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Morový stĺp

Plague Column

18th century sculptor & Jozef Sartory

Bratislava /  Morový stĺp   Bratislava /  Morový stĺp


Column surmounted by a sculpture group showing
  1. God the Father as an old man leaning on a globe and looking at the Son, who crushes the devil with the cross. Above them a radiating sun with the Holy Ghost as a dove in the center.
The column stands on a triangular base with on the corners statues of the saints protectors against the plague:

(click on the photo for an enlargement in a separate window.)
Bratislava - Morový stĺp
Bratislava - Morový stĺp
Bratislava - Morový stĺp
  1. Svätý Rochus / Saint Roch, in pilgrim's outfit, showing his tigh.
    (14th century), saint from Montpellier, he is specially invoked against the plague. (Wikipedia).
  2. Svätý Karol Boromejský / Saint Charles Borromeo, a young priest with a double cross.
    (Italian: Carlo Borromeo) (1538 - 1584), cardinal, worked during the Counter-Reformation and was responsible for significant reforms in the Catholic Church (Wikipedia).
  3. Svätý Andrej / Saint Andrew.
    apostle and the brother of Saint Peter; founder and the first bishop of the Church of Byzantium. Protector of fishermen, in particular. He is shown with a saltire cross, in accordance with the way in which he died (Wikipedia).
The column is flanked by two statues on separate pedestals, added in the late 18th century, and maybe also by Sartory:

(click on the photo for an enlargement in a separate window.)
Bratislava - Morový stĺp
Bratislava - Morový stĺp
  1. Panna Mária Immaculata / Saint Mary Immaculate.
  2. Svätý Štefan / Saint Stephen, offering the crown of Hungary to St. Mary.
    (Esztergom 967-75 - Esztergom or Székesfehérvár 1038), Grand Prince of the Hungarians (997-1000) and the first King of Hungary (1000-1038) (Wikipedia).
On the three faces of the pedestal of the central columns are reliefs showing the last rites and Saint Rosalia, these reliefs date from c. 1760 and are by the sculptor Sartory:

(click on the photo for an enlargement in a separate window.)
Bratislava - Morový stĺp
Bratislava - Morový stĺp
Bratislava - Morový stĺp
  1. The last rites. Around the relief a text explaining that the relief is a donation by the Esztergom Archbishop Cardinal Christian August von Sachsen: CARDINAL VON SACHSEN
    hat sie
    mit gvtprayfern zvr pestzeit errichtet A 1713
    der beitrag der gv...tern hat sie ... 1789
    r.1810 r. 1832 r. 1855 r. 1881 r. ...
  2. Burial of the dead.
  3. Svätá Rozália - (1130-1166), also called La Santuzza or "The Little Saint", revered as a protector against infectious diseases (Wikipedia)..


The column is built in 1713 from a public collection to commemorate the end of plague that hit Bratislava at the end of 1712. According to contemporary documents 3860 people have died and 1561 others were infected. Great merit in the struggle to stop it was Cardinal Christian August of Saxony, Archbishop of Esztergom and Primate of Hungary, whose name is immortalized on the base column.

Marian, Holy Trinity and Plague Columns (Mariensäule, Dreifaltigkeitssäule, Pestsäule)

Marian and Holy Trinity columns are religious monuments with a statue of Saint Mary or a depiction of the Holy Trinity on top of a column. Around the base of the column are usually various saints. Marian columns were built to thank the Virgin Mary for intervention to quell the pestilence and other scourges. The first of those was erecrted in Vienna in 1667 (Mariensäule) and the second in 1679 also in Vienna at the Graben, the Pestsäule.
The purpose of the Holy Trinity columns was usually simply to celebrate the church and the faith, although the plague motif could play a role.
Erecting religious monuments in the form of a column surmounted by a figure or a Christian symbol was a gesture of public faith that flourished in the Catholic countries of Europe especially in the 17th and 18th centuries (Wikipedia)


Sources & Information


  • Andrew, St.
  • Charles Borromeo, St.
  • Mary (Immaculate Conception), St.
  • Plague Column
  • Roch, St.
  • Rosalia, St.
  • Sartory, Jozef
  • Stephen I of Hungary, St.
  • Trinity Column
  • Trinity
  • Locatie (N 48°8'26" - E 17°6'18") (Satellite view: Google Maps)

    Item Code: skbr025; Photograph: 5 September 2012
    Of each statue we made photos from various angles and also detail photos of the various texts.
    If you want to use photos, please contact us via the contact form (in Dutch, English or German).
    © Website and photos: René & Peter van der Krogt

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