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  • SACRAL MONUMENTS | Liptovský Mikuláš | Mesto pre všetkých
    Liptovský Mikuáš
      Úvod   /   Visitor   /   ATTRACTIONS   /   SACRAL MONUMENTS


    History and interesting details of precious interiors of the Church of St. Nicholas, the Lutheran Church and the Synagogue via audio guides, photo galleries and short texts. 


    Have a look at the jewels of the oldest constructional monument in the town – the biggest Early Gothic building in the region of Liptov! It was built as a parish church for 5 nearby settlements. Firstly, it used to stand alone in the middle of the countryside, then the town of Svätý Mikuláš was developed around it step by step. This imposing sacral building is located in the place where there was an older Romanesque church in the past. When the one-nave Church of St. Nicholas was being built in 1280 - 1300, the Romanesque church was changed to a sacristy and became the oldest part of the whole temple. The church was widened and vaulted in the mid 15th century, the tower was made higher and redesigned in the Late Gothic style. In the same period, the whole temple got fortified along with Pongrác curia and a moat was built around. Later, it underwent a Baroque renovation. After an extensive reconstruction of 1941-43, the church could shine again in its Early Gothic design. The fortification wall was removed and side chapels with beautiful stained-glass windows were built next to it. audio guide
    ❶ Stained-glass windows. The first stained glass – Apotheosis of the Eucharist was designed by Ján Želibský and produced by a company that made the windows of the St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague as well. This “antique” window, which was placed inside the southern side nave in 1942, looked like a magic of heaven so there were other colourful stained-glass windows added to let more light into the church and designed by Janko Alexy, Lea Mrázová, Štefan Cpin and Fero Kráľ. They depict various saints such as Joseph, Cyril and Methodius, Svorad, Augustine, motives of the Heart of Virgin Mary, the Eucharist, Prince Pribina. audio guide
    ❷ The altar of Virgin Mary was made around 1470-80. In its central part, there is a sculpture of Madonna with her child, St. Barbara, St. Margaret, St. Catherine and St. Dorothea are placed around her. Movable altar wings depict scenes from the life of Virgin Mary. On the boundary line of the altar, there are two angels holding Veronica´s veil with the face of Christ. audio guide
    ❸ Baptismal font. The calyx-shape baptismal font of stone dates back to 1490, its wrought Baroque cover of copper to the 17th century. audio guide
    ❹ Triumphal arch, which dominates the main nave of the church, is decorated with the motif of a sacrificial lamb embraced by angels and was made by Jozef Hanula in 1903. audio guide
    ❺ Altar of St. Nicholas. In the middle of the main altar from 1903, there is the patron of the church – St. Nicholas. A sculpture of St. Ladislas is placed to his left and a sculpture of St. Stephen to his right. Movable altar wings depicting various scenes from the life of St. Nicholas date back to the years 1500 to 1510. Baroque sculptures that used to be part of the main altar in the past are displayed in the Museum of Janko Kráľ. audio guide
    ❻ The Altar of the Eucharist is unique as for its overall design. It depicts the Eucharist instead of the traditional figural sculpture. The wooden goldplated relief represents an almost 1.5 metre-high monstrance which is held by two kneeling angels. audio guide
    ❼ Sgraffiti inside chapels, as well as paintings on the choir loft were made by Janko Alexy, who was born in Liptovský Mikuláš. In his hometown, he initiated rescuing Pongrác curia and was instrumental in establishing the Museum of Janko Kráľ and Liptov gallery of P. M. Bohúň. It was also thanks to him that the Bratislava castle rose from its ruins. audio guide
    ❽ A relief above the main entrance from 1945 depicts the beginnings of the town. There is a blessing figure of St. Nicholas and aristocrat Marko, to whom King Béla IV gave land to build a curia and a church on. The third figure is a nobleman Bogomer, who was propagating constructing activities in the Liptov region around 1268. audio guide
    ❾ A sundial in the southern section of the church is decorated by a ceramic relief that symbolises the fight of St. George with a dragon. audio guide

    Church of St. Nicholas, Námestie osloboditeľov 27, Liptovský Mikuláš
    Roman Catholic parish office, Moyzesova 662/3, Liptovský Mikuláš
    Tel.: +421 44 552 21 42
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    Available for the public: 1.7. - 31.8.2022: Mo-Fr: 10:00-12:00, 13:00-17:00
    Voluntary admission fees.
    Open during services: Mo – Fr: 6:15, 18:15*,  Sa: 7:00, 18:15*, Su: 6:15, 8:00, 9:15,10:45, 18:15, *after the changing of summer time into winter time the evening Holy Masses starts at 17.00
    Promotional material


