Trnava is also referred to as the Slovak Rome due its architectural gems and sacral monuments. As early as in the Middle Ages, Trnava was an important centre of Gothic religious and lay architecture – St. Nicolas’s Church, St. Helen’s Church and several church monastery complexes (Clarist, Franciscan and Dominican) were built in this period. The document issued by King Belo IV in 1238, which contained privileges of the free royal borough for Trnava as the first Slovak town, is much more important in respect. Only several towns of central Europe can boast such large section of castle walls as that surviving in the eastern and western parts of the town core. For their high level of preservation the walls are unique and significant monuments of the kind in terms of Europe. Fortifications are from the 13th to 16th centuries.

The dominant of the square and in fact of the town, is the town tower. Master Jacob built it in 1574 on Gothic foundations and its view terrace provides a perfect view of Trnava and its environs.

The Early Baroque building of national significance, university church of St. John the Baptist is one of the most valuable historical monuments of Trnava. The monumental wooden main altar from 1640 dominates in its interior. Additional buildings including the college, grammar school, university, seminars and refectories accompany the university church.

Another Gothic monument, St. Nicholas Basilica, parish church stands on the square Námestie Sv. Mikuláša on the site of an older Romanesque church from the 14th century. It was a cathedral church of the Esztergom Archbishop in the years 1543-1820. Trnava is the first Slovak metropolitan seat of archbishop since 1978.

The District hospital was built 1824. The building of the theatre started in May 1831 and the first performance was played at Christmas. Both of the Trnava synagogues, historical structures with oriental motifs, date back to the 19th century. The Synagogue Status Quo Ante currently houses the Jána Koniareka art gallery.

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La Iruela Castle

The castle of La Iruela, small but astonishing, is located on the top of a steep crag in Sierra de Cazorla, Segura y Las Villas Natural Park. From the castle, impressive views of the surrounding area and of the town can be enjoyed.

The keep dates from the Christian era. It has a square base and small dimensions and is located at the highest part of the crag.

There are some other enclosures within the tower that create a small alcázar which is difficult to access.

In a lower area of the castle, protected with defensive remains of rammed earth and irregular masonry, is an old Muslim farmstead.

After a recent restoration, an open-air theater has been built on La Iruela castle enclosure. This theater is a tribute to the Greek and Classic Eras and holds various artistic and cultural shows throughout the year.

History

The first traces of human activity in La Iruela area are dated from the Copper Age. An intense occupation continued until the Bronze Age.

Originally, La Iruela (like Cazorla) was a modest farmstead. From the 11th century, a wall and a small fortress were built on the hill to protect the farmers.

Around 1231, don Rodrigo Ximénez de Rada, Archbishop of Toledo, conquered La Iruela and made it part of the Adelantamiento de Cazorla. Over the Muslim fortress, the current fortress was built.

Once the military use of the fortress ended, it was used as cemetery.