11 Jun 2013

St. Stephen Cathedral, Budapest, Hungary

The Roman Catholic St. Stephen's Basilica in Budapest was built in neoclassical style and construction was completed in 1905. It is named for Saint Stephen, the first king of Hungary. The cathedral holds the kings incorruptible right hand as a relic. With this hand he held up his crown on his deathbed praying to the Blessed Virgin Mary, asking her to become the queen of Hungary, as he was dying with no heir who he trusted enough to rule his beloved country. King Stephen died on the Fest of the Assumption, August 15th, 1038.  He was canonized by Pope Gregory VII in 1083. His right hand is known as the Holy Right and was first kept in a town in Transylvania that was built just for this purpose, Szent Jobb, and then later moved to the St. Stephen's Cathedral in Budapest.  The incorruptability of the King's hand is taken as a sign that the Blessed Virgin accepted the offer of the Holy Hungarian Crown and ever since is officially the country's Queen.
The crown was brought to the USA for safekeeping in 1945 and was kept in the vaults of Fort Knox until President Jimmy Carter returned it to the Hungarian people in 1978. It has been enshrined in the Hungarian Parliament building since 2000.
This beautiful bird's eye view was sent by Henrietta for a Postcrossing Round Robin.

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