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Church of Saint George

Category: Sacral architecture

Kostoľany pod Tribečom

The first written reference to village is mentioned in Zobor deed from 1113, village was property of Zobor monastery.

The oldest construction stage of church dates back to the 9th century, around 860. .

Pre-Romanesque church was made of quarry stone. Rectangular nave had entrance on western side, on northern and southern part with little window apertures situated in high, terminated with arches in upper part. To triumphal arch on eastern part there is connected a quadratic sanctuary with barrel vault, lightened by two window apertures - original eastern and reconstructed southern one. Enormous value of the church consists in keeping of mural paintings in nave’s interior in original state. In the 2nd quarter of the 13th century Forgachs became owners of Kostoľany. Church was extended by adding a Romanesque nave of squared ground plan with stone matroneum on western side.

Above the centre of matroneum there was added a tower with eastern wall that was opening into church’s interior. On southern part there are two Romanesque windows. By adding a nave the original entrance disappeared, new Late-Romanesque portal was made on southern side of more recent nave. The church was destroyed by fire in the 16th century, for some time it was without roof. In the 17th century walls in interior and exterior were renovated, masonry pulpit was built in the north-eastern corner of the oldest nave.

Wooden ceilings in both naves were in 1721 replaced by new plastered ceilings with modest stucco decoration. Matroneum was arched and extended to sides by wooden wings. A new entrance was made in western wall with entrance hall, called “žobračňa” (begging place), built from external side. Southern entrance was kept. Also tower was reconstructed by elevating the crown of masonry and by creating new window apertures.

Between 1957 and 1959 church was in such a bad technical state that it was closed for safety reasons. In 1960 probing research revealed medieval mural paintings. In the years 1964-1965 reconstruction of church was performed, but unfortunately, it wasn’t directed by experts. The less appropriate was annexe in place of Baroque entrance hall, built without architectonical project. Church got a reinforced concrete ceiling, concrete floor and facades were plastered with cement.

Between 1966 and 1969 mural paintings were restored, followed by restoration in the years 2001-2003 of southern Romanesque portal, also facades were renovated and partially was reconstructed the tower on which are indicated, with line in plaster, Romanesque window apertures revealed by research. From Romanesque liturgic equipment in interior preserved are stone baptistry and holy water font.

Precious mural paintings, the most ancient in Slovakia, are distributed in regular network created by painted frames dividing walls of the oldest nave of the church. Not all the paintings can be identified. On the most preserved part on southern and northern wall it is possible to follow development of story of Birth of Jesus Christ, so called Marian cycle. Under storytelling scenes a strip with circle medallion was identified, in which heads of Saints were portrayed. This was continuing around the sanctuary’s perimeter and on internal side of triumphal arch.

GPS: 48.415658289, 18.246689737

Source: the Regional Monuments Board in Nitra

Village is situated around 25 km to the north-east from Nitra, in direction from Nitra to Zlaté Moravce. Church is visible from far from the access road. Visit of church can be agreed at Parish Office in Ladice.

Parish Office in Ladice:

Pho.: +421376317129.