Cathedrals in Slovakia

St. Martin's Cathedral

Bratislava's three-nave Gothic cathedral is built on the site of a previous, Romanesque church, from 1221. After 1291, when Bratislava was given the privileges of a town, the church was rebuilt to become part of the city walls (its tower served as a defensive bastion). The present church was consecrated in 1452. The interior of the church is large – 69.37 metres long, 22.85 metres wide and 16.02 metres high – and feat ...
Founded: 1452 | Location: Bratislava, Slovakia

St. Francis Xavier Cathedral

The St. Francis Xavier Cathedral was first time mentioned as a gothic chapel at this location in the so-called Königsberger"s testament from 1503. It was the only place of Roman Catholic worship during the 16th century, when Banská Bystrica was in the hands of the Protestants. In 1647 a few Jesuits settled here and started the Catholic reform of the town and its neighbourhood. During the years 1695&ndash ...
Founded: 1702-1715 | Location: Banská Bystrica, Slovakia

St. Elisabeth Cathedral

St. Elisabeth Cathedral is Slovakia"s biggest church, as well as one of the easternmost Gothic cathedrals in Europe. The record on the existence of Košice, dating from 1230, is connected with that of the existence of the rectory church. According to historic data the present-day cathedral was built on the site of an edifice of older date which was consecrated to St. Elisabeth as well. It was referred to in the docu ...
Founded: 1378 | Location: Košice, Slovakia

Holy Trinity Cathedral

The Church of the Holy Trinity, since February 2008 Holy Trinity Cathedral, was built around 1400. The Žilina castle is assumed to be already there as early as the 13th century, of which there are documents from 1318 to 1454. It was originally consecrated to Mary, but in the 16th century it was reconsecrated as the Church of the Holy Trinity. The chapel of John of Nepomuk was added in 1762. The church burned down three t ...
Founded: c. 1400 | Location: Žilina, Slovakia

Spisskà Kapitula

Spišskà Kapitula, a unique fortified ecclesiastical ensemble, began as a small fortified settlement overlooking Spišské Podhradie in the 12th century. It was the site of the residence of the Provost of the castle, in the no longer extant St Martin"s monastery, and later became a capitulary. This was destroyed in by Tatars in 1241-1243, but the pilgrim"s chapel, in rotunda form and dedicated to ...
Founded: 1285 | Location: Spišské Podhradie, Slovakia

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

St. John the Baptist Cathedral

St. John the Baptist Cathedral is the first purely Baroque building built in present-day Slovakia. It is part of a complex of academical buildings. The donor of this Cathedral, Miklós Eszterházy, entrusted its construction to the Italian masters Antonio and Pietro Spazzi in 1629. The not-yet-finished cathedral was consecrated in 1637. The single-nave two-tower Cathedral with straight seal of sanctuary has a ...
Founded: 1629-1637 | Location: Trnava, Slovakia

Assumption of Mary Church

Assumption of Mary Church or the Rožňava Cathedral was built in 1304 and remodeled during the 15th and 16th centuries. During the 16th and 17th century the church was owned by Catholics and Protestants. With the establishment of the episcopal office in Roznava, the church became the cathedral. Subsequently extensive interior modifications were done. In 1836 the southern aisle was changed to the Chapel of Saint Neita ...
Founded: 1304 | Location: Rožňava, Slovakia

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Hagios Demetrios

The Church of Saint Demetrius, or Hagios Demetrios, is the main sanctuary dedicated to Saint Demetrius, the patron saint of Thessaloniki. It is part of the site Palaeochristian and Byzantine Monuments of Thessaloniki on the list of World Heritage Sites by UNESCO since 1988.

The first church on the spot was constructed in the early 4th century AD, replacing a Roman bath. A century later, a prefect named Leontios replaced the small oratory with a larger, three-aisled basilica. Repeatedly gutted by fires, the church eventually was reconstructed as a five-aisled basilica in 629–634. This was the surviving form of the church much as it is today. The most important shrine in the city, it was probably larger than the local cathedral. The historic location of the latter is now unknown.

The church had an unusual shrine called the ciborium, a hexagonal, roofed structure at one side of the nave. It was made of or covered with silver. The structure had doors and inside was a couch or bed. Unusually, it did not hold any physical relics of the saint. The ciborium seems to have been a symbolic tomb. It was rebuilt at least once.

The basilica is famous for six extant mosaic panels, dated to the period between the latest reconstruction and the inauguration of the Byzantine Iconoclasm in 730. These mosaics depict St. Demetrius with officials responsible for the restoration of the church (called the founders, ktetors) and with children. An inscription below one of the images glorifies heaven for saving the people of Thessalonica from a pagan Slavic raid in 615.

Thessaloniki became part of the Ottoman Empire in 1430. About 60 years later, during the reign of Bayezid II, the church was converted into a mosque, known as the Kasımiye Camii after the local Ottoman mayor, Cezeri Kasım Pasha. The symbolic tomb however was kept open for Christian veneration. Other magnificent mosaics, recorded as covering the church interior, were lost either during the four centuries when it functioned as a mosque (1493–1912) or in the Great Thessaloniki Fire of 1917 that destroyed much of the city. It also destroyed the roof and upper walls of the church. Black-and-white photographs and good watercolour versions give an idea of the early Byzantine craftsmanship lost during the fire.

Following the Great Fire of 1917, it took decades to restore the church. Tombstones from the city"s Jewish cemetery - destroyed by the Greek and Nazi German authorities - were used as building materials in these restoration efforts in the 1940s. Archeological excavations conducted in the 1930s and 1940s revealed interesting artifacts that may be seen in a museum situated inside the church"s crypt. The excavations also uncovered the ruins of a Roman bath, where St. Demetrius was said to have been held prisoner and executed. A Roman well was also discovered. Scholars believe this is where soldiers dropped the body of St. Demetrius after his execution. After restoration, the church was reconsecrated in 1949.