The Cathedral of St. Martin, the most important church in the Slovakian capital, has a very complicated building history. Many historical events and architectural transformations have informed and influenced the modern structure. In the thirteenth century a small chapel that stood on this site was expanded into a new church. This building was enlarged in the early 1300s, a process that lasted until the sixteenth century. The cathedral has a typical silhouette unchanged since the completion of the expansion project in the sixteenth century. Names of important and influential master architects from mediaeval Central Europe (as well as their workshops) have been connected with the construction of the church. Michael Chnab, Hans Puchsbaum, Lorenz Spenning, and Anton Pilgram designed a Gothic hall church with three aisles that end in a polygonal apse and are surmounted by alternating ribbed and interwined vaults. They also added a prism-like tower and two-storied chapels on the church’s west side. Shortly after construction was completed, the church and the city of Bratislava/Preßburg entered into a period of political glory: in 1536 Bratislava/Preßburg was declared capital of the Kingdom of Hungary; in 1563 the city hosted the coronation of Maximilian II as King of Hungary, by 1830 the coronations of more than eleven kings and eight royal consorts had taken place in the church. In 2008 Pope Benedict XVI created the Archbishopric of Bratislava and designated St. Martin’s a cathedral. Before the Vienna double wedding of 1515, Tamás Bakócz, Archbishop of Gran/ Esztergom and Primate of Hungary, celebrated a solemn Mass in St. Martin’s in the languages of all participating parties to document their equal rank.
Denkmalamt der Slowakei, Bratislava