Sacral buildings are among the oldest historical objects in Bratislava. The most monumental building is the Dome of st. Martin at the Rudnay Square in the Old City. There are regular worships in most of the historical churches.
A book about churches, monasteries and nunneries in Bratislava was published in april 2008 (Rehole, kostoly a klastory v Bratislave, in Slovak language).
Dome of St. Martin
The three-nave Gothic church was built in the place of the original Romanesque church. They started building it in the beginning of the 14th century and it was consecrated in 1452. Dimensions of the church are also remarkable: length 69.37 m, width 22,85 m, height 16.02 m. Several chapels were added to the church – Gothic chapel of St. Sophia, widow after the Czech King Wenceslas IV, chapel of St. Anna and baroque chapel of St. John the Almoner.
Tower of the church was constructed simultaneously with 3 naves of the church, while it was integral part of city walls serving to defend the town. Its height is 85 m and there is a gilded pillow of dimensions 2 m x 2 m on the top, while a 1 m high copy of the Hungarian royal crown weighing 300 kg is placed on it. In the 16th century, the Dome witnessed coronation of Hungarian Kings. Within 1563 – 1830, there were crowned 11 Hungarian Kings and 8 royal wives. Beethoven‘s Missa Solemnis was played for the first time in this church.
Read more about Sacral art in the Dome of St. Martin.
The Franciscan Church and Monastery
It ranks among the oldest sacral buildings of the city. The Franciscan church was constructed in Gothic style in the 13th century. It was consecrated in 1297 in presence of the King Andrew II. In the 17th century, it was rebuilt in Renaissance style and, in the 18th century in baroque style. The complex of several buildings on gothic foundations dates back to the 14th and 15th centuries. In the course of the 17th and18th centuries, it was several times rebuilt, for the last time in classicist style within 1860 – 1861. In the beginning of the 15th century, a Gothic tower was placed on walls of the cloister, part of which was damaged and replaced with its copy in 1897. The cloister was witness to many historic events. In Middle Ages, there was elected mayor, while the Hungarian assembly elected Ferdinand of Habsburg in 1526 to become the king.
The Church of St. Elizabeth and the Monastery of the Sisters of the Order of St. Elizabeth
Due to the Archbishop of Estergom Imrich Esterhazy, a monastery was built together with a single-nave Church of St Elizabeth, in 1739-1745. The construction was planned and built by F.A. Pilgrim, a Viennese architect. St Elizabeth was the daughter of the Hungarian king Andrew II (Ondrej II.), and was born in 1207 in the Bratislava Castle. The church was constructed in the style of radical baroque and its facade is embellished by the statues of St Stephen and St Ladislaus (Hungarian kings) as well as that of St Elizabeth with a beggar. These were modeled by Ludovit Gode, a fellow-worker of R. Donner There are paintings on the vaults of the interior by the Austrian artist Paul Troger. He also designed the picture of St Elizabeth placed on the main altar, as well as those on the side altars.
Shrine of St Elizabeth – the so-called Blue Shrine
The shrine, together with the parish and the nearby secondary school, comprised a unique complex built in the secession style. The shrine was built to the plans of the Budapest architect Edmund Lechner in 1909-1913. It is famous for its blue plaster with inlaid, blue-glazed majolica as well as its glazed roof-cover. The mosaic of St Elizabeth, the daughter of Andrew II (Ondrej II.), born in the Bratislava Castle is placed above the main entrance. Her portrait can also be found on the main altar.
Blumental Church – The Church of the Virgin Mary’s Ascension
The church was built in 1885-1888, according to the plans of F. Rumplemayer, in the neo-Roman style. The interior comes from the same period, excluding the baroque seats, which were placed there from St Martin’s Cathedral. Special attention should be paid to the copy of the Genazzani picture in the neo-Gothic frame brought by the merchant J. Janko of Bratislava (1770) as well as The Crucified by the sculptor J. Fadrusz (1892), native to Bratislava.
The Small Evangelical Church
This single-nave church was built according to the plans of Matej Walch by Slovak and Hungarian evangelists. The altar, together with the pulpit ornamented by the relief of the Sower, were created by Peter Brandenthal (1777-1778). The altar-piece, The Crucifixion, was painted by unknown master.
