Székesfehérvár Basilica

St. Stephen's Cathedral Basilica

Ruins of the basilica
Basic information
Location Székesfehérvár, Hungary
Geographic coordinates 47°11′30″N 18°24′39″E / 47.1917°N 18.4107°E / 47.1917; 18.4107Coordinates: 47°11′30″N 18°24′39″E / 47.1917°N 18.4107°E / 47.1917; 18.4107
Affiliation Roman Catholicism
Status ruined

The Basilica of Saint Stephen is a basilica in Székesfehérvár, (in latin: Alba Regia) Hungary.

Aerial view of the ruins

It was built in the late 1010s by Saint Stephen I, the first King of Hungary. The basilica was an impressive building, one of the greatest in Hungary. It was not episcopal see until 1777, but it was used as the principal church of the rulers of Hungary.

It was the most significant place of the Kingdom of Hungary in the Middle Ages, as it contained the crown jewels, including the throne, the Holy Crown of Hungary, the treasury and the archives. 37 kings and 39 queens consort were crowned in this basilica and 15 were buried in it. In 1543, the Turks occupied Székesfehérvár. The royal graves were ransacked and the basilica was used to store gunpowder while St. Martin's Cathedral in Pozsony became the new coronation site.

In 1601, the valuable building was destroyed by fire.[1][2][3] Just in 1601, the Ottoman rule of the city was interrupted for about one year. Illustrations of the 17th century suggest that the fire and probable blow up was caused by Christian artillery in the course of the Christian conquest.

Its ruins have been demolished and used for the construction of the new episcopal residence and for the reconstruction of another old church which in the XVIII Century became the cathedral of the Diocese of Szekesfehervar, erected in 1777.

Merian's Theatrum Europaeum presents an almost peaceful exit (N) of the Turkish garrison out of an undestroyed Székesfehérvár after the Christian interim reconquest in 1601;
G = "main church" – the basílica
Johan Sibmacher's "True depiction of the royal city of S., as it was conquered by the Christians" shows the basilica destroyed and burning and some more buildings on fire.


Thirteen kings and two queens consort were buried in Székesfehérvár Basilica.

  1. Stephen I
  2. Coloman
  3. Béla II
  4. Géza II
  5. Bela III, whose remains were later moved to Matthias Church, Budapest
  6. Agnes of Antioch, whose remains were later moved to Matthias Church, Budapest
  7. Ladislaus III
  8. Béla IV
  9. Charles I Robert
  10. Maria of Bytom
  11. Louis I
  12. Elizabeth of Bosnia, whose remains were moved to Székesfehérvár Basilica from the Church of St Chrysogonus in Zadar
  13. Albert
  14. Matthias I
  15. Vladislaus II
  16. Louis II

Family members of the kings of Hungary have also been buried in the basilica, such as Catherine, the eldest daughter and heiress presumptive of King Louis I by Elizabeth of Bosnia.


  1. Historical past
  2. Phillips, Adrian; Scotchmer, Jo: Hungary, Bradt Travel Guides, 2010.
  3. Bedford, Neal; Dunford, Lisa; Fallon, Steve: Hungary, Lonely Planet, 2009.
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