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Gifts of Popes to Slovakia

Every object has its own story

On the first floor of Bratislava Castle, the Slovak National Museum exhibits 29 pieces of unique works of art and crafts donated by the Pope during a visit to Slovakia by representatives of the state, religious institutions or individuals. The museum commemorates the first anniversary of the visit of the Vatican’s head of state.


The exhibition is located in the foyer of the Bratislava Castle Chapel, which bears the name the Chapel of Our Lady of Sorrows after the Roman Catholic patroness of Slovakia. It is an intimate exhibition in due of the number of exhibited objects, but each of them carries a spiritual message or represents a significant historical event.


The exhibition presents a collection of gifts from the Popes of Slovakia in modern history – from the 20th century to the present day. The oldest documented gift from the presented selection is the chalice that Pope Pius X donated to the Church of St. Elizabeth in Bratislava in 1911.

It also presents the gifts of Popes John XXIII and Paul VI from the communist regime. The larger collection consists of gifts from the visits of Pope John Paul II and Pope Francis – gifts for the presidents of the republic and other representatives of the state, gifts donated to temples and ecclesiastical institutions or small gifts that the popes distributed to the general public.


The museum has been presenting objects of cultural heritage on the territory of the Slovak Republic with church themes for a long time. The exhibition in cooperation with the Catholic Conference of Bishops of Slovakia on the occasion of the first anniversary of Pope Francis’ visit to Slovakia is no exception. You can visit the exhibition of papal gifts in Slovakia until April 16.