Organs and Organ Builders in Slovakia
1651 – 2006
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Bratislava - Staré Mesto

Bratislava District, Bratislava Province

St Martin’s Cathedral

Gothic church, built on the site of the older provost's and parish Church of the Holy Saviour. In 1302 the town council took over patronage of the church and began its reconstruction in the traditional manner, first of all building the walls of a more spacious church around the old one. The result was a triple-nave of the hall type, although it is possible that the original intention was to build a triple-nave basilica. In 1467 – 1487 a generously conceived sanctuary was built. In 1732 – 1734 the baroque chapel of St. John the Almoner was built as an extension. In 1854 the chapel of St. Anne was restored and in 1865 – 1877 the entire church, beginning with the sanctuary, was renovated. The sanctuary with polygonal apse is covered with ribbed net vaulting. The triple nave has equally high vaulting, with the ribs ascending from four central pairs of polygonal pillars and semi-cylindrical wall piers, apart from the two final bays of the south wall, where there are bundle pillars. The central nave has net vaulting; the aisles have cross vaulting with doubled number of ribs. The transverse ribs do not intersect between the vaults and the pillars but fold to the sides, forming wheeling arcs with spaces where squares are arranged spherically. The great organ is placed in the space beneath the church tower, behind the music loft.

History of the Organs in the Object

The first known written reference to an organ in St Martin’s Cathedral in Bratislava dates from 1451. At that time the town as patron of the church ordered an organ in Vienna for the cathedral. A further new organ was built in 1582 again by a Viennese organ builder, Leopold Sunderspitz. In 1648 the Trnava organ builder, Johann Baier, moved and thoroughly overhauled the cathedral organ. In 1751 the Bratislava organ builder Johann Vierengel reconstructed and enlarged the cathedral organ. This instrument underwent many repairs up until it was replaced in 1880 – 1882 by Vincent Možný's organ.

Present Instruments in the Building