Faith and Tradition

BudapestBudapest is the spiritual center of the Magyars. Hungarians (Magyars) live on their ancestors' lands in Central Europe, 10 million in Hungary, 3 million in the neighboring countries. Most are Christians: Catholic and Protestant. Most Budapest churches are Roman Catholic. Hungarian Jews played a great cultural role as well.


Historical Hungary, much bigger than the one today, was founded by the first king, Saint Stephen in the year 1000. As tradition has it, he donated his Holy Crown to Virgin Mary before he died. This is why Hungary has been considered a heavenly kingdom, "Country of Mary" for 1000 years. The Holy Crown is viewable for all in the dome hall of the Parliament. The hand of the first king, the Holy Right is displayed in Saint Stephen's Basilica.


On 20 August, Saint Stephen's Day, the Holy Right is carried in a procession around Budapest, and fireworks are held over the river. On 23 October, the anniversary of the 1956 Revolution, the Parliament opens its gate for all visitors of the Holy Crown. On New Year's Eve, Hungarians make 5 minutes break even amidst the wildest party, in order to sing together the National Anthem, a prayer to God.