Časopis ARS 39 (2006) 2


Projekt k založení křižovnické komendy v Bratislave a historické pozadí
[The Commendam and Church of St. Joseph of the Czech Order of the Knights of the Cross with Red Star Built in Bratislava]


The owner of the commendam was the order of the Knights of the Cross with Red Star founded in Prague in 1233 by St. Agnes the Bohemian. After this foundation that originally hospital order, later knights' order, spread further in Bohemia, Moravia, Silesia and in Poland. By the help of the Hungarian archbishops Szelepcsényi and Kollonich and Cardinal Christian August the Saxon, in 1723 they were charged with the foundation of the Bratislava hospital of St. Martin and Leopold and were admitted to the former Hungarian Kingdom.

That was the reason why in 1744 the order started the construction of the church of St. Joseph at the commendam that was to be built according to the plans of Franz Anton Pilgram. The plans were realized partly only and it is not clear till today whether the church was actually quite completed by 1786, when the activity of the commendam in Bratislava came to the end through the orders of Joseph II, who issued directions for the foundation of the Central House of the Veterans in Trnava instead of building such hospital in Bratislava.

However, witnessing to the existence of the church before completion is the Baroque picture of the order's parsonage found in Nový Knín, the "Prospectus hospitalis et commendae" with the remark about "Eccl. In honorem s. Josephi aedificari coepta a. 1744", and the recently found unknown plans of the church and the commendam of the Holy Order of the Knights of the Cross with Red Star in Bratislava.

The church was to be vaulted by an oval dome and was to have a four-corner tower. Thanks to founding of lost documents we may now have a bright idea also of the details of architectonic decoration of the church as specified in greater detail in the work.