We visited inside St Martin’s Cathedral with its green and gold tower. There is a great crypt beneath it which we found very interesting. Right outside are some remnants of the original city walls, right beside the cathedral steps. (The original moat is long gone).
For over a quarter of a millennia, or nearly 300 years, this was the place of coronation for long line of Hungarian kings. It's probably the most distinctive of Bratislava's churches, and its prominent place in the city means that it is no surprise to learn that it is also the city's cathedral. St. Martins was originally constructed in the 15th century, but didn't get its current Gothic look until the end of the 19th.
Directions: At the end of Panska, on the way to the castle.
The church was built by Capuchin monks in 1717. They got the right to settle in Bratislava already in 1676. The church is differently known as St. Stephen church. I am not sure what style it has, construction period seems to be as Baroque.
There is also plague column in front of church.
Address: Župné sq. 10, Bratislava.
St. Cross church is the one of churches I have seen in Devin suburb. I wonder if there are more of them. This one was probably built already in 13th century, the town was still a separated from Bratislava (only a few years ago it became as part of Bratislava).
Church was modified in 17th and 18th centuries (lets say, tower). Now it looks more or less Baroque style.
Directions: Devin suburb.
This church and convent seems to be from Baroque times, probably 17 - 18th centuries. It was built and consecrated for St. Elizabeth of Hungary. Nowadays convent houses a hospital, only women here are curried.
Anyway just a few meters away there is a church and hospital of Merciful Brothers, where is a hospital for women. Not occasionally the street is named as 'hospital' street.
Address: Špitalska str., Bratislava.
The religious buildings stood here already from 14th century, as here chapel of St. Ladislaus was built. Buildings didn't fully survived the wars with Hussite and Turks, so in 19th century it was decided to build a new church. 1830 - 1832 the new classical church was built, the same shape as we see it now.
Address: Špitálska str. 7, Bratislava.
Church was build thanks to initiative of Trinitarian Order in 1717 - 1727. It was constructed in Baroque style and it is said it is like a copy of St. Peter church in Vienna (I have to say, maybe not everything, but more than 50% ;). Portal of the church is beautifully decorated with St. Trinity symbols.
Nearby there is also a former monastery building.
Address: Župné sq., Bratislava.
This church was built in 1661 in early Baroque style. Actually it is on the hill slope, where Bratislava castle stands. There was another church instead of this before, Gothic one. It was built as Catholic church, later given to Greek Catholics, but finally it is Orthodox one.
It was closed, and it was very interesting how here interior of Orthodox church looks like. Maybe another time :)
Address: Mikulášska str. 13, Bratislava.
Church of St. Elisabeth or so called Blue church. It was built in 1907 - 1908 in style of Secession. Actually it looks like Barcelona Gaudi style.
The church was consecrated to Elisabeth of Hungary (1207 – 1231), daughter of Andrew II, who grew up in the Bratislava Castle, called as "Pressburg" some time ago, She was the Princess of Hungary.
Address: Bezrucova str. 2, Bratislava.
Cathedral of St, Martin is probably the most significant religious buildings in Bratislava, and possible whole Slovakia. At first it is nice example of Gothic architecture, it was constructed from 1311 to 1452, long period of construction meant different problems of that time - lack of funding, Hussite wars.
It is used for Hungarian kings coronation from 1563 to 1830. Nowadays for small fee you can visit inside of church - watch interior and both crypts. Honestly, in my point of view, it was not so interesting.
Address: Rudnayovo sq. 1, Bratislava.
St Martin's Cathedral was built on the site of an earlier Romanesque church from 1221. The building works were begun in 1291 but it was not consecrated until 1445 (or 1452 according to some). This is one of the oldest and also largest churches in Bratislava. The 85 m tall tower was constructed at the same time as the church, which is not always the case. The tower was an important part of the the city walls. When you leave the church you can still see parts of the old city wall right in front of you.
On top of the tower there is a gilded pillow, 2x2 m, with a 1m high copy of the Hungarian royal crown weighing 300 kg placed atop of this. The church used to be the coronation church to the Hungarian kings. During 1563 - 1830, 11 kings and eight queens were crowned here.
Opening hours when I visited:
9.00 - 11.30, and 13.00 - 17.00 every day with the exception of some Saturdays and Sundays.
The link further down will take you to a page in Czech.
Directions: In between the Old Town and the castle, a couple of meters from the main road Jizka.
