10 December 2010
By: Daniel Sukup
St. Martin´s Cathedral (Katedrala svateho Martina in Slovak) is the biggest and most significant church in Bratislava. It is built mostly in the gothic style. The building was started in the 13th century, in the location of a former Romanesque church. It was consecrated in 1452.
In the 15th and 18th centuries major improvements were made on the cathedral. During the 18th century baroque elements were added, but were removed in the 19th century during its re-gothicizing.
The church suffered several accidents over the years; its tower was damaged by a lightning strike, fire and earthquake. Today's look comes from 1877.
The church is 69.37 meters long, 22.85 meters wide and 16 meters tall. The tower itself is 85 meters tall and started to undergo reconstruction in 2009. At the top of the tower there is a replica of St. Stephen´s Crown, commemorating the most famous period of the cathedral.
The ¨Coronation Temple¨
In the years 1563 – 1830 St. Martin´s Cathedral the coronation church of the Hungarian kings. Bratislava became the coronation city of the Kingdom after the Ottoman Empire conquered the city of Székesfehérvár, which formerly served as the coronation city. If you are a history buff, you might enjoy this list of Hungarian Monarchs and Consorts Crowned in Bratislava´s St. Martin´s Cathedral. The list includes the famed Maria Theresa, who was especially fond of Bratislava.
St. Martin´s Cathedral is also a very rich field for archaeological research. Remains of the walls of the churches that preceded the cathedral have been found there, as well as an old crypts filled with caskets. The crypt can be accessed by the public during visits.
A TripAdvisor user wrote this about the Cathedral: "Well worth the 2 euros entrance fee. Some really nice stained glass windows and the crypt is quite creepy."
September Celebrations of the Coronation
Each year, in the month of September, a festive coronation celebration is held commemorating the path the Hungarian monarchs once traveled from Bratislava Castle down to St. Martin´s Cathedral. Visitors to Bratislava can walk the path any time of year by following the Golden Crowns that pass under St. Michael´s Gate. On Bratislava Guide we also have other articles about Popular Bratislava Sites.
Daniel Sukup is a writer living and working in Bratislava, Slovakia.
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