|St. Stephen's Cathedral Basilica|
Ruins of the basilica
It was built in the late 1010s by Saint Stephen I, the first King of Hungary. The basilica was an impressive building, but neither exceptionally large nor a technical miracle. At that time, important archiepiscopal cathedrals like those of Mainz and of Cologne were once and a half as large. The four Papal Basilicas of Rome were between twice and four times as large. Last but not least, Hagia Sophia in Constantinople was three times as large and a much more ambitious construction.
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. 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.
Thirteen kings and two queens consort were buried in Székesfehérvár Basilica.
- Stephen I
- Béla II
- Géza II
- Bela III, whose remains were later moved to Matthias Church, Budapest
- Agnes of Antioch, whose remains were later moved to Matthias Church, Budapest
- Ladislaus III
- Béla IV
- Charles I Robert
- Maria of Bytom
- Louis I
- Elizabeth of Bosnia, whose remains were moved to Székesfehérvár Basilica from the Church of St Chrysogonus in Zadar
- Matthias I
- Vladislaus II
- 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.
- Pipo of Ozora is buried here as well.
- Historical past
- Phillips, Adrian; Scotchmer, Jo: Hungary, Bradt Travel Guides, 2010.
- Bedford, Neal; Dunford, Lisa; Fallon, Steve: Hungary, Lonely Planet, 2009.