HISTORY TALKS...

Stibor's church on the Váh

THE ORIGINS of the church in Nové Mesto nad Váhom lie in 1263 when Benedictine monks began building it. From their efforts only a few ruins still remain. The church we see in this postcard, which was printed before World War I, was built by one of the most powerful Hungarian aristocrats: Stibor. This magnate of Polish origin, who lived in nearby Beckov Castle, controlled a big part of the territory of present-day Slovakia.

THE ORIGINS of the church in Nové Mesto nad Váhom lie in 1263 when Benedictine monks began building it. From their efforts only a few ruins still remain. The church we see in this postcard, which was printed before World War I, was built by one of the most powerful Hungarian aristocrats: Stibor. This magnate of Polish origin, who lived in nearby Beckov Castle, controlled a big part of the territory of present-day Slovakia.

It seems that by constructing a magnificent church, featuring a Gothic octagonal nave, he intended to demonstrate his independence within the Hungarian kingdom. It is also quite likely that he was trying to found a new pilgrimage site in the central Váh River region.

The architectural style he chose, also speaks volumes about Stibor’s ambitions. The church in Nové Mesto was built by Augustinian monks along the lines of the order’s headquarters in the Prague district of Karlov. Later, the church was vandalised by Hussites; even its massive defensive walls could not protect it from their attacks.

One curious aspect to this postcard is the wooden mill in the foreground, complete with rubberneckers posing for the photographer.


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