of Alajos Strobl. 

The statues made by György Kiss can be seen at the side altars. The crypt of the basilica is the burial place of the Hungarian primates beginning from Ambrus Károly (1809). Auxiliar bishops and most of the members of the Basilicas chapter also have been buried here. The tomb-stones of some famous mediaeval primates like Dénes Széchy or János Vitéz can also be seen in the crypt. 

A wonderful panorama of the Highlands (north-west) and of the Pilis Mountains (south-east) can be enjoyed from the cupola.


2500 Esztergom Szent István tér 1
Levélcím: 2501 Esztergom Pf.:133.
Telefon: +36-33-402-354
Fax: +36-33-402-353
Email: ebazilika@invitel.hu

2500 Esztergom Dobozi út 10.
Levélcím: 2501 Esztergom Pf.:133.
Telefon: +36-33-413-375
Fax: +36-33-413-375
Email: varplebania@gmail.com
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