THERE ARE many interesting places in the Spiš region, but one is somehow very special. Since the Middle Ages it has been covered with lofty buildings standing on two opposite hills which are today considered to be among Slovakia’s most precious sights. These are the famous Spiš castle, the largest in central Europe, and the nearby complex of Spišská Kapitula (the Spiš Canonry), portrayed in this postcard from the 1950s. Thanks to its continuous fortifications system, the latter is especially unique from an architectural point of view.
The domain of the ecclesiastical leaders of the Spiš region was, according to available data, created prior to 1209, after the original buildings had been destroyed by Tartars.
The local clergymen were extremely ambitious. They had long been trying to become independent from the Esztergom Archdiocese and to establish their own Spiš bishopric. However, Esztergom was stronger and their plans could not be realised.
An independent bishopric was not founded in Spiš until several centuries later, in 1776. After a few decades, a seminary and a pedagogical institute, actually the first specialised school educating future teachers within Hungary, were erected there, in 1815 and 1819 respectively. The Late Romanesque basilica in this postcard was built between 1245 and 1273.
6. Apr 2009 at 0:00 | By Branislav Chovan