Thursday, 7 March 2013

St. Stephen's Basilica times two

This was a sunny weekend spent in the glory of the St. Stephen's Basilica, or Szent István Bazilika. The impressive basilica is on every top ten list of what to see when in Budapest. And of course we have passed it before, admired it and been in aw of it's size and beauty. But no where have I read that you can actually enter it. More less that you can climb 364 steps (or, more convenient, take the elevator) and enjoy a breathtaking 360 degree panorama view of Budapest. Now I do. And so do you.

We were thorough in our sightseeing. We ended up visiting this temple of prayers both Saturday and Sunday. Sort of making up for not visiting it at all these past 15 months.

This is what I learned about the basilica. It's the third highest building in Budapest. The church is named after Saint Stephen I of Hungary, the first King of Hungary. The King died in 1038. They actually keep his mummified right hand in a shrine in the reliquary. It passed many hands and countries before finally ending up in a sparkling shrine in Budapest. Someone came up with a genius idea to make money off this relic. If you toss a coin in the machine placed next to the shrine, the shrine will light up for a minute. Well ain't that sometin?!

On Saturday we toured the church, and had all the bling dazzle us. So decadent and beautiful. I feel now that I have to redecorate our home. It seems a bit ascetic. And we enjoyed the view of the rooftops. Will definitely go again, perfect to bring visitors here. We also had lunch at this italian crossover restaurant I've been wanting to try out; Tom George Italiano ( I have to say though, my lunch left me quite disappointed. I might try it again though, it's not fair to judge a pasta restaurant by whatever veggies and meat a low carb eater like myself can find on the menu.

We found out there are weekly classic concerts in the basilica, so we got a babysitter and went on a Sunday date night! Started the whole thing up with a three course meal at one of my fav's in Budapest, Baldaszti's ( Then we enjoyed one hour of wonderful music in an even more wonderful setting. Note. It gets quite chilly to sit on a wooden chair in a cold church so I would recommend you to do this when the weather is more pleasant.

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