The Hungarian Benedictine Congregation is contesting ownership of Rusovce Mansion, Bratislava, claiming that the order of monks is the rightful owner.
According to a report from TASR newswire, yesterday Major Superior Asztrik Varszegi presented the Slovak government with the congregation’s official stance, which is that part of the estate belongs to the monks. Although they have notarised deeds to back their claim, Varszegi feels that the Slovak government is dong all in its power to stop the Benedictine monks from reclaiming their property.
Rusovce mansion is not occupied at present and is in fact falling into major disrepair, something the monks are worried about, saying we could lose yet another importance work of architecture. The Slovak Government Office insists that everything is in order, with the 13.5 hectares of land and property being registered in its name on the respective title deeds, having been confirmed also by the courts.
In the twentieth century, the mansion and estate were owned by Hungarian Prince Elemer Lonyay, husband to Princess Stéphanie of Belgium, widow of Crown Prince Rudolph of Austria-Hungary. The couple lived in the mansion till early 1945. Lonyay, who died in Budapest in 1946, left the estate to the Benedictine Order, who had given refuge to him and his wife during the last weeks of World War II at Pannonhalma Archabbey.
In 1947, due to the Paris Peace Treaty, Hungary had to cede the area to Czechoslovakia. The then communist government seized the premises in 1948. The Slovak government has refused to return the estate to the Benedictine Order, which after unsuccessfully calling to the Slovak Constitutional Court now looks set to turn the European Court of Justice for remedy.