Bratislava’s most famous church was built in the 14th century. It’s notable for its steeple, which is topped by a crown instead of a cross. That’s because it was the site of coronation masses for Hungarian kings and queens for almost 270 years. It’s also unique because there is no entrance under the tower, because it was part of the city walls.
Like many churches in Bratislava, St. Martin’s was constructed in the Gothic style, but its interior was “modernized” in the Baroque style in the 19th century, then reverted back to neo-Gothic.
The most obvious evidence of these changes is the altar. The focal point of the Gothic altar was a large lead statue of St. Martin on horseback, depicting the legend where the saint, as a young soldier, gives half of his cloak to a beggar. But the statue was removed in favour of a Baroque altar, and today sits on its own in a different part of the church. You can also get a glimpse of the cathedral’s Baroque past in the spectacular chapel of St. John the Almsgiver.