Historically significant monastery saved from demolition

The monument in Levoča was recently renovated.

(Source: Monika Bizoňová)

The map of Levoča will soon include a new site that tourists can explore.

Let this guide be your key to the most ravishingly beautiful secrets of the Košice Region Let this guide be your key to the most ravishingly beautiful secrets of the Košice Region

The Minorite monastery, a special monument, has been renovated and will be accessible to the public. The aim of the project is to turn the city into a tourist destination and develop the creative and cultural potential of the city as well, the Spiš Korzár regional newspaper reported.

The reconstruction should allow for the unique cross hallway which encircles the paradise garden in the middle of the monastery complex to be accessible. Moreover, the chapter room and the refectory should open as well.

Many unanswered questions remain

The monastery is located on the northern side of the city. It is one of the most maintained gothic monastic buildings in Slovakia and represents central European mendicant architecture.

Vladimír Olejník, the head bishop archiver of the Spiš diocese association, explained that this name labels their monasteries and churches. They served both the Dominicans and Franciscans.

However, there are still some unanswered questions about this site. It is not certain who founded it, when it was built, or even when the brothers of St. Francis arrived in Levoča. What is known is that the monastery used to belong to this order of Minorites.

The oldest written report about the presence of this order in Levoča comes from 1272 and only mentions it indirectly. Two monasteries are included in this report. Even though the location of one is unknown, Olejník is certain that the other one was located in Levoča, as mentioned in Spiš Korzár.

Rare fragments of frescoes

The interior of the monastery complex has maintained its historical resemblance, making it the most significant example of monastery architecture from the Middle Ages in Slovakia.

The cross hallway is admired most for its preservation and precious frescoes. It is a place of rest and meditation. The wall decorations come from the 14th century.

Until recently, part of the monastery was not being used and is in bad shape. The ground floor and the basement were dampened.

The facade was falling off, the masonry was coming apart, and the steel sections were rusting. The frescoes were in danger of becoming damaged as well.

In order to prevent more damage, the monastery has been under renovation for the last few years. The first stage, which began in 2015, ended in 2020.

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