St. Urban Tower is originally a Gothic prismatic campanile with a pyramidal roof. It was erected in the 14th century. A church bell installed in the tower has been dedicated to Saint Urban, the patron of vine-dressers. The bell was cast in a mould by the bell-founder Franciscus Illenfeld of Olomouc in 1557. Its weight is 7 tonnes.
In 1775 the pyramidal roof was constructed with annion in the Baroque style with an iron double cross. An archade passage was erected around the tower in 1912. There are 36 old gravestones (coming from the 14th and 15th centuries, one of these comes from the Roman Empire and dates back to the 4th century) bricked into the exterior walls of the St. Urban Tower.
In 1966 the tower was damaged by fire and the St. Urban Bell was destroyed as well. The reconstructed tower was reopened in 1971. The renovated bell was located in the front of the tower and a copy of the bell (made by employees of VSŽ Steel Works Košice in 1996) was installed in the campanile.
The East Slovak Museum set up an impressive exhibition of foundrywork in the tower after the reconstruction in 1977. It was removed in 1995. Today, there is a unique wax museum exhibition in the tower.References:
Tyniec Benedictine abbey was founded by King Casimir the Restorer probably around 1044. Casimir decided to rebuild the newly established Kingdom of Poland, after a Pagan rebellion and a disastrous Czech raid of Duke Bretislaus I (1039). The Benedictines, invited to Tyniec by the King, were tasked with restoring order as well as cementing the position of the State and the Church. First Tyniec Abbot was Aaron, who became the Bishop of Kraków. Since there is no conclusive evidence to support the foundation date as 1040, some historians claim that the abbey was founded by Casimir the Restorer’ son, King Boleslaw II the Generous.
In the second half of the 11th century, a complex of Romanesque buildings was completed, consisting of a basilica and the abbey. In the 14th century, it was destroyed in Tatar and Czech raids, and in the 15th century it was rebuilt in Gothic style. Further remodelings took place in the 17th and 18th centuries, first in Baroque, then in Rococo style. The abbey was partly destroyed in the Swedish invasion of Poland, and soon afterwards was rebuilt, with a new library. Further destruction took place during the Bar Confederation, when Polish rebels turned the abbey into their fortress.
In 1816, Austrian authorities liquidated the abbey, and in 1821-1826, it was the seat of the Bishop of Tyniec, Grzegorz Tomasz Ziegler. The monks, however, did not return to the abbey until 1939, and in 1947, remodelling of the neglected complex was initiated. In 1968, the Church of St. Peter and Paul was once again named the seat of the abbot. The church itself consists of a Gothic presbytery and a Baroque main nave. Several altars were created by an 18th-century Italian sculptor Francesco Placidi. The church also has a late Baroque pulpit by Franciszek Jozef Mangoldt.