"Since the onset of war in Ukraine, hundreds of Orthodox Christians have arrived in and around Bratislava. At St. Rastislav Church on Tomášikova Street, the religious service proceeds rather differently than in Ukraine and the church is very small," says our reader Alexander. He also highlights the dilapidated rare iconostasis and the crypt tombs at St. Nicholas Church that were ransacked during the 19th and 20th centuries.
The Office of the Prešov Orthodox Eparchy confirmed that the crypt has little architectural or artefactual value: "The crypt was frequently broken in to, hence the removal of valuables.” Yet the good news is that church services on Mikulášská Street have resumed, and the church has wider public access. The derelict church’s reconstruction is in the pipeline, with the necessary documentation being prepared.
The Office stated that previous efforts to restore the church were thwarted by requirements for a high level of co-financing, but money from the Recovery Plan should help now. "An owner can apply for a subsidy as part of the OSSD 1.5 sub-program within the Ministry of Culture of the Slovak Republic to restore a monument to the tune of EUR 150,000 to EUR 950,000. A subsidy can also be applied for in sub-program 1.1. where EUR 5 million is set aside," explained department spokesperson Zuzana Viciaňová.