Eisenstadt Cathedral (Eisenstadt)

Eisenstadt Cathedral



Adress: Pfarrgasse


Description of Eisenstadt Cathedral

Eisenstadt Cathedral is a late Gothic church that was constructed in 1460 on a site of older medieval building. This small Roman Catholic church was originally erected as a church that served members of the royal army that were stationed nearby. Presence of a Turkish threat from the East made Austrians aware of possible dangers of unexpected intrusion. So they constructed religious building with a military precision. The steeple of the Eisenstadt Cathedral contains small holes that could be used by defending soldiers inside. Turkish and Muslim threat from Asia was crushed only in 1683 when Turkish armies were defeated near Vienna.


The Cathedral of St. Martin or simply Eisenstadt Cathedral and also called St. Martin's Cathedral and St. Rupert (in German: Dom Sankt Martin und Sankt Rupert) is a Catholic cathedral in Eisenstadt, Burgenland, Austria, dedicated to St. Martin. It has been the seat of the Bishop of Eisenstadt since the creation of the diocese in 1960. The first reference to a chapel dedicated to St. Martin of Tours occurs in 1264, when Eisenstadt received its original name, in Latin: minor Martin, in German: Kleinmartinsdorf and in Hungarian: Kismarton.

From this chapel there are still remains of a Romanesque base in the current choir area. In the 13th century the chapel was enlarged with the addition of an early Gothic choir. In the 14th century a chapel was added for the laity. In 1460 the church was rebuilt under the plan of the city captain Johann Siebenhirter as a fortified or defensive church, as an attack by the Turks was expected after the fall of Constantinople in 1453.

The Gothic building was completed in 1522. After the great fire of 1589 almost 30 years passed before the reconstruction of the severely damaged church took place, between 1610 and 1629.



The first documented mention of a chapel dedicated to Saint Martin was in 1264. At that time, today's Eisenstadt was given its first name "minor Martin", Kleinmartinsdorf (Hungarian: Kismarton). A Romanesque foundation of this chapel is still preserved in the area of ​​today's presbytery. In the 13th century it was expanded to include a choir in the early Gothic style, and a family chapel was built in the 14th century. In 1460 the church was rebuilt under the governor Johann Siebenhirter as a fortified church, as an invasion of the Turks after the fall of Constantinople in 1453 was expected. The Gothic building was completed in 1522. After the great fire in 1589, almost 30 years passed before the severely damaged church was rebuilt between 1610 and 1629.

A large altarpiece created by Stephan Dorfmeister was installed in 1777/78, which shows "The Transfiguration of St. Martin". The following year, the Viennese organ builder Malleck built a church organ according to the instructions of Joseph Haydn.

After the establishment of the Eisenstadt diocese, the church of St. Martin was raised to the status of Domkirche (cathedral) in 1960. Saint Martin of Tours became diocesan and national patron. The interior and the windows were redesigned in 1960 under Bishop Stephan László. In 2003, under Bishop Iby, the cathedral was redesigned, for which the architects Lichtblau-Wagner designed. The renovation was completed after a year of construction with the celebration of the cathedral blessing on April 12, 2003 and the consecration of the altar.

In 2013, the cathedral received a new bell in pitch D2 as an addition to the previously incomplete musical motif "Salve Regina".



The church is a late-Gothic hall church with three naves, whereby the west front was planned as a two-tower system, where the north tower was five-storey and the south tower was only two-storey, the south tower with the vestibule between the towers are under a common hipped roof. The two-bay choir in the width of the central nave closes with a five-eighth note, to the north of the choir is today's family chapel, which closes like a choir.

The windows of the presbytery reflect the theme of Christ the King and are by Franz Deéd. The stained glass windows of the nave show motifs from the Book of Revelation and are the work of Margret Bilger. Martha Bolldorf-Reitstätter created the gold mosaic in the choir.

The stone figure St. Martin on the triumphal arch, the six Gloria angels in the sanctuary and the session of the canons and priests were created by the sculptor Jakob Adlhart. In 1980, Thomas Resetarits created a protective cloak Madonna that was attached to the cathedral portal. Gilbert Bretterbauer designed the carpet in 2003, which corresponds to the colors of the glass windows. The altar room design was designed by Brigitte Kowanz in 2003 and is characterized by the material glass.

Church music
St. Martin's Cathedral is famous for its church music. The Haydn Festival concerts also take place in the cathedral.



The organ was built in 1778 by the organ builder Johann Gottfried Malleck from Vienna on the basis of a donation from the widow Theresia Frigl. The new building was necessary because the previous organ had been severely damaged during renovation work. Larger modifications to the organ were carried out in 1944 by the organ building institute Karl Schuke (Berlin). At that time, the range of pedals and the range of the first manual were expanded and a register was added. The last restoration by Schuke took place in 1973. All additions from the 1940s were removed and reconstructed together with the pedal windchest (12 tones), the pedal wood register and the prospectus. The instrument is characterized by the fact that on the one hand it still has baroque elements, while many things already point to a sound aesthetic that finally prevailed in the early 19th century.

The oldest dated bell of the then parish church was from 1590. Other pre-war bells were from 1691, 1713, 1757 and 1868.

The bells of the interwar bells came from the Upper Austrian bell foundry in St. Florian. The bells were cast in 1925. They had the tones e', g sharp', b', c sharp'. All the bells were melted down for war supplies during World War II.

Since 2013, seven bronze bells have been hanging on the top floor, the belfry of the tower of St. Martin's Cathedral. Bells 2-6 are the Sunday bells. Bell 1 is the holiday bell. The bishop's bell is the largest church bell in Burgenland and the second largest bell in the state. The little bell is the death knell.