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Kostoľany pod Tribečom

St George’s Church in Kostoľany pod Tribečom forms an important representative of Central European pre-Romanesque art. The wall paintings in the interior belong not only to the eldest and best preserved in the Slovak Republic, but in the whole of Central Europe.

  • Personalities

Personalities

Historical personalities from various periods and social levels are linked to the St George’s Church:

The noble family of the Poznan/Pázmány

The Poznans/Pázmánys are extraordinary in their origin, the extent of their land tenure and their position in the first two centuries of the Hungarian kingdom. Poznan/Pázmány was a provincial Slavic prince with tenures on the territory of current Western Slovakia, by then the princedom of Nitra. It is due to his assistance to the first Hungarian king Stephen that he entered history. Poznan/Pázmány supported him in the fight against Koppány, prince of Somogy, laying the same claims to the Hungarian throne as Stephen. After a victorious battle and Koppány’s death, the influence of Poznan/Pázmány on King Stephen’s court in Esztergom rose considerably (997–1038). From the king he was feoffed with further land tenures in the Principality of Nitra, one of the three parts of the Hungarian kingdom, and thereafter continued to enjoy royal favour.

For the next two centuries, the Poznans/Pázmánys (950–1200) owned large estates in Nitra and probably were the founders of the church in Kostoľany.54

Anonymous painter

Painter, author of the wall paintings in the St George’s Church, probably originated from somewhere in Northern Italy, lived in the first half of the 11th century.55

Alojz Habovštiak

Alojz Habovštiak (1932–2000) was the slovak archaeologist, one of the founders of Mediaeval Archaeology in Slovakia. Fig. 42

Fig. 42: Alojz Habovštiak. Credit: Slovak National Museum, Archive

Fig. 42: Alojz Habovštiak. Credit: Slovak National Museum, Archive

After completing his studies in Archaeology and Latin, he was employed at the Institute of Archaeology of the Slovak Academy of Sciences in Nitra (since 1957) and since 1969 at the Institute of Archaeology of Slovak National Museum. Between 1977 and 1989, he was the director of the Slovak National Museum. He specialised in Mediaeval Archaeology and his approximately 60 books and 40 scientific articles are of fundamental importance for the study of the history of Slovakia in the 9th–13th centuries.

In 1964–1965 he led the first archaeological excavation at the site of Kostoľany.56

Ladislav Šášky

Famous Slovak art historian Ladislav Šášky (1926–1994), monuments conservator, museologist, Church historian, pedagogue, former director of the Historical Museum of the Slovak National Museum, author of a synthesis on Slovak art (1988), co-author of the first Catalogue of Slovak Monuments, author of hundreds of articles and studies. Fig. 43

Fig. 43: Ladislav Šášky. Credit: Slovak National Museum, Archive

Fig. 43: Ladislav Šášky. Credit: Slovak National Museum, Archive

Due to his extraordinary erudition he was an acknowledged personality in many humanistic fields and art.

In 1964–1965 he organised a survey of the construction history of St George’s Church. He was the first to point out its pre-Romanesque character.57

Josef Krása

Czech historian and art theoretician Josef Krása (1933–1985) studied the ‘History of Art’ at Charles University Prague, Faculty of Arts with many renowned professors. From 1957 to his death, he worked at the Institute of the Theory of Art and Art History of the Czech Academy of Sciences. He specialised in mediaeval art, particularly in wall paintings and illuminations. He was the first to evaluate the wall paintings in Kostoľany pod Tribečom.58

References

54 Lukačka, Ján, Formovanie vyššej šľachty na západnom Slovensku, Bratislava, 2002, p. 30;
Lukačka, Ján, ‘Najstaršie nitrianske šľachtické rody’, in: Najstaršie rody na Slovensku, Martin, 1994, p. 102;
Lukačka, Ján, ‘K otázke etnického pôvodu veľmožského rodu Hont-Poznanovcov’, in Forum Historiae, 2010, roč. 4, č. 2, p. 11;
Maříková-Kubková, Jana, ‘De Costelan est terminus vallis; de suburb (anis Costelan) est terminus fluvius nomine Dreuenizza’, in Antiqua Cuthna, sborník z konference Vlastnické kostely, dvorce, sídla a vývoj raných elit ve střední Evropě (26.–28. května 2010 v Kutné Hoře), in press

55 Ibid;
Maříková-Kubková, Jana and Berger, Tomáš, ‘První stavební fáze kostela sv. Juraja v Kostoľanech pod Tribečom’, in Monumentorum tutela 21, 2009, p. 150

56 Habovštiak, Alojz, ‘Archeologický výskum v Kostoľanoch pod Tribečom’, in Monumentorum Tutela 2, 1968, pp. 43–77; https://www.vedatechnika.sk/SK/enoviny/PisaliDejinyVedy/Stranky/Alojz-Habovstiak%E2%80%93vyznamny-slovensky-badatel-v-oblasti-archeologie-stredoveku-a-muzeologie.aspx

57 Šášky, Ladislav, ‘Predrománsky kostol v Kostoľanoch pod Tribečom’, in Monumentorum tutela 2, 1968, pp. 79–95; http://www.pamiatky.sk/sk/page/ladislav-sasky

58 Krása, Josef, ‘Nástěnné malby v kostele sv. Jiří v Kostoľanoch pod Tribečom’, in Monumentorum tutela 2, 1968, pp. 115–128; http://abicko.avcr.cz/archiv/2003/9/obsah/josef-krasa-9.-8.-1933-20.-2.-1985-.html