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St Benedict the Hermit came to the region in the 11th century. In dedication to his memory the Benedictine Abbey in Skalka was founded in 1224.
The saint's pilgrimage through life ended tragically. Local outlaws murdered him and threw his body from a cliff into the Váh. St Benedict is one of the first saints of the Hungarian empire (his famous namesake lived and worked in medieval times in the territory that is now Italy).
The Skalka monastery survived both good and bad times. The low point probably came at the beginning of the 16th century, when visiting abbots found it inhabited by just three people: an 18-year-old lay caretaker, one Cistercian and one Benedictine monk.
Prepared by Branislav Chovan
5. Dec 2005 at 0:00