THE ABBEY of the Cistercians can be found in the municipality of Spišský Štiavnik located southeast of Poprad. The Cistercian order was founded in 1098 in a secluded area of Burgundy.
The Cistercians, known for their rigorous discipline, originally divided their lives between liturgical ritual and manual labour. Thanks to the efficient cultivation of their lands, their skill at shepherding and their construction of a profitable ironworks, they quickly grew rich and just as quickly abandoned their religious ideals.
In 1531, as a result of battles between Levoča and Kežmarok, the monastery was burned to the ground. In its place, the presiding lord of Kežmarok, Hieroným Laski, built an ostentatious mansion that was successively inhabited by several prominent families: the Thurzas, the Thökölys and the Esztergoms. Archbishop Szelepcsé-nyi later gave the building to the Jesuits, who added a chapel to the mansion. The building was originally designed in Renaissance style but adaptations in the 19th century altered its original facade.
This postcard of the mansion dates from 1901.
30. May 2011 at 0:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff , By Branislav Chovam