On the early evening of 13 May, our Slovak brothers – former Prime Minister Jan Carnogursky, Boris Bartho and Oliver Andrassy – invited to Bratislava to the traditional restaurant “Leberfinger” of the former Minister of State Lubomir Roman. Among others our Procurator, Vinzenz Leopold Baron von Stimpfl-Abele, the Commander of Hungary, Gabor von Boldizsar-Ujfakusy, as well as the Commander of Nö.Sankt-Georgs-Kathedrale, Christoph Schäffer, accompanied by his Vice Commander Heinrich Stickelberger and Reinald Graf Wilczek were welcomed. The guests also included the architects Andrej Gajdos and Juraj Porazik and Colonel Alois Mais from Austria.
In their greeting, the Slovak knights referred to Bratislava’s importance as the imperial seat and coronation city of the former Hungarian king. By the succession of her father Emperor Charles III, Maria Theresa, who had chosen Bratislava as her favourite city, was crowned “Rex Hungariae” by the Archbishop of Esztergom, Imre Prince Esterházy de Galántha, in St. Martin’s Cathedral on 25 June 1741. Her favourite daughter Maria Christine, together with her husband Albert of Saxony-Teschen, had the city near the imperial residence of Vienna built as a fortification against the invasion of the conquering troops of Sultan Süleyman I. The city was then called “Rex Hungariae”. The old capital Ofen (=Buda) had been lost to the Ottomans in 1541. Central Hungary and the south were transformed for 150 years into a battlefield, which only returned to Habsburg rule around 1700. Pressburg remained the capital unchanged, after Ofen was only devastated and depopulated to pacify.
In his speech, Vice-Commander Heinrich Stickelberger spoke of the need to push for the establishment of a Slovak delegation in the near future. His remarks ranged from the proposal of a future knight to balloting before the Council of the Order. The opening speech of Honorary Knight Jan Carnogursky provided a historical overview of the city rich in tradition, but also of Slovakia as a whole. His instructive words complemented the explanations of the host, former minister Lubomir Roman, regarding the historical significance of the future site of the Order.
In moving words Procurator Vinzenz Leopold Baron von Stimpfl-Abele pointed out the essence of chivalry in history, but also the special requirement of preserving values and virtues in modern times. He also spoke about the weighting and goals of the Order, as well as the leadership structure up to the Commandery. This formation, called the spearhead of the Order, was also explained by the Commander Christoph Schäffer. In addition, Schäffer devoted himself in detail to the development of the knights, the formation of a delegation up to the appointment of a commandery by the Grand Master with all the associated administrative and occupational requirements.
The Hungarian commander, Gabor von Boldizsar-Ujfakusy, touched on the political events of the last century, mentioned the Hungarian minorities in today’s states of the former Hungarian Empire and underlined in a very unifying way the necessity to establish the values of our order across the borders of the Commanderies and thus to guarantee together a prosperous development of today’s Central Europe. This was a seamless continuation of the previous speakers, who had also responded to the need for the strengthening of Central Europe as desired and pursued by the arch house.
The Catholic pastor and delegate of the Kaiser-Karl Prayer League in Slovakia, Reverend Stanislav Zinay, solemnly celebrated the Christian inauguration of the new seat of the Order after prayers in Slovak language.
Another historically memorable fact gave this evening a special significance: Here in the coronation city of the Habsburgs, in the cellar of one of the oldest houses, steeped in history by visits of rulers, and almost completely destroyed in the last century, a permanent seat for the Order of St. George has been won after a long renovation of the entire complex.
Finally the host Lubomir Roman invited to dinner. The entertainment of the knights in the new Slovak home lasted for a long time and was mainly about the goal of creating a delegation. The official participation of the Commandery Nö.Sanct-Georgs-Kathedrale in the celebrations of the 400th anniversary of the death of the martyrs of Kosice (Kaschau/Slovakia) planned for 8 September 2019 is also planned.