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Church of Saint Stephen the King

Category: Sacral architecture

Nitra-Párovce

Párovce were probably the oldest market village in surroundings of Nitra. The first written reference is in deed of the king Béla IV of 1284 as Castrum Judeorum. In 1343 it is stated as Parulcha.

Archeological research in the years 1959-1960 uncovered foundational line masonry from dry laid stones, as spike (opus spicatum), according to which the oldest construction stage was dated back to the 10th century. It has a single-nave disposition with apse in form of horseshoe on eastern side. Reasons why the older building disappeared are unknown.

More recent building from the 12th century was built on foundations of the older one, modified was only ground plan of sanctuary from form of horseshoe in semicircular. Matroneum was built on western side of nave, confirmed by finding of foundations of two supporting pillars. Church entrance was situated on nave’s southern side. Cemetery used to exist in immediate surroundings of church, where burials took place until 1705.

In the 13th-14th century Gothic sacristy was additionally built to church on nothern side of apse. In the 17th century church was plundered by Turks. Baroque reconstruction took place in the 1st quarter of the 18th century, described by canonical visitation of 1767: straight ceiling and concha in sanctuary were replaced by barrel vaults with lunette cuts, brick matroneum was replaced by the wooden one, exterior western gable of nave was renovated in Baroque style, entrance hall was built in front.

In 1907 tower was built above Baroque entrance hall and brick matroneum was created, Gothic sacristy was replaced by the new one. After World War II church was falling in disrepair. In the years 1964-1967 renovation of monument with emphasis on Romanesque stage from the 12th century followed after archeological and restoration research. Sacristy was demolished. In interior there are analytically presented masonries on scarcement triumphal arch. Original slot window is preserved on eastern part of sanctuary, found in secondary position, walled up reversely. Restoration research uncovered fragments of mural paintings of red bricks with white pointing on scarcements of triumphal arch and fragment of human head on internal surface of triumphal arch that dates back to the 2nd half of the 13th century.