cultural monuments

ARTICULATED WOODEN CHURCH

    Welcome to the artuculated wooden church of the Evangelic Lutheran Church of Slovakia in Svätý Kríž.

    Articulated churches form a separate group in the history of wooden churches in Slovakia. They are a distinct modification of that branch of church Protestant architecture which began to develop in Prusian Silesia following the example of the church in Sweidnitz and gradually spread into the neighbouring Lutheran-orientated regions. They are different from Catholic wooden churches dating from the Middle Ages, and also from the characteristic group of Ortodox churches in East Slovakia. Their style of construction shows that they grew from brick architecture. The characteristic they have in common is the central ground-plan, most frquently in the shape of Greek cross. The crossed aisles are valuated with a barrel vault, the central square having a vault of cupola character. This imposing vault, together with the pictorially treated choirs, defines the character of a typically Lutheran church interior. The choice of material and techniques used in the construction of these churches was not determined by primary conditions laid down by natural development of Slovak's material culture, but by the anti-Reformation measures taken by those in power. In 1678 the absolutist regime of the Habsburgs, intolerant towards non-Catholic faiths, caused a great uprising, supported by the Turks, and Emperor Leopold I was forced to give in. In 1681 he called an assemply in Šopron, at which -among other things- he repelaed his extremely anit-Reformation interer decrees of 1667 and 1670. In accordance with the law-articles XXV-XXVI, passed by the Šopron Assembly- the Hungarian Protestants could build 38 places of worship. The articles laid down stated that they should be built on the outskirts of villages and outside the town walls. Hard materials could not be used in their construcion, the churches were not allowed to have towers or bells and their main entrances had to be situated on the side facing away from the road. These wooden evangelical places of worship, built in accordance with the above-mentioned legal clauses took their place in history as articulated churches. Today 5 such churches exists in Slovakia. In the Liptov region there are two such churches. One was in Hybe, and the other in Paludza.

    The original church was built in 1693 in the village of Paludza. During this time the number of Lutherans in the region continued to increase making it necessary to build a larger church. In March 1744, a contract was signed by a local carpenter named Jozef Lange oltar to start construction on a larger church. The church was finished in November 1774. This is very quick considering Mr. Lange did not have a plan for the construction of the church before he started. He did not know how to read and write so his previous knowledge of carpentry was what helped him. The area of the church is 1150 square meters. The length of the church is 43 meters, including the steeple. The church has 12 doors and 72 windows. The baroque altar of the Holy Trinity is remarkable and surrounding the pictures on the beautiful wooden altar is polychrome. The altar was renovated in 1763. The base of the pulpit is a sculture of an angel. The pulpit was built by a carpenter named Lerch. On the pulpit are paintings of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. The colomns on the pulpit are characteristic of speech sculping dating from the 17th and the 18th centuries. The name of person who created the columns that is unknown. The organ was built by an organ maker named Martin Podkonicky from B. Bystrica in 1754. The chandeler was made in 1780 with glass from the city of Venezia. Around the balconies are biblical paintings. Between each biblical painting are paintings of flowers or animals. The name of the artist is unknown. The steeple was built in 1781 and is 19 metres high. The steeple had three bells dating from the end of the 18th century, but in the First World War (Great war) they were destroyed (the new bells are believe, love and hope).

    The articulated church is a product of the anti-reformation political situation during its time of construction. The church is a symbol of difficult history of the Slovak nation. It is also a symbol of the struggle in the Hungarian nation between Protestants and Catholics during this time in history.

    The threat to the existence of thebuilding in connection with a creation of reservoir near Liptovska Mara aroused the latent interest of the Slovak public in this precious memorial and provoked a lively discussion about the possibilities of saving it. After the consideration of various alternatives an appropriate solution was found - the will to transferr it to neighbouring Svätý Kríž. It will therefore remain within the old territorial limits of Paludza, thus ensuring its safety while prerving the authenticity of the regional enviroment.

    In 1974 the process of moving the church started. On 22 August 1982, close to 10 000 people attended the conseceration of the church in its new location. The people included members of the church and many guests. Though the church has been moved from its original location it still serves the purpose as a Lutheran church for the former members in Paludza.

ARTIKULATED CHURCH Sv. KRÍŽ
OPEN
Monday - Sunday0900 - 1630
tel:+ 0421/44 559 2622

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