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St. Martin's Cathedral

The St. Martin's cathedral (in Slovak: Dóm sv. Martina) is the metropolitan cathedral of Slovakia, situated in the Slovak capital Bratislava below the Bratislava Castle at the Danube River. It is one of two Slovak Gothic minsters (dómy) . It comprises three naves.

Building started at the end of the 13th century on the place of an older Romanesque church and of an old cemetery. It took some other centuries to finish. The finished church was consecrated in 1452, but construction work continued in 15th and 16th century: a new long presbytery was built in 1461-1497, the Gothic Czech Queen Chapel and the St. Anna Chapel were added in the 15th century, and the Baroque chapel of St. John the Merciful (Sv. Ján Almužník) - whose author is Georg Rafael Donner - was finished in the first half of 18th century. The important Baroque St. Martin's sculpture by Georg Rafael Donner was added in 1734.

In 1760, the top of the Gothic tower was struck by lightning, it was replaced by a Baroque one, which however was destroyed by fire in 1835 and reconstructed differently in 1847. Also in 1847, a copy of the crown of Hungary weighing 300 kg was placed in the top of tower on a golden pillow as a symbol of importance of the church for coronations in the years 1563-1830 when Hungarian kings were crowned in this cathedral.

The church has taken its present-day look not before 1869-1877, when it was re-Gothizised, after it has been damaged by fire, war, earthquake and by other disasters.

Since the cathedral was built on an old cemetery, there are huge dark catacombs 6m below the St. Anna Chapel containing the sepulchers of many significant personalities (last burial took place in 1895), such as ecclesiastic dignitaries, members of the Pálffi dynasty, presidents of the historic Bratislava county or J. I. Bajza, the author of the first Slovak novel.

For a picture see : Bratislava