Monks’ Claim to Rusovce Mansion at European Parliament

The long-disputed case of ownership over Rusovce Mansion has taken another turn as monks from the Order of Saint Benedict (under the Hungarian Benedictine Congregation), who have been claiming title to the vast property in Bratislava since 1994, have now turned to the European Parliament over the case against the Slovak state.

The Benedictines’ argument rests on the last will and testament of Princess Stephanie of Belgium and her Hungarian husband Elemer Lonyay, who left the mansion and the surrounding land to the Benedictine order almost 70 years ago. The Bratislava Regional Court rejected the Order’s claim in 2011, but this was overruled by the Supreme Court in October 2012, meaning the monks of Saint Benedict could still reacquire the estate.

The neglected but enchanting Rusovce Mansion

The Slovak government has been hoping to convert the manor house into representative premises for its own purposes, and even moved forward with its plan to renovate the building by approving a EUR 40 million refurbishment project as the premises are planned for use in 2016 during Slovakia’s presidency of the EU.

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.

Since the beginning of 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.


  1. Seized by the commies, left empty, to rot for decades but now part of some hairbrained scheme to be utilised when the SVK gets the EU presidentship – by all indications – BnM. So, arguably the bigest crook will be lording it over Europe from his stolen mansion. How apt for Slovakia.
    This property, along with everthing else stolen by the Reds should be handed back to its rightful owners Pronto!, no endless court hearings, no excuses.

    1. DC, please help Ric, I think he has a serious problem ??

  2. I’d love it if Smer came right out and said they don’t trust the monks.

    1. Ric ….are you on drugs ?

  3. Hotel, land sales, shady tenders, and ministerial rentals would most likely be the governmental future!
    I hope the monks get it, and for no other reason than, its 1 in the eye for the ex commie cronies and there little money grabbing claws!

  4. How about the State rents the property from the monks on a long term lease ??? …..Oh whoops, as the State does not own the property, the EU and Slovak taxpayers handout of 40 million that goes to government backhanders, to Bob`s mates in the building trade, could not happen, as this is not allowed under EU funding rules and they monks would have to apply for the grants and loans themselves ……….and knowone is going to trust a monk `to do the right political thing `, to Smer supporters, now are they ?

  5. This is going to be a messy one. Sounds like it belongs to the Monks…
    I am sure the Hungarian part does not sit well with the Slovak govt.
    They have so many Govt buildings now that are staffed but not 100% –rolling eyeballs–and what would the govt actually do inside the new building? Would it be something that would benefit ALL people?

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