Štítnik Evangelical Gothic church

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One of the most beautiful medieval churches

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In the heart of historical Gemer region and surrounded by two mighty plains of the Slovak Karst, and in the square of the picturesque town of Štítnik, stands the medieval Evangelical Church of Augsburg.

At first glance, when one looks at it’s exterior, the church appears unexceptional. It is a facade that can be found on dozens churches in Slovakia. But inside it hides an interior that serves as a wonderful guide through medieval workmanship in art and painting. On over 200 square metres of space one can study painted depictions of the Bible, of pious and working life, apostolic life, death, passion, and other religious themes. The oldest of them are authentic works of Italian masters, and some of them are considered unique within Slovakia. These are remarkably valuable and rare paintings, and they have been preserved exceptionally well. This came about because the representatives of the Evangelical Church decided  to cover the paintings, of this originally catholic church, with white lime following the minimalism and modest decoration prevalent in all Evangelical churches.

However, there’s much more than paintings that awaits you when you enter into the mystifying interior of this church. Even the church itself is a kind of sculptural museum, showcasing the pride of medieval nobles, a grave crypt located directly in the nave and under the main altar. In addition, the church has a wonderful chorus -sadly not accessible anymore- featuring two organs that are arranged vertically one over the other. With so much to explore, It is hardly surprising that this church shall be submitted to UNESCO’s tentative list, for his invaluable artistic value, uniqueness and immaculate preservation of its paintings.


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  • Guide is free of charge usually. Personal donations of small amount are gladly welcomed. Call the number 0918783356 or write on: stitnik@ecav.sk in order to book your guide in advance. 

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  • Among the oldest monuments of Gemer the National Cultural Monument – Evangelical   church with the oldest organ in Slovakia dominates.

    It was originally the Gothic building from the 14th century. Its oldest preserved parts are the walls of the western part of the church nave and the old sacristy. It serves as the Evangelical church since the 16th century. Evangelicals covered the wall paintings by plaster during the reconstruction of the church. They were disclosed again in 1909 by  Š. Groh and K. Divald.

    The wall paintings are from three periods: the last third of the 14th century, last third of the 15th century and the beginning of the 16th century. Along with the oldest picture made following the Italian wall cycles, there also are new scenes are painted as influenced by the Slovak and Czech painting schools česko-nemeckou maľbou.

    Apart from wall paintings, the bronze baptistery from 1454, the Renaissance-Baroque altar from 1636 and the Early Baroque pulpit finished in 1693 are the gems of this church. Renaissance-Baroque pews once owned by famous guilds of Štítnik furnish the interior. The precious Renaissance-Baroque and Early Baroque epitaphs increase the value of the church.

    The tomb stones in this church also include the one of the Štefan Bebek from 1594. In the rear part of the church dominates the stone organ chancel with organ from 1723.

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 ­ Pros

– well preserved

– incredibly beautiful medieval paintings

– impressive atmosphere

– a must see for Middle Ages lovers

– great guide

­ Cons

 – a bit complicated way to get there

– unsure guide (if not contacted in advance)


 

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