Religious sites 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 document o ...
Founded: 1378 | Location: Košice, Slovakia

Premonstratensian Church

The Baroque church of the Holy Trinity or commonly known as the Premonstratensian church was the site of the martyrdom of three saints in 1619. It the Middle Ages, the Royal House (a seat of the Royal Chamber), stood on the site of the present church. In 1618, at the beginning of the Counter-Reformation and the start of the Thirty Year War, The captain of the city established there a dwelling and a chapel for Jesuits in t ...
Founded: 1681 | Location: Košice, Slovakia

St. Catherine's Church

The Roman Catholic Church of St. Catherine was built in the years 1488-91 in late Gothic style. Its nave is topped by a star-shaped vault. The crypts below the church contain burial places of prominent citizens and vogts of the town. The surviving original Gothic inventory includes a stone baptismal font, a 15th-century cross, and a late Gothic sculpture of the Virgin Mary. The organ is from the end of the 18th century.
Founded: 1488-1491 | Location: Banská Štiavnica, Slovakia

St. Elisabeth Church

The Church of St. Elizabeth, commonly known as Blue Church is consecrated to Elisabeth of Hungary, daughter of Andrew II, who grew up in the Pressburg Castle (pozsonyi vár). It is called 'Blue Church' because of the colour of its façade, mosaics, majolicas and blue-glazed roof. The one-nave church was built in 1907-1908, four years after the plans of Ödön Lechner to build a church in the Hungarian Art Nouveau style. ...
Founded: 1907-1908 | Location: Bratislava, Slovakia

The Church of the Assumption

The Parish Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary built in the Romanesque and Gothic styles contains precious Gothic altars and sculptures. One of the altars was carved by the famous Master Paul of Levoča. The church was built in the 13th century. It is still surrounded by remnants of its ancient cemetery.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Banská Bystrica, 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

St. Nicholas Church

St. Nicholas church from the mid-14th century dominates the Prešov cityscape with tall tower reconstructed in Gothic style. The construction of the church was finished in 1515. Despite of repeated modifications and fire in 1788 many Gothic elements have been preserved in its architecture. The Gothic and Baroque styles alternate on the main altar of St Nicholas from 1696. Statues of angels from the beginning of the ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Hlavná, Slovakia

Cervený Klástor Monastery

Červený Kláštor (Red Monastery) was founded in the early 14th century, during the Hungarian Kingdom. Court documents from 1307 state that a man by the name of master Kokoš from Brezovica, founded six monasteries as a punishment for murder. In 1319 he donated 62 sectors of his village, Lechnice to the Carthusian order. A wooden structure was built in 1330, which was later replaced by bricks ...
Founded: c. 1307 | Location: Cervený Klástor, Slovakia

Dominican Church

The Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary or commonly known as the Dominican Church is the oldest church in Košice. In the first written document from 1303 it is mentioned as an already existing church. It was built around 1290. The oldest part of the church is the Romanesque nave with narrow windows. During the Baroque reconstruction they had been broadened into the present shape. The sanctuary is built in t ...
Founded: c. 1290 | Location: Košice, 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

Hronský Benadik Abbey

Hronský Beňadik is best known for a very important Benedictine abbey, which played in important role in the Christianization process and in the development of culture and education. It was founded in 1075 by King Géza I. The fortified abbey is one of the oldest and most important architectural monuments of Slovakia. The surviving Gothic basilica of St. Egidius was built in the years 1346-1375 to the gr ...
Founded: 1075 | Location: Hronský Benadik, Slovakia

Kezmarok Church

The Wooden articular church in Kežmarok was built by the local Lutherans during a period of religious persecution, when they were allowed to erect only wooden churches. That is why even nails were made exclusively of wood. The construction was financially supported by Protestants from various countries, including Sweden and Denmark. The only stone part of the church is its sacristy, originally built in 1593 as a pub out ...
Founded: 1593/1717 | Location: Kežmarok, 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

Klastorisko Monastery Ruins

In the middle of canyons, gorges, caves and streams is located a ruin of a Kláštorisko Carthusian monastery from the beginning of the 14th century. In the 13th century Kláštorisko saved citizens of nearby cities and villages from attacks of Tatars. By the Articles of association of a monastery (12th December 1299) on “Skala útočišťa (The Rock of Refuge)” begins more than 250 years of operation of the silent Ca ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Spišská Nová Ves, Slovakia

