DESPITE Bratislava losing a significant number of its historical buildings to insensitive redevelopment over the course of the 20th century, there are still some places left in the Slovak capital that seem not to have changed at all.

For example, Franciscan Square has remained unchanged from the time Czech painter Jaroslav Šetelík rendered it shortly after the First World War. Its dominant structure, the Franciscan Church, is believed to have existed there as early as 1273. The church gained importance when personalities like King Andrew II and Archbishop Lodomer from Esztergom attended its consecration in 1297.

The Franciscan Church was one of Bratislava’s (then called Pressburg, Pozsony or Prešporok, depending on one’s language) crucial coronation ceremony sites. According to tradition, the newly-crowned king always arrived at the church from the coronation cathedral of St Martin on foot, where he would then dub new knights of the Order of the Golden Spur. The church currently houses a rare relic - the body of deacon and martyr St Reparatus. In 1769, his remains were brought from Italy to the Franciscan Church, where they are set in an artistic reliquary.