One of Nitra's landmarks

THIS EARTH-shattering postcard of Nitra, which dates back to the early 1920s, is fascinating due to the fact that it depicts a section of the old town that no longer exists in this form.

THIS EARTH-shattering postcard of Nitra, which dates back to the early 1920s, is fascinating due to the fact that it depicts a section of the old town that no longer exists in this form.

The structure at the centre of this photograph is the vast Piarist monastery and its church. Piarists came to Nitra in 1698 with the aim of educating impoverished children. The first stone of the monastery’s foundation was laid in 1701. However, its construction progressed very slowly, as by that time serious conflicts with rebels led by František II. Rákóczi were taking place. In 1716, shortly before it was finished, a fire destroyed the church and it was not completed until 1789.

Piarists taught at the school for almost 200 years. Despite leaving for Hungary in 1918 after the Czechoslovak state was founded, the operation of the secondary school continued.

On February 13, 1921 an important event occurred at the Piarist church: the first Slovak bishops were ordained here, in ceremonies attended by believers from all around Slovakia. Karol Kmeťko became the bishop of Nitra, Marián Blaho the bishop of Banská Bystrica and Ján Votaššák became the bishop of Spiš.

The Piarist church and the monastery complex remains one of the most distinctive historical landmarks of Nitra’s old town.

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