    The Lutheran church in Liptovský Mikuláš could be built only after the Edict of Tolerance had been promulgated by Joseph II in 1781, which enabled Lutherans to construct churches, however, only outside squares and without towers or bells. Lutherans of 13 townsand villages in the Liptov region helped build the church of Mikuláš in 1783-1785. The simple classicistic building without a tower had served for almost hundred years when the town was hit by fire that damaged the attic and parish office. During the church renovation, walls were made higher and a massive tower was added to the southern wall to serve as the entrance. The three-nave vaulted space features big galleries over the side naves, which makes the temple one of the biggest Lutheran churches in Slovakia with 1,700 seats. The interior with a classicistic pulpit is dominated by a big late baroque altar with an extension and side sections. The precious organon the western gallery dates back to 1892. audio guide
    ❶ The pulpit was given to the church by district governor Emerich Pongrácz and his wife in1806. Their coats of arms decorate the pulpit roof structure. audio guide
    ❷Late baroque altar (6.5 m high) with wood carving decorations and gilded elements. Sculptures of evangelists Matthew and John on the sides of the Crucified Christ (painting), archangel Michael with a devil at his feet and a symbol of God´s eye over the donator´s coat of arms. audio guide
    ❸ Marble baptismal font from 1935 with a copper cover. audio guide
    ❹Memorial plaques dedicated to Juraj Janoška, M. M. Hodža, Juraj Tranovský, Vladimír Kuna and the 500th anniversary of the reformation. audio guide
    ❺ Original crystal chandeliers were too heavy for the vault and had to be replaced by new ones made of Slovak crystal. audio guide
    ❻ Galleries over side naves and in the western section. audio guide
    ❼ Added tower with three bells and the main entrance. audio guide
    ❽ Sandstone sculptures of Juraj Tranovský and M. M. Hodža. audio guide
    ❾ Old parish office with expositions: Tatrín and The Demands of the Slovak Nation. audio guide
    The Library of Juraj Tranovský with precious copies of Cithara sanctorum is the basic element of the new historic library in the old Lutheran parish office. The library consists of more than 2,200 valuable books, printed material and manuscripts. The oldest book dates back to 1592. The library is owned by Tranoscius, one of the oldest publishing houses in Slovakia, which was founded by Lutherans in Liptovský Mikuláš in 1898. It can be used by scientists and researchers.

    The archive of the Lutheran congregation contains unique pieces such as beautiful embroidered historic towels, precious paintings and several copies of Cithara sanctorum. The first edition of 1636 contained 412 religious songs; their number grew to 1,300 later. A part of the archive is opened in the old Lutheran parish office.
    Reformation ideas of Martin Luther spread also to the region of Liptov in the early 16th century. People in Liptovský Mikuláš were so impressed that almost everybody converted to the Lutheran church. Since the mid 16th century, Lutheran pastors were preaching even at the Church of St. Nicholas, which had been Catholic. Juraj Tranovský, the author of the Lutheran hymnal Cithara sanctorum too. After the church had been returned to the Catholic church in 1680, Lutherans used the church in Paludza, 8 km far, for another hundred years. Since 1785, they have had their own church that was built in today´s historic town district. People restored the choir of Vrbica – Liptovský Mikuláš and focused on active religious work, charity, education and culture. A parish office, a Lutheran school (present-day gallery), the Tranoscius publishing house and a Lutheran church house were built at the church. A Lutheran quarter was created here and witnessed significant events during the era of M.M.Hodža – establishing of the first national cultural society – Tatrín and compiling the first political programme of Slovaks – The Demands of the Slovak Nation. When Juraj Janoška was ordained the first head bishop of the Lutheran church, Liptovský Mikuláš became bishop´s seat. audio guide

    Lutheran church, Tranovského 12, Liptovský Mikuláš
    Evangelical parish office, Tranovského 6, Liptovský Mikuláš
    Tel.: +421 44 552 21 46
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    1.7. - 31.8.2022: Mo-Fr: 10:00-12:00, 13:00-17:00
    Voluntary admission fees.
    Divine service - every Sunday at 9.00 a.m.
    Promotional material 


