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Reconstruction of a church floor unveils rare archaeological findings

THE RECONSTRUCTION of the sanctuary of the late-Gothic Church of St Peter of Alcantara which is part of an old monastery complex in Okoličné (now part of the town of Litpovský Mikuláš) required archaeological research.

THE RECONSTRUCTION of the sanctuary of the late-Gothic Church of St Peter of Alcantara which is part of an old monastery complex in Okoličné (now part of the town of Litpovský Mikuláš) required archaeological research.

This revealed surprising findings: under the floor near the main altar, archaeologists found two graves of senior Franciscan monks from the turn of the 16th and 17th centuries. A crypt dating back to the 18th century was also uncovered, the existence of which was recorded in the monastery’s chronicle, administrator of the local Roman-Catholic parish, Juraj Tomaga, told the TASR newswire. Nobody entered the crypt – where around 25 Franciscan monks have been buried for at least the last 110 years, he added. This is proven by the record of the last reconstruction, in 1904.

“We have never opened it for sanitary reasons,” Tomaga said, “and we looked inside only through a small opening.”

Suddenly, also the foundation of an original Gothic altar was found. For the reconstruction, we will respect the original height of the floors, the administrator said, adding that they will leave the altar as well as all archaeological findings in all their glory.

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