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The Skalka pilgrimage site is located on the territory of the Skalka nad Váhom parish in the Nitra diocese. The history of the pilgrimage site Skalka near Trenčín dates back to the 11th century and is connected with the life of St. hermits Andrej-Svorad and Beňadik, who lived in this holy place for some time.

Pilgrimage place Skalka - Trenčín

The Skalka pilgrimage site is located on the territory of the Skalka nad Váhom parish in the Nitra diocese. The history of the pilgrimage site Skalka near Trenčín dates back to the 11th century and is connected with the life of St. hermits Andrej-Svorad and Beňadik, who lived in this holy place for some time.

History of Skalka

Skalka, near Trenčín, is connected with the life of St. Svorada-Andreja and Beňadik. We have reliable reports about holy hermits from the legend The Life of Holy Hermits Svorad the Confessor and Beňadik the Martyr, written by their contemporary, the five-church bishop Blessed Maurus in the years 1064-1070.

Svorad was originally a Pole. Tradition in the village of Tropie nad Dunajcom, near the Slovak border, recorded that Svorad lived there in his youth as a monk. Already in the 13th century, the church was dedicated to St. Svorad.

Around 1020, Svorad came to Slovakia. Not far from Nitra, in the Benedictine monastery of St. Hippolytus in Zobor, it is received by Abbot Filip, from whom he also receives the religious name Andrej.

After a certain period of living together, Svorad-Andrej retreated to solitude and led a hermit's life there. The hermitage was certainly not far from the monastery so that he could come to communal services. He probably lived in the hermitage at Skalka near Trenčín only when he got a young helper and apprentice, the monk Beňadik, in old age. Saint Svorad-Andrej lived a very strict ascetic life. He ate nothing three days a week. He fasted separately during Lent. Bishop Maurus says that at the beginning of the fast he demanded from the abbot "40 nuts and satisfied with this food he gladly awaited the day of the Holy Resurrection."

After a day's work of clearing the forest and teaching the common people, he prepared a night's rest that could be called torture rather than rest. He fenced off the carved oak logs with a fence, into which he stabbed sharp thistles on all sides. He used such a saddle for sleep. When his tired body leaned to either side, he immediately woke up, wounded by a thistle. In addition, he hung a wooden hoop around his head, to which he attached four stones from four sides. If his head dropped, a stone struck him immediately.

Source: Pútnické miesto Skalka (9.9.2021)
Source: Pútnické miesto Skalka (9.9.2021)

When Andrej felt that he was nearing the end of his life, he sent for Abbot Filip and ordered those present not to touch his clothes until the abbot arrived. He later told Mauro the following things: When they undressed the dead body and went to wash it, they found a chain on it, which dug deep into the body. Maurus questioned half of this chain from Abbot Philip and kept it reverently on the Pannonian Mountain. When the public worship of the saint began, he gave it to Prince Gejz, who begged for it.

Svorad died around 1030. The remains are stored in the Nitra Cathedral of St. Emerald. The largest part of the relics is in Pálffy's reliquary from 1674.

Sv. Beňadik was a pupil of St. Andreja-Svorada. After the death of his teacher, he decided to live in the same place. For three years, according to his example, he led a very strict life. Here robbers attacked him, tied him up and threw him into the river Váh. People searched for his body for a long time, but to no avail. However, they noticed that the eagle sat on the banks of the Vah all year round, as if watching something. And they did find a body that was intact after a year, as if Beňadik had only recently died. His body was also buried in the Cathedral of St. Emeram in Nitra. The place of his throwing into Váh is expressed by a two-towered church in Mala Skalka dedicated to both hermits.

The oldest depiction of St. The assembly comes from Bishop Mauro, which he had carved on the column head of the newly built cathedral in Pécs (11th century). The oldest depiction of St. Beňadika is probably a hermaid (reliquary of the head) from the 14th century, today housed in the Budapest Museum.

In 1083, under Pope St. Gregory VII., On the initiative of King St. Ladislav were canonized among five Hungarian saints: St. King Stephen, his son Imrich and Bishop Gerard. Their common holiday is July 17 and they are the main patrons of the Nitra diocese and St. Svorad has been the patron saint of the town of Nitra since 1739. Sv. Svorada-Andrej and his disciple Beňadik are worshiped not only by Benedictines, but also by Kamalduli and Paulines.

Poles report to them, because Svorad's Polish origin is generally assumed. In Svorad and Beňadik, the Hungarians see ancient guests on Pannonian Hill; The Czechs turn to their friend because it is said that Prokop Sázavský visited Svorada in Nitra. However, they most faithfully kept them in the memory and respect of the Slovak people, among whom they lived.

Skalka thus gradually became a place of pilgrimage due to the work of these hermits, and today it can be said that the oldest place of pilgrimage, then Hungary and an important spiritual center for centuries in Slovakia, especially the founding of the Benedictine abbey by Bishop Jakub in Nitra. 1224. Even in the later period, when the Bishop of Nitra Ján Püsky in 1644 handed over to the Jesuits.

