Nitra- Diakovce- Hurbanovo- Komárno- Bíňa- Sazdice- Malé Kosihy- Kostoľany pod Tribečom- Nitrianska Blatnica- Dražovce- Nitra
The first Christian church among the Slavs was consecrated under government of the prince Pribina in Nitra in 830. Under the government of ruler of Great Moravia Svätopluk also the first diocese in all the Central and Eastern Europe was established in Nitra in 880 and in the same year there was established also Benedictine monastery on Zobor. Thanks to this Nitra and its surroundings became firm centres of Christian religion that could withstand also during following hard years after downfall of the Great Moravian Empire and consolidation of Kingdom of Hungary when strong anti-Christian pressure appeared.
The objective of cognitive trip is to familiarize with the oldest extant Christian monuments as well as with the most important sacral buildings from Pre-Roman period to the present day.
Cognitive trip starts and ends in Nitra.
The first stop is Nitra Castle with bishop’s residence. There is a Diocese Museum that is unique in Slovakia with the oldest written relics from period of Great Moravia and Early Kingdom of Hungary, documenting history of Christianity in Slovakia. There is also St. Emmeram’s Cathedral consisting of three churches - Roman, Gothic and Baroque.
The second stop is St. Mary’s Basilica in Diakovce, built in the 1st third of the 13th century in Romanesque style and consecrated in 1228. Basilica was built as a basilica with three naves and three apses in one row on eastern side and pair of towers on the western side.
The third stop is St. Ladislaus Church in Hurbanovo built in Art Nouveau Style. It was built in period 1912-1913 according to the project of architect Š. Megyaszay and it is one of the most important monuments in Art Nouveau style in Slovakia. Core of the church was inspired by Gothic architecture of Transylvania.
The fourth stop is the Church of St. Andrew in Komárno. It was built in years 1748-1756 in Late Baroque style. It underwent a complex reconstruction in period 1850-1860 after devastating fire in 1848. Whole interior is arched with Prussian vaults and vaulting ribs that are sitting on pilasters. Author of modern frescos from 1860 is K. Sorensen. Frontal two-tower facade is in central part terminated with Neo-Baroque balustrade attic.
The fifth stop is unique complex of sacral Romanesque monuments in Bíňa. It consists of Romanesque rotunda and of a church. St. Mary’s Church (former Premonstratensian Church) was built along with monastery before 1217 in Romanesque style. There are two Romanesque towers with entrance halls built from the outside on western facade. Original stone segments of back bearers, half-columns and pillars are decorated with Romanesque and Gothic capitals. Two from pillar capitals are decorated with rilievo with figural motive of hunting scene. Next to the church there are foundations of old monastery.
The sixth stop is Gothic Church of St. Nicholas in Sazdice from the 14th century. It was built as small single-nave building with quadratic presbytery. Artistically and historically the most precious part of the church are Gothic frescos with Renaissance elements from the turn of the 14th and 15th century, documenting strong influence of Italian fine art. Authorship is attributed to painter from Florence - Niccolo di Tomasso.
The seventh stop is Church of St. Michael the Archangel in Malé Kosihy, with extant Romaneesque rotunda with extended apse built from the 11th to 12th century. It represents a relic of building tradition of Byzantine type reaching out to this territory up to the 9th century. Romaneqsue tower preserved up to the second storey was probably built in the 13th century.
The eighth stop is Pre-roman Church of St. George built in Kostoľany pod Tribečom. Church was built at the latest at the turn of the 10th and 11th century in Pre-Roman building tradition as a small single nave building. Church was consisting of rectangular nave and trapezoidal presbytery arched with barrel vault. It has almost the same disposition as Church of St. Margaret in Kopčany (the 9th century). In the 2nd half of the 13th century church was extended by square annexe with built-in multi-storey gallery. There are scenes from the New Testament on Romanesque frescos from the 11th century on side walls of the original nave. These frescos represent the oldest known Medieval work of fine arts in sacral environment in the territory of Slovakia.
The ninth stop is Rotunda of St. George in Nitrianska Blatnica built at the latest in the 1st half of the 11th century in Romanesque style as a central building with circle nave and apse in form of horseshoe. With character and dimensions it is similar to vanished rotunda from the 2nd half of the 9th century in Ducové (7 km distant). In written sources it is mentioned for the first time only in 1541, that is why for long time it was considered to be a Renaissance building. Rotunda was renovated in the Baroque period.
The tenth stop is the original Romanesque Church of St. Michael the Archangel, that lies to the west from Municipality of Dražovce on rocky headland of Zobor Mountain. Headland was at the turn of the Bronze Age and the Iron Age fortified by soil bank that was renewed in the Middle Age. The church was built at the beginning of the 12th century in Romanesque style and it was repaired four times during its existence. Building presents a classic example of single-nave church with gallery.
The last, eleventh stop is Nitra again, where you have to see St Mary’s Missionary House, situated under Kalvária that is a place of traditional pilgrimage. In the missionary house there is unique etnographic missionary museum as well as shop with spiritual literature. Cognitive journey ends wih visit of the modern Church of St. Gorazd, built on Klokočina housing development and it is the best documentation of architectonical evolution of Christian sacral architecture from its origins to the present day.
Photo source: www.slovakia.travel.sk