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The Cathedral of St. Martin

From the year 1995 the Cathedral of St. martin has been the most important sacral building and the Gothic dominant of Bratislava. On the spire of 85 metres high tower is a 300-kg heavy copy of the Hungarian royal crown on a gilded pillow is found from year 1765. The last time it was gilded in 1969. Between 1563 and 1830 when Bratislava was a coronation town, 11 kings and 8 royal wives were crowned in the cathedral.

The construction of the three-aisled Gothic church wad inaugurated at the beginning of the 14th century around the original Roman church of St. Salvator. In the 1st half of the 15th century a Gothic chapel of the Czech queen Sophia, the Czech king Wenceslaus IVs widow, was added. The church was consecrated in 1452. Once finished it was found out that the presbytery was small do the ruler Mathias Corvin ordered to build a new one in the 2nd half of the 15th century. The Chapel of St. Anne was added at the same time.

The building went on in the next centuries. In the 1950 the southern hall was build. In the 18th century Imre Esterházy, the archbishop of Ezstergom, invited to Bratislava the famous Austrian Baroque sculpturer Gerog Rafael Donner, who created the main altar and the Baroque Chapel of St. John the Mendicant, which has been preserved until today. In the 2nd half of the 19th century the Cathedral was re-Gothicized. The original Baroque altar was replaced by a Neogothic one, and the monumental statue of St. Martin, which was the part of the original Baroque altar, today can be found in the right side-aisle if the church. The Gothic font from the year 1403 (its cover is Neogothic) and the late Renaissance ornamental sculpture of Pieta belong to the most interesting works of the interior.

In the crypts of the Cathedral of St. Martin many parochial and profane dignitaries are buried here.

In the Middle Ages the Cathedral of St. Martin was the part of the town fortification.

Not a long time ago, in the end of August 1999, there have been the bell pulled down from the tower of St. Martin's Cathedral. The biggest and also the last bell in the tower was taken down for restoration. There used to be four bells, but three smaller ones were pulled down during the World War, they were melted and made weapons out of them. The last one, which is being restored, was not pulled down before, because it was too big and they would have to damage the tower. After restoration it will be hanged back and three new ones will be hanged there. Old Town and Bratislava City will finance the production of one these bells and the other two will be financed by sponsors, who will have the honor to put their names on it.