The Big Evangelical Church
Evangelists of German nationality constructed a church of their own in 1774-1777, according to the plans of Matej Walch, whose aim was to project a similar church to the one which used to stand on the present Franciscan Square (today it is the Church of Jesuits) The altar and pulpit are the masterpieces of Peter Brandenthal (1776). The altar picture, illustrating the Christ in Emauzes, was painted by A.F. Oeser, native to Bratislava, and Professor of the Academy in Leipzig. The church, together with the Lyceum nearby, have been considered the most important sights of the national cultural heritage.
Church and Monastery of the Sisters of the Order of St Clare
The Order of St Clare settled in Bratislava in 1297 and constructed a church and a monastery of their own. The single-nave church, built in Gothic style, is from the first half of the 14th century. In about 1400, a remarkable pentagonal spire with sculptures was annexed. Only its pyramid-shape top is built in neo-Gothic style and comes from the 19th century. As the spire seems to hang in the space, being fixed to a special support, there are a number of legends about it. The Monastery was constructed after the Great fire in 1590, in the late Renaissance style (1636-1640), commissioned by Archbishop Peter Pazmany and Imrich Losy. Since the second half of the 18th century until 1908, this building was used as the seat of the Academy of Law and the Catholic Seminary. The composer Bela Bartok and the Slovak inventor Jozef Murgas were among its prominent students. At present, the church is used as a place of exhibitions and concerts. The monastery building houses the Information and Documentation Center of the Council of Europe.
Church of St Nicholas
Standing on the site of the former older Church of St Nicholas, built in the Gothic style, this rather small construction is in the Outer Bailey. The present early-baroque style building dedicated to St Nicholas, the patron of fishermen and dockers, was constructed by Mikulas Palffy´s widow, Frantiska Khuen, in 1661. The main entrance, with the small statue of the Churches patron, as well as the coat-of-arms of the Palffys , are the original ornaments preserved. Today it belongs to the Eastern Ortodox Church.
Trinitarian Church and Monastery – The Church of St John of Matha
The Trinitarian Order, who ransomed Christian captives from Turkish imprisonment, settled in Bratislava at the end of the 17th century. In 1717-1725, they built a church and a monastery of their own, which ranked among the most attractive constructions of baroque-style in Bratislava. The monastery has not been preserved, and in 1844 the Zupa house (Zupny dom) was built in this place. The interior of the church contains highly decorative baroque ornaments. The fresco on the vault was painted by the Italian master Antonio Gali Bibiena in 1740. The main altar depicts the founders of the order, St John of Matha and Felix Valois, ransoming slaves. Very interesting is the side altar of the Virgin Mary with statues of angels, modeled by a sculptor from Donner´s circle.
In 1636 Protestants constructed this church after being granted an imperial concession to build a place of worship on the strict condition that it have no tower. The Jesuits took over the towerless church in 1672 and, to compensate for its external simplicity, went wild with Baroque detailing on the inside.
(Franciscan Square - Kostolna Street)
Church and Monastery of the Capuchins - The Church of St Stephen
The Order of Capuchins was active in Bratislava in the second half of the 17th century. They built a simple church and monastery in the extramural sector. The Statue of St Stephen decorates the present façade in neo-Romanesque style. The main altar depicts St Stephen putting the historic Hungary under the protection of the Virgin Mary (the idea of Regnum Marianum).
Church and Hospital of St Ladislaus
In 1828 - 1830, a new church, together with a hospital and a poorhouse were built, bearing the signs of classicism.
Church of Merciful Brethren - The Church of Virgin Mary s Visitation
The Order of the Merciful Brethren settled in Bratislava in the second half of the 17th century. Both the church and the monastery were built in early-baroque style and were constructed at the turn of the 17th and 18 th centuries.
Today, one part of the whole complex has been preserved as a hospital.
Church and Monastery of the Sisters of the Order of St Ursula - The Church of Virgin Mary of Loreto
Evangelist in Bratislava built a church in the middle of the 17th century. The church was soon taken over by the Order of St Ursula in order to educate Catholic girls. The interior of the church contains the main altar with late-baroque architecture and a copy of the Virgin Mary of Loreto.
This building, having a rectangularground-plane, was built according to the plans of A. Szalatnay-Slatinsky in 1923-1926.The street facade is articulated by columns and the decoration contains oriental ornaments.
Source: Bratislava, Tourist Guide
This page is a part of the Bratislava Online Guide
Categories: Historical Attractions