The Franciscan Church was consecrated in 1297, which makes it the oldest church in Bratislava.
It is normally open only for masses although the front door might be open so you can look inside through glass doors.
It is impossible to get an accurate localisation of the church on Google Map since there are two names for the church there, but the marker A is the right one (B actually points to the back of the church).
Address: Frantiskanske námestie.
Directions: Follow the street taking you north from the Old Town Square you'll see the church on your right hand side after ~100 m.
Eve if you have only a little interest in history, it is always worth visiting the oldest church or cathedral building in any settlement. You are bound to find something which pleases you.
St Martin's Cathedral is no exception. Building began in 1311, with the first structure completed by 1452, but there have been many additions and changes since that time. What you can see now largely dates from the period 1869-1877, which restorations and reconstruction took place following fires and an earthquake.
The cathedral now has three aisles, and an 85m-high tower which was once part of the city's defences. It is topped by a golden crown, rather than a cross, for St Martin's was the coronation church for the Kingdom of Hungary from 1563 -1830.
I was happy to pay the small entrance fee to visit the interior. Note how you step down into the church itself: that's a sure sign of antiquity, for continued building and rebuilding over centuries inevitably cause a rise in street level.
There is little in the way of original stone carving or memorial slabs inside: a pity, for I love to explore the workings of the Medieval mind through the carvings made by ordinary folk of the time. There is a rather superb set of choir stalls with magnificent wooden creatures of various types. They're not especially old (1800s) but they are still pretty impressive.
The stained-glass windows aren't very old either, but they are lovely. Their colourful and complex patterns really caught my eye. There is a tiny archaeological excavation of the earlier structure visible through glass panes in the floor (to the far right as you look towards the altar) but condensation makes it very difficult to see what lies beneath.
You can visit the Treasury, where there are numerous chalices and costumes on display...and a scorchmark made by the hand of a ghost.. And, when I visited, you could also visit the crypt. I had hoped that this would be quite extensive but it seems access is only to a small part, with noting remaining much earlier than the mid-1800s. There are at least three crypts below the existing building, and the extent of the catacombs is not known.
The cathedral is under threat from the vibrations caused by continual heavy traffic on the almost-adjacent overpass to the UFO bridge but it seems preservation works are ongoing.
You can see more of the wood carvings and the stained glass windows in my travelogue.
The cathedral is open for visits 0900-1130 and 1300-1800 Monday to Saturday (1700 on Thursdays) and from 1330 to 1800 on Sundays.
This is the oldest church in Bratislava and is worth a visit simply for that reason.
The church was first consecrated in 1297 although subsequent fires and earthquakes mean that little of that original building is visible. You can, however, see the remains of the original doorway just inside the existing doorway: it has been left exposed.
Unfortunately, as I found was the case with many churches in central Bratislava, you cannot enter the church itself: it is barred off with an iron grill. But you can look through the grill and there is a helpful, and detailed, English information sheet tied in place.
I would have liked to visit the 14th-century Gothic chapel within, which is one of the most significant Gothic works in Slovakia. But I couldn't.
It's still worth a quick visit though, even if you can't enter the church itself. The information sheet alone is very interesting.
The Blue church is really the church of St Elizabeth (Kostol svätej Alžbety) but it's called the Blue Church because....well, because it is very blue indeed, both inside and out!
Apparently it is a favourite place to get married in Bratislava, and I can quite understand why. It really is a very pretty building.
This Saint Elizabeth was originally Elisabeth of Hungary, daughter of King Andrew ll. She lived from 1207 to 1231, married at 14 (quite normal for the time) and widowed by the age of 20. After her husband's death she devoted her life to religion and the care of the poor. Several miracles are ascribed to her but the most famous is the 'Miracle of the Roses': she was taking bread to the poor, but when her husband appeared (or her brother...the story varies) she hid it for fear of being accused of theft. When asked about what was under her cloak she replied 'Roses' and, when forced to show what lay within...yes, it was roses.
The Blue Church was built in 1907 in Art Nouveau style. There are mirror mosaic decorations on the outside (including the 'Eye of God' and a depiction of the 'Miracle of the Roses' ). The interior (inaccessible when I visited, but visible through a grille) is oval, with blue-painted pews and double pillars. You can see a 360 degree view of the interior on the link below.
This is a very lovely and unique building, and well worth seeking out. Although not in the Old Town itself it is within easy walking distance.
Directions: To the east of the Stare Mesto (Old Town), perhaps 10 minutes' walk away.