St. Martin's Cathedral

Bratislava, Slovakia

Bratislava's three-nave Gothic cathedral is built on the site of a previous, Romanesque church, from 1221. After 1291, when Bratislava was given the privileges of a town, the church was rebuilt to become part of the city walls (its tower served as a defensive bastion). The present church was consecrated in 1452. The interior of the church is large – 69.37 metres long, 22.85 metres wide and 16.02 metres high – and features a grand internal divided portal with a preserved tympanum and a relief of the Holy Trinity. It has four chapels: the canons’ chapel, the Gothic chapel of Sophia of Bavaria (widow of the Czech King Wenceslas IV), the chapel of St Anne and the baroque chapel of St John the Merciful. The portal of the southern antechamber represents the oldest example of Renaissance architecture in Slovakia.

Between 1563 and 1830 St Martin's served as the coronation church for Hungarian kings and their consorts, marked to this day by a 300-kg gilded replica of the Hungarian royal crown perched on the top of the cathedral's 85-metre-tall neo-Gothic tower. At the beginning of September each year the pomp and circumstance of the coronation returns to Bratislava in a faithful reconstruction of the ceremony.

The first monumental work of central-European sculpture made from lead can be found inside the cathedral. It was created by Georg Raphael Donner for the main altar of St Martin's in 1734. The group is now in the side nave of the church as a free statue on a pedestal. It depicts St Martin sitting on a horse rampant, bending to a beggar and cutting his overcoat to share it with the poor man.

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Founded: 1452
Category: Religious sites in Slovakia

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4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Jiwon Lee (2 years ago)
beautiful catholic church. It has mass everyday. Check the time for it and hours to look inside the church :-)
Dianne Christensen (3 years ago)
The largest and finest, as well as one of the oldest churches in Bratislava in which Queen Maria Theresa was crowned. It is the second most popular tourist location in Bratislava. Its 85 m high spire dominates Old Town’s skyline. Make sure you visit its underground crypt with catacombs. I loved this beautiful old church.
Yashodeep Boob (3 years ago)
Beautiful place full of history. A few very interesting facts. All the Queens and Kings of Hungary Austrian Kingdom were crowned in this cathedral. The golden crown on the top is relatively small when you look at it from the ground level but it's actually as big as a car.
Jonathon Rhys Dryhurst Sturdy (3 years ago)
A wonderful church that was the site of many historical events including the coronations of Hungarian monarchs. It is next to the modern main road but that has not affected the buildings charm or looks with it being easily accessible from the old town. It is almost always on the route to the castle so well worth visiting on the way.
Александр Alex (3 years ago)
It's the main cathedral of Bratislava. It's located in old town. A little simple outside, but very beautiful and very interesting inside. Entrance is free. You should visit this cathedral.
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