The monastery represented a gift of spiritual, educational and general cultural growth, not only for its inhabitants, but for the whole of Považie, and even a large part of Slovakia. The monastery was the focus of evangelism, but also of spiritual and material culture. On Skalka, as recorded in contemporary records, at the following times: "the religious singing of the faithful (idiomate slavonico) was powerful - in Slovak." The Jesuits worked here until their abolition in 1773

Unfortunately, this sacred place was marked by wars and gradually abandoned. In the 18th century, the monastery and the church were destroyed. For a long time, only the ruins marked this memorial place, but even then the pious people did not stop wandering here and doing devotions. Finally r. In 1853, a church was rebuilt in Mala Skalka from the charitable believers. After further devastation, but also a complete reconstruction, on July 13, 1924, in honor of these saints, he was again consecrated by the Bishop of Nitra Karol Kmeťek in the presence of the Bishop of Spiš Ján Vojtaššák and with the participation of thirty thousand pilgrims. On this occasion, the declaration made during the consecration of the three bishops in Nitra - February 13, 1921 - was again published.

Significant personalities were signed: Dr. Karol Kmeťko, Bishop of Nitra, Dr. Augustín Fischer -Colbrie, Bishop of Košice, Ján Vojtaššák, Andrej Hlinka, Dr. Ján Kohút, Bishop Vicar, Fr. Richard Oslvald, Archbishop Vicar, Dr. Alois Kolísek, P. Vendelín Javorka, SJ, rector of the Jesuits, Dr. Jozef Bellai, Trenčín County, Ján Pöstényi, SSV administrator and many others.

Source: Pútnické miesto Skalka (9.9.2021)

However, the overall intention with Skalka for many reasons was not realized. The war events of 1939-1945 did not bypass Skalka either. The repair of the church was completed with a ceremony on Sunday, July 22, 1951. The solemn Holy Mass was celebrated by the Nitra administrator, Bishop Eduard Nécsey.

The spiritual message at Skalka was led by the pastor from Skala. In the 20th century, for a time, five Redemptorists in the years 1925-1940, who came to Kostolná at the invitation of the Bishop of Nitra Karol Kmeťek in 1923 from neighboring Bohemia. In 1940, the Dominicans took over the care of the pilgrimage site until it was banned by the state on January 10, 1949. In the years 1950-1955, Dr. was entrusted with the care of Skalka by the Bishop's Office in Nitra. Vojtech Hromník and since In 1955 he was again a royal pastor, as it was even after the abolition of the Jesuit order. Dean Ernest Omachel, pastor of Omšení and a native of Skalka, showed great care for this sacred place with his collaborators.

It is impossible to circumvent the fact that the atheist regime sought to obtain this place only for cultural purposes and to rule out any religious manifestations - as well as that every year, coincidentally before the annual pilgrimage, the environment of both Velká and Malá Skalka was devastated.

The overall correction was made after the change of the social regime, especially thanks to the then spiritual administrator of the title. to Dean Stanislav Strapek.

Skalka has become a popular pilgrimage and visitor place not only for the inhabitants of Považie, but for the whole of Slovakia, Moravia and Poland.

The main pilgrimage takes place on Saturday and Sunday after July 17, when the feast of St. Svorada and Beňadika. The pilgrimage is preceded by an international meeting of artists Ora et Ars.

Source: Pútnické miesto Skalka (9.9.2021)
Source: Pútnické miesto Skalka (9.9.2021)

Veľká Skalka is connected with the establishment of the Benedictine abbey in honor of St. Beňadika from r. 1224, founded by the Bishop of Nitra Jakub I. The construction of the church and monastery in the Gothic style dates from this period. The Benedictines worked here until the beginning of the 16th century. Bishop Ján Püsky of Nitra donated the abbey to the Jesuits. The Jesuits rebuilt the Benedictine monastery. In r. 1667-1669 they built a new monastery near the half-ruined old Benedictine monastery. Although traces of this phase of the construction of the Jesuit monastery have not been fully explored (only the upper chapel with the Jesuit adaptation dating back to 1717 has been preserved). It is certain that it was equipped with new windows and bridged by a high dome on the wall pillars at the top with a lantern. During further modifications in the early fifties of the 19th century and also in In 1905, its interior did not change significantly.

The war conditions of the Laban-Kuruk wars were also reflected in Skalka at the beginning of the 18th century. In r. In 1717 the Jesuits rebuilt the Chapel of St. Andrej and Beňadik and put a new dome on it. They collapsed the old tower and erected a new one, protruding above the monastery. They enlarged the dining room and added several rooms. According to J. Branecký, Veľká Skalka has acquired "beauty that it will never have again". A new wall was also built, protecting the side of the monastery from the rain from Váh. A new part was added to the monastery, as the monastery expanded to 76 members. In r. In 1755, 180 new stone steps were built, leading from the road to the gate of the monastery. The last major reconstruction of Skalka was in 1768, when the roof was replaced. It was only five years since the abolition of the order in 1773, when the Jesuits had to leave Skalka.

Partial alterations to Veľká Skalka were carried out under the parish priest of Trenčín - Abbot Ľudovít Stárek in 1852-1853 and under the royal pastors: Pavel Uhrín in 1892, Ján Haver r. 1911 and Jozef Púchovský r. 1914. Larger modifications and stabilization of the building took place after 2000. In In 2011, a shelter for tourists was added to the Veľká Skalka building.

Source: Pútnické miesto Skalka (9.9.2021)

Additional information

Transport: By foot, By bike, By car
Parking: Free parking nearby, Paid parking nearby

Accepted payments: Cash
Languages: Slovak, Czech, English

Suitable for: Childrens, Families with childrens, Elderly, Cyclists, Young, Adults
Season: Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter
Updated on: 9.9.2021

Opening hours


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Phone: +421910842824
Pilgrimage place Skalka - Trenčín
911 01 Trenčín
Region: Trenčiansky
District: Trenčín
Area: Stredné Považie
 48.914520213373, 18.073601292787

911 01 Trenčín

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