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St Michael the Archangel Church

Category: Sacral architecture

Nitra-Dražovce

Written reference to „capelle sancti Michaeli“, related to this church, is in Zobor deed of 1111.

Construction development of church from its origin in the half of the 11th century continued until the end of the 13th century. Architectonical-historical research identified six construction stages from Romanesque period, determined mainly on the basis of different use of construction material, mortar or technique of masoning.

Church’s oldest substance used to have single-nave disposition with apse in form of horseshoe, it was revealed only in extent of foundational masonry. The second church was built on foundations of the older at the turn of the 11th and 12th century. It has dispositions and dimensions almost identical to the first church. From the beginning of the 13th century comes matroneum with three arches, reaching to prismatic pillars and with tower rising from it that had only central bay with arched apertures on three sides on the floor of matroneum. In the course of 12th or in the 13th century building with two rooms was built on nave’s southern side, that had probably disappeared in the 15th century. Archeological research later found its foundations, purpose of annexe is not clear. It could serve Benedictine monks from Zobor monastery, then administrated by them. St Michael Church became a parish church for about 20 years. To adapt it for its use portal in southern wall of nave was extended, windows and matroneum were reconstructed, where lateral arches on the ground floor were enlarged and single bays got new vaults. Reconstruction of matroneum took place again in the 19th century when lateral walls were built on the floor, opened with arches. Further reconstructions of church were realized in 1900 and 1932, in 1960s it was plastered and paved again, in the years 1993-1999 its Romanesque look was highlighted.

Preserved from Romanesque period are semicircular triumphal arch with one right-angled scarcement, apse with concha, two niches on southern and northern side that were serving for liturgical purposes, windows in apse and nave and also rebuilt matroneum with tower on which window apertures were revealed from several construction phases, presented by the line in plaster. Entrance portal was during last renovation proportionally adapted to facade’s appearance. Around perimeter of sanctuary there is under roof strip of ribbed frieze, on the corners of plastered exterior surface of church there are indicated reinforced stone blocks. In interior there are restored and presented remains of Romanesque plasters on matroneum and nave’s southern wall. In church’s surroundings there are monolitic stone grave covers coming from cemetery near church.