04 April 2009

Budapest - St Stephens Basilica

Our apartment was around the corner from this Cathedral. It was pretty amazing to turn the corner and walk up to this building.

It's also cool that the photo above is the backside. It was ringed with statues across the top and is sooo much bigger than you can tell from the picture.

And here is the front side, with a nice cobblestone square, which does a number on the two seater stroller -- it zigs and zags and jumps all over the place. Mark my words, one day we too shall have a cobble stone drive way because they are so cool. Anyone know a good stone cutter?

This one is for the grand parents!

Elora loves going to cathedrals (and museums, and fortresses, and palaces, and castles). She was very excited and was running around all over the place before going inside. Which was good because we always tell her she needs to be reverent and quiet when we go inside. Here she is running up the stairs, getting impatient while we were taking pictures. You can get a good idea of how gigantic the building is from her wee-bitty little size.

After she tried to run inside before we were finished taking some pictures outside, she came back down the stairs and chased some birds -- always good sport.

The central relic of the cathedral, contained in the gold case above is the actual mummified "Holy Right Hand" of St Stephen the first king of Hungary from the year 1038. An inscription reads:

"King Stephen Died on 15th August 1038. On 15th August 1083 he was canonized in Szekesfehervar. His right hand found intact has been highly esteemed by the nation ever since. It had an adventurous fate: It had been kept in Bihar (Translyvania), Ragusa (Dalmatia, now Dubrovnik), then Vienna from where it was brought to Buda in 1771. In 1944 it was carried away to the west, it returned to Hungary on 19th August 1945. "

Elora was dancing around in the room that held "The Hand!" when she turned the corner and saw an old man sitting by the glass case. She realized she was being watched, so she quickly folded her arms and started walking slowly. This earned her some big smiles, which caused Elora to repeat the process several times.

Here is the painting and wood carvings at the top of the central dome of the cathedral. It's pretty...

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