Why does a city need a cathedral

The Cathedral of Saint Martin

The three-aisled Gothic cathedral in Bratislava was built on the site of an earlier Romanesque church from 1221, which was dedicated to the Holy Savior.

It was here that Ludwig van Beethoven performed his work Missa solemnis for the first time in Pressburg in 1835. A few years later, in 1884, Franz Liszt also conducted a Hungarian coronation mass here. The cathedral is without a doubt one of the largest and best preserved Gothic sacred buildings in Bratislava. Its construction began at the beginning of the 14th century, where a Romanesque church used to stand. Many masters participated in the expansion and extension, including those who built St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna. The best known are Hans Puchsbaum and Anton Pilgram. The temple was consecrated as early as 1452, but it did not take its final shape until 1510. The 18th century brought with it a further renovation in the baroque style, which again carried out the most talented artists. Middle of the 19th century the last change followed in the Gothic style. In this form one can still admire the cathedral more or less to this day. It is open to the public Monday to Saturday between 9 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. to 12 p.m. and on Sundays between 1.30 p.m. and 4 p.m.

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The tower: The top of the 85-high tower of the cathedral is decorated with a gold-plated replica of the St. Stephen's crown - a copy of the Hungarian royal crown. The imitation weighs 150 kilos and is more than 1.5 meters tall. This is a landmark of this coronation church.

The bells: Of the original six bells, only the largest and oldest in the church has survived. It is called Wederin and was cast by Balthasar Herold in 1674. This 2.5 ton bell is one of the most valuable in Europe. Other bells fell victim to World War I and were melted into cannons. It was not until the anniversary year 2000 that the Cathedral of St. Martin received five new bells, which were given to the city of Bratislava by the capitals of the neighboring countries.

The coronation ceremony:After the Turkish siege of the country in the 16th century the city of Pressburg got the title coronation city of the Hungarian kings. The ceremonies were held in St. Martin's Cathedral. The first took place in 1563 and the last in 1830. A total of eleven rulers and seven royal wives were crowned here, all from the house of the Habsburgs. On the eve of the coronation ceremony, the crown, along with the royal regalia, was brought from the castle to the sacristy in the cathedral and closely monitored the entire time. Early in the morning the next day, the ruler and the solemn entourage set off from the castle to the cathedral, accompanied by the tones of bells and trumpets and the roar of the cannons.

After the solemn liturgy and the coronation, the entourage went on to the Franciscan Church, where the new king elevated selected nobles to knighthood. The old tradition of coronation is revived every year on the last weekend in June. This largest event in the city always attracts thousands of curious people, who can then not only take part in the ceremony, but also in the celebrations and jousting tournaments as spectators. During the coronation ceremony was Blaufränkisch red wine served. The ruler Maria Theresa, who was also crowned Queen of Hungary in St. Martin's Cathedral, supposedly liked this too.