Ancient Slovak religious arena?

Svaty Kriz Travel Blog

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I set the GPS and headed off to Svaty Kriz. This took me to some new meadows and mountain vistas…..incredible. It was a 45 minute drive that I made into over an hour with my slow tourist driving.

In the direction of the High Tatras, the sky was menacing but, beautiful. I could even see some of the higher peaks with a bit of leftover snow in some upper areas.

I had to stop for this one town’s view. I didn’t enter it as I was on the highway but, I did stop on the side and get out to look further. They have a wooden domed bell tower of amazing design. I have decided that this cross bred is Slovak Baroque and it was stunning. It is the tallest thing for many, many kilometers around.

I entered Svaty Kriz and drove around this tiny village for a ridiculous amount of time.

I, then, pulled into the grocery store (closed). I went across the street to the post office (closed). I refused to give up and started driving again. I saw a woman and child and stopped and showed her the picture in the guide. It was a direction that I had been. I just hadn’t gone far enough….a good lesson.

The road, turned rough path, leads you to a clearing in the woods. It’s really out there…..because, Svaty Kriz is really out there and this is not even in town.

It stands on the border of the territories administered by Svätý Kríž and Lazisko. The ground plan of the church is in the shape of a 43 metre-long cross. The church takes almost 6,000 persons.

The wooden Baroque furniture together with the remarkable wooden Baroque altar from 1693 with the painting of Christ's Transformation were designed to inspire awe.

Also the pulpit standing on log foundations supported, as if by a Baroque angel is unique both in terms of visual impression and acoustics. The altar and the pulpit were made by the woodcarver J. Lerch of Ke

The two-storied choir emporia in the interior of the church are adorned by Biblical paintings and along with a big chandelier of Venetian glass they create a charming atmosphere. Part of the church is also an independently standing wooden tower serving as a belfry. It was added to the church later.

I enjoyed my walk around and took many pictures. The tower has interesting textures. It has a stone base, a red painted central section and a brown wood shingles in the shape of a dome at the top.

The door was locked.

I was really bummed. I had gone to a lot of effort to be here. Something told me to have a seat on the bench and just relax…..and so, I did. Soon a bus was pulling up…….hmmmmm tourist group. It was a group of local students that were here for a field trip. Once the church was opened and everyone was inside, I went in.

They were watching some sort of film on it’s history. I tried to get the attention of one of the ladies who opened the church. She looked me in the eye and then ignored me. I was going to pay her the 1 euro entrance fee ……but oh well. Pictures are not allowed so …..sorry!

The inside is enormous, as expected. It is much more open that I expected, given it’s age. It’s an architectural masterpiece. Around it’s interior are panels painted, of people, saints, and scenes.

The altar is in the round and has a Slovak folksy look to the statues. They are much more interesting than the run of them mill that is usually found in churches. The Slovak sculptures have much more character.

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Svaty Kriz
photo by: delsol67