The castle hill in Nitra is part of the upper town and is the most significant sight in the city centre. This fortified complex consists of the cathedral, the bishop’s residence and a seminary.
St. Emeram’s Cathedral dominates the complex and actually consists of three churches: the 11th century Romanesque St Emeram church; the originally gothic, 14th-century upper church; and the lower 17th-century church.
The oldest church contains relics of St. Andrew-Svorad, St. Emeram and St. Benedict. The complex is dedicated to these three saints, who were significant in Slovak history.
The reliquary of St. Cyril, the missionary who brought the first Slavic script to the current territory of Slovakia, was a gift from Pope Paul VI. The building’s history can be seen in the rich decorations, which span centuries.
A reconstruction in 2013 uncovered a unique fresco of high artistic value and technical quality from around 1400, showing that the church may still contain hidden treasures.
The Diocesan Museum in the bishop’s residence offers insight into the history of the place as well as the Nitra Bishopric.
Many of the buildings surrounding the cathedral are either private residences or administrative offices and are off limits to the public.
It is possible, however, to explore some areas of the former fortifications, including star-shaped, singleman watchtowers, and also to look at the imposing statues of St.s Cyril and Methodius, the trailblazers who brought Christianity and literacy to Slovakia.
Watch a video about Nitra castle, which was prepared as a part of project Cultural Heritage to promote renewal and preservation of cultural and historical heritage in Slovakia, through the EEA and Norwegian Funds.