    The synagogue of Liptovský Mikuláš, which was built in 1842 – 1846 as a 1-storey classicistic building with a flat beam ceiling and a simple interior, is one of the biggest and most stylish synagogues in Slovakia. The present-day form is the result of a renovation which was performed in 1906 but the original construction is a significant part of the synagogue even today – and forms its outer lining. Leopold Baumhorn, an architect from Budapest built a new framework of steel beams and supports on the existing foundations. A unique steel net system that holds an only 5-centimetre-thin plaster shell enabled to vault a quite large 3-nave space and add galleries for women to the concept as well. It is the innovatory technological vault solution which was not frequently used in our area at those times that makes the synagogue of Liptovský Mikuláš a significant technological monument. At the same time, it shows the ability of the architect to adapt the original object to new requirements by changing the disposition very sensitively with respect to the original work of art. By doing so, the author managed to create harmony between the prevailing classicistic aspect of the frontage but preserved the character of the original roof and the Art Nouveau character of the interior including a cupola with beautiful stained glass. The interior is dominated by a rich bluegolden stucco decoration. The Art Nouveau character of the interior is emphasised by metal chandeliers and stained glass windows with floral motifs. audio guide
    ❶ The front facade with five windows and entrance gates faces the west. Four massive antique columns support a big forward gable with a tympanum. The classicistic interior has a quite high number of windows – there are 30 of them along with 9 entrances on three sides of the building. audio guide
    ❷ The entrance area with the front facade is divided in six equal fields by two decorative columns which support a barrel vault. Adjacent spaces were used by the community for storing register records. audio guide
    ❸ The spacious inside area is the result of the renovation of 1906. The synagogue was changed to its atypical present day form which combines a classicistic exterior with an Art Nouveau interior. audio guide
    ❹ Above the centre of the synagogue where the vaults of the main nave cross, the architect opened the ceiling 17 metres high and created a cupola with a diameter of 10 metres. Its top features big stained glass. audio guide
    ❺ The sun in the middle of a blue sky is the central motive of a decorative stained-glass ceiling which used to be lit by bulbs from the attic. The ceiling and stained-glass windows were the most precious and also the most expensive parts of the prayer room. They were gifted to the synagogue by four rich Jewish families from Liptovský Mikuláš. audio guide
    ❻ The entrance to the heart of the synagogue itself – “Aron-ha-Kodesh”, where Torah used to be kept, is designed as an imposing gate. A double arch in its top symbolises stone tablets of Moses with commandments of God. audio guide
    ❼ As for the original interior furniture, only Art Nouveau wooden row benches in galleries designated for women were preserved. Besides them, there were also metal chandeliers, candlesticks, banisters on galleries and stained-glass windows with floral motifs. The stained-glass decoration was removed in the 1990s so that it did not get destroyed. The last two pieces are displayed in the exposition of the Museum of Janko Kráľ. audio guide
    ❽ The stucco decoration of columns, pillars and banisters on galleries as well as the central space of Aron-ha-Kodesh is noticeably polychromed with mainly golden and blue colours. Golden and blue dominate the paintings on vaults and the cupola as well. Strictly stylised floral motifs gently emphasise ornaments which are based on geometric rules and inspired by the Orient. audio guide
    ❾ The relief on the front facade of the temple which is dedicated to Holocaust victims reminds of the saddest chapter of the Jewish history in Liptovský Mikuláš. A copy of the famous relief is located inside the national monument to Holocaust victims in Jerusalem, 6 other copies decorate synagogues around Slovakia. It was made by Michal Kern, a painter from Liptovský Mikuláš. audio guide

    The history of the Jewish community started to be written already in the 1720s when the first Jewish families from the village of Holešov, Moravia settled down in the region of Liptov. Eminent local landowner Samuel Pongrác accepted them with hope that they would help develop trade in Liptovský Mikuláš and the area. He even leased several houses on the main town square to them. More and more families began moving to the town and were trading with wood, leather, textiles, spirits and tobacco. The Jewish religious community was founded in 1730 and the first synagogue was built of wood one year later. The community established a Jewish elementary school of Torah and Talmud in 1752 and a yeshiva for rabbis in 1776. In the early 19th century, Liptovský Mikuláš was nicknamed “Jewish Athens” or “a town of wise men and Hebrew Scripture experts”. Jewish inhabitants had a significant influence on the cultural and social life, and Liptovský Mikuláš was the first town in the Hungarian empire to have a Jewish mayor – in 1861! In 1842, the growing Jewish community decided to build a new synagogue in the area where it stands today although in a little different form. It served its purpose already in 1846. A school with 6 classes where everything was taught in the German language was built near the synagogue and attended also by Christian children. Liptovský Mikuláš became the centre of the Jewish culture in the region of Liptov. When the town was hit by fire in 1878 and 1904, and the synagogue was damaged as well, the community decided to start a big reconstruction. audio guide
    SYNAGOGUE, Hollého ulica 4, Liptovský Mikuláš, Tel.: +421 44 552 25 54+421 915 317 490 
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    Opening hours: 20.6. - 15.9.2022: 10.00-18.00
    out of summer season - possibility to order entrance in advance in Museum of Janko Kráľ, Námestie osloboditeľov 30, Liptovský Mikuláš, 
    Tel.: +421 44 552 25 54+421 915 317 490 
    Admission: adult  2 €, child  1 €
    Promotional material