Our Blessed Lady and St Adalbert Cathedral (Basilica)
The Esztergom Basilica is the largest church in Hungary. The emblematic building on Castle Hill in Esztergom, the great cathedral known informally as the Esztergom Basilica, is Hungary’s highest ranking church. The inscription on the main facade, CAPUT, MATER ET MAGISTRA ECCLESIARUM HUNGARIAE, also refers to this: Head, Mother and Teacher of the Hungarian Churches. The 100-metre-high basilica was built between 1822 and 1869 and its consecration took place in 1856. It also houses the world’s largest altarpiece painted on canvas.
The cathedral’s crypt is the eternal burial site of the Archbishops of Esztergom. Sándor Rudnay, who began construction of the ecclesiastical church complex rests here, but there are also medieval and early-modern tombs belonging to the former cathedral. János Vitéz (John Vitéz de Zredna), King Matthias’s educator and chancellor, was also returned here as well as the tomb of Cardinal Archbishop Dénes Széchy, who crowned three kings.
The collection of liturgical gold and textile objects on the first floor of the basilica represents outstanding artistic and cultural history and is considered something special in Europe. The coronation oath cross has been preserved here for centuries and was used to swear in the kings of Hungary during their coronation ceremonies.
The basilica’s left chapel is the 16th-century Bakócz Chapel, the pearl of Renaissance architecture in Hungary and the pilgrimage site of the Castle Madonna.