IN THIS picturesque postcard dating back to 1918, the Church of the Virgin Mary towers over the municipality of Veľké Leváre. Its builders erected it on a mound and, as much of the Záhorie region is flat, the church can be seen from far away.
This sacral construction did not get its prominent location and huge dimensions by chance. Nor were the dates of it construction, between 1729 and 1733, chosen accidentally. Exactly half a century before, in 1683, Christian armies had defeated the Ottomans at Vienna and thus freed this part of Europe of a menace that had lingered for almost a century and a half. To commemorate the victory, Pope Innocent XI pronounced September 12 the holiday of the Name of the Virgin Mary and the new church was consecrated with this name too. In Záhorie, the new church was regarded with pride and satisfaction as, by that time, memories of Ottoman plunder were still very much alive.
The main initiator of the construction was the archbishop of Vienna, Cardinal Žigmund Kollonič, who was closely attached to Veľké Leváre by virtue of the properties he owned there. Generally, Záhorie enjoyed strong links with Vienna and many locals used to go there to trade and work.
4. Apr 2011 at 0:00 | By Branislav Chovan