AROUND SLOVAKIA

Monastery to undergo further reconstruction

THIS summer volunteers will continue to upgrade the ruins of the church and monastery of St Catherine in the Small Carpathians near the village of Dechtice. Peter Herceg, the chairman of the civic association Katarínka, told the SITA newswire that the 16th summer camp will concentrate on repairing the church’s tower.

The ruins of St Catherine's church and monastery near Dechtice.The ruins of St Catherine's church and monastery near Dechtice. (Source: Jana Liptáková)

THIS summer volunteers will continue to upgrade the ruins of the church and monastery of St Catherine in the Small Carpathians near the village of Dechtice. Peter Herceg, the chairman of the civic association Katarínka, told the SITA newswire that the 16th summer camp will concentrate on repairing the church’s tower.

“We plan to secure the upper part of the tower to keep stones from falling and also to return the floors to their original form,” Herceg said. The floors will be constructed of oak beams that will be chiselled and hewn manually with traditional techniques. After the reconstruction, the church tower will serve as a scenic observation point and the site will also be available for occasional exhibitions. Herceg predicted that the project would be completed in the summer of 2011.

As in previous years, volunteers will continue to do archaeological research as well as repairing the underpinning of the valuable stucco relief on the side of the church.

Anyone who would like to take part in the reconstruction of the church and monastery may join one of four groups beginning July 9. Each team will be comprised of about 35 people. For the fee of €11, volunteers get meals, accommodations and insurance as well as the opportunity to experience life and work without the usual amenities of 21st-century life.

The monastery of St. Catherine, which once belonged to a Franciscan order, was founded in 1618 on a site where, according to a legend, St. Catherine repeatedly appeared before young count and hermit Ján Apponyi. The complex was constructed by the Italian master builder Pietro Spazza in a unique early-Baroque style with late-Gothic elements. The monastery was damaged several times during the Ottoman invasions. The order was dissolved by a decree of Emperor Jozef II and the complex was eventually abandoned.

Another Dechtice monument, All Saints’ Church, is a Romanesque rotunda dating back to 1172. Mayor Karol Zachar plans a reconstruction of that structure in cooperation with Slovakia's Preservation Office.


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