Top Historic Sights in Nitra, Slovakia

Explore the historic highlights of Nitra

St. Emmeram's Cathedral

St. Emmeram"s Cathedral is a Roman Catholic cathedral located in the Nitra Castle precinct. It was originally built in the Gothic style and is composed of many parts. The upper church dates from 1333-1355. The rotunda dates back to the 11th-12th century and houses a silver reliquary made in 1674. Another reliquary in the cathedral houses some relics of Saint Cyril. The lower church was built between 1621-1642. Later ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Nitra, Slovakia

Nitra Castle

Nitra castle was built in the 11th century on the place of an earlier fort. The core of the castle is St. Emmeram's Cathedral with the Bishop's residence, with several different parts. The oldest surviving part is the Romanesque Church of St. Emmeram from the 11th century. The other two parts of the cathedral are the originally Gothic Upper Church from the 14th century, and the Lower Church from the 17th century. Vazil´s ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Nitra, Slovakia

Sts. Peter and Paul Church

Sts. Peter and Paul Church and Monastery of the Franciscan Order is a Renaissance estate built in 1624-1630 under Bishop Telegdy. After the Turkish invaders had destroyed the Monastery, the structure was modified by adding four chapels and, in 1732, a steeple. The whole structure received its present Baroque appearance in early 18th century. Inside the Church holds a valuable series of 33 wood carvings depicting the life ...
Founded: 1624-1630 | Location: Nitra, Slovakia

Drazovce Church

Dražovský kostolík (officially the Church of St. Michael the Archangel) is one of the oldest churches in Slovakia, dating from the 11th century. It is a typical early Romanesque architecture single nave building with thick enclosure walls and small roundish apse. It is no longer used. Research from 1947 and 1948 discovered 55 graves around the church.
Founded: 11th century | Location: Nitra, Slovakia

St. Stephen's Church

St. Stephen"s Church is a protected cultural monument situated in Nitra. The beginning of the present-day church dates back to the 10th century. In the following two centuries, St. Stephen"s Church was rebuilt. In early 18th century the church was renewed to its final Baroque style. This site is a rare medieval structure with the sanctuary beneath a Baroque semicircular vault with lunettes. You can still see par ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Nitra, Slovakia

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Abbey of Saint-Étienne

The Abbey of Saint-Etienne, also known as Abbaye aux Hommes ('Men"s Abbey'), is a former monastery dedicated to Saint Stephen (Saint Étienne). It is considered, along with the neighbouring Abbaye aux Dames ('Ladies" Abbey'), to be one of the most notable Romanesque buildings in Normandy. Like all the major abbeys in Normandy, it was Benedictine.

Lanfranc, before being an Archbishop of Canterbury, was abbot of Saint-Etienne. Built in Caen stone during the 11th century, the two semi-completed churches stood for many decades in competition. An important feature added to both churches in about 1120 was the ribbed vault, used for the first time in France. The two abbey churches are considered forerunners of the Gothic architecture. The original Romanesque apse was replaced in 1166 by an early Gothic chevet, complete with rosette windows and flying buttresses. Nine towers and spires were added in the 13th century. The interior vaulting shows a similar progression, beginning with early sexpartite vaulting (using circular ribs) in the nave and progressing to quadipartite vaults (using pointed ribs) in the sanctuary.

The two monasteries were finally donated by William the Conqueror and his wife, Matilda of Flanders, as penalty for their marriage against the Pope"s ruling. William was buried here; Matilda was buried in the Abbaye aux Dames. Unfortunately William"s original tombstone of black marble, the same kind as Matilda"s in the Abbaye aux Dames, was destroyed by the Calvinist iconoclasts in the 16th century and his bones scattered.

As a consequence of the Wars of Religion, the high lantern tower in the middle of the church collapsed and was never rebuilt. The Benedictine abbey was suppressed during the French Revolution and the abbey church became a parish church. From 1804 to 1961, the abbey buildings accommodated a prestigious high school, the Lycée Malherbe. During the Normandy Landings in 1944, inhabitants of Caen found refuge in the church; on the rooftop there was a red cross, made with blood on a sheet, to show that it was a hospital (to avoid bombings).