Saint Francis Church

The earliest historical proof of existence of the Hervartov village is from the year 1340. The exact date when the wooden church was built is not known. According to the saved remains of the original Gothic altar, which was probably in place in the second half of the 15th century - the altars of St. Catherine, Virgin Mary and St. Barbara are from the years 1460-1480. This assumption is supported by the fact that the archi ...
Founded: c. 1480 | Location: Hervartov, Slovakia

Nové Zámky Monastery

The Franciscan church and monastery in Nové Zámky is an important architectural building built between the years 1626-1631. The first consecration of the church was done by Cardinal Peter Pazmáň on 24 May 1631. At first it was only a small church with shided roof and with a small monastery. At the beginning of 18th century the monastery was in the hands of Francis II Rákóczi and Mi ...
Founded: 1626-1631 | Location: Nové Zámky, Slovakia

Hronsek Church

Reformation in central Slovakia already had many sympathisers and devotees by the middle of 16th century. In particular, the influence of the neighbouring mining towns and the frequent contacts between German traders and craftsmen and local residents, helped them to disseminate and accept new reformation ideas. That is why it is unsurprising that by that time, Hronsek"s aristocracy, and consequently their liege peopl ...
Founded: 1725 | Location: Hronsek, Slovakia

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Mosque–Cathedral of Córdoba

The Mosque–Cathedral of Córdoba, also known as the Great Mosque of Córdoba and the Mezquita is regarded as one of the most accomplished monuments of Moorish architecture.

According to a traditional account, a small Visigoth church, the Catholic Basilica of Saint Vincent of Lérins, originally stood on the site. In 784 Abd al-Rahman I ordered construction of the Great Mosque, which was considerably expanded by later Muslim rulers. The mosque underwent numerous subsequent changes: Abd al-Rahman II ordered a new minaret, while in 961 Al-Hakam II enlarged the building and enriched the Mihrab. The last of such reforms was carried out by Almanzor in 987. It was connected to the Caliph"s palace by a raised walkway, mosques within the palaces being the tradition for previous Islamic rulers – as well as Christian Kings who built their palaces adjacent to churches. The Mezquita reached its current dimensions in 987 with the completion of the outer naves and courtyard.

In 1236, Córdoba was conquered by King Ferdinand III of Castile, and the centre of the mosque was converted into a Catholic cathedral. Alfonso X oversaw the construction of the Villaviciosa Chapel and the Royal Chapel within the mosque. The kings who followed added further Christian features, such as King Henry II rebuilding the chapel in the 14th century. The minaret of the mosque was also converted to the bell tower of the cathedral. It was adorned with Santiago de Compostela"s captured cathedral bells. Following a windstorm in 1589, the former minaret was further reinforced by encasing it within a new structure.

The most significant alteration was the building of a Renaissance cathedral nave in the middle of the expansive structure. The insertion was constructed by permission of Charles V, king of Castile and Aragon. Artisans and architects continued to add to the existing structure until the late 18th century.

Architecture

The building"s floor plan is seen to be parallel to some of the earliest mosques built from the very beginning of Islam. It had a rectangular prayer hall with aisles arranged perpendicular to the qibla, the direction towards which Muslims pray. The prayer hall was large and flat, with timber ceilings held up by arches of horseshoe-like appearance.

In planning the mosque, the architects incorporated a number of Roman columns with choice capitals. Some of the columns were already in the Gothic structure; others were sent from various regions of Iberia as presents from the governors of provinces. Ivory, jasper, porphyry, gold, silver, copper, and brass were used in the decorations. Marvellous mosaics and azulejos were designed. Later, the immense temple embodied all the styles of Morisco architecture into one composition.

The building is most notable for its arcaded hypostyle hall, with 856 columns of jasper, onyx, marble, granite and porphyry. These were made from pieces of the Roman temple that had occupied the site previously, as well as other Roman buildings, such as the Mérida amphitheatre. The double arches were an innovation, permitting higher ceilings than would otherwise be possible with relatively low columns. The double arches consist of a lower horseshoe arch and an upper semi-circular arch.