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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.

Places to visit

St George’s Church in Kostoľany pod Tribečom

St George’s Church in Kostoľany pod Tribečom represents a unique example of pre-Romanesque religious architecture. It is the only church still in existence in Central Europe with a relatively well preserved cycle of wall paintings that are representative of the so-called pre-Romanesque art.

The church has undergone a number of building phases. The first one is represented by a small wooden structure, of which today are preserved only a few post-pits. The extent of this building phase has more or less been copied by the subsequent stone church.

The pre-Romanesque walled church was built of quarry stones. The interior was divided into two parts: a presbytery in the shape of an irregular trapezoid and a rectangular nave. The presbytery has a barrel vault and there is no triumphal arch that would separate it from the nave. This fact seems to have been influenced by the wall paintings, whose iconography, style and technology belong to the sphere of pre-Romanesque art. They are not only being the oldest preserved paintings in our region but are also an important source for the study of the intellectual world and the standards of early mediaeval local elites and their contacts and influences during this period. The walled Church of St George and its paintings can be dated roughly to around 1000, more specifically to the first decades of the 11th century.

From the Middle Ages to the Modern era the church underwent multiple renovations. Today’s three-room division consists of a single pre-Romanesque nave with presbytery, late Romanesque part with the gallery and tower and a modern annex with independent entrance on the western side.

The early mediaeval cemetery at Ladice

During the construction at the then collective farm Ladice in 1955 and 1960 were found a number of inhumation graves. In 1961, the rescue excavation unearthed additional graves from the period between the 9th and the beginning of the 10th century, containing weapons and riding equipment (e.g. a double-edged type-x sword, spurs, and arrowheads).

The grave goods attest to the existence of a nearby guard settlement, controlling access to the centre of the Nitra principality from Zlaté Moravce as well as the passage from the Žitava to the Nitra Region across the Kostoľany Basin]

A part of the finds from the cemetery is to be found in the municipal museum of Zlaté Moravce.

Nearby locations

Gýmeš Castle

Museum of the Forgách Family, Fort at Jelenec

Museum of the Nitra Region in Nitra, branch facility Municipal Museum in Zlaté Moravce

St Emmeram’s Cathedral (within Nitra Castle)

Diocesan Museum (within Nitra Castle)

Museum of the Nitra Region in Nitra

Slovak Agricultural Museum in Nitra

Arboretum at Mlyňany

Wisent Game Park Topoľčianky

Fort and palace in Topoľčianky


59 Vendtová, Viera, ‘Slovanské pohrebisko v Ladiciach, okr. Nitra’, in Archeologické Rozhledy, no. 14, 1962, p. 402

Places to visit Nearby locations

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