Church of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary - Krušovce

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The Church of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary in Krušovce is a late Romanesque brick single-nave church with a semicircular apse, a two-towered western façade and a Baroque northern sacristy.

Church of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary - Krušovce

The Church of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary in Krušovce is a late Romanesque brick single-nave church with a semicircular apse, a two-towered western façade and a Baroque northern sacristy.


The church was probably built as a monastery sometime in the early 13th century. It was a monumental brick single-nave building with a two-tower façade and a semicircular apse. Typologically, it was a reduction of the three-nave basilica to a single nave while maintaining the two-towered western facade with its width exceeding the width of the nave. Similarly solved buildings can be found in the defunct monasteries in Bzovík or Rimavské Janovce or in the not so distant Diviaky nad Nitricou.

In the second half of the 13th century, in the 14th century and in the second half of the 15th century, the interior of the church was decorated with late Romanesque and Gothic frescoes.

In 1560, when it is mentioned with the patronage of St. Nicholas, was run and unused. A little later, it was taken over by evangelicals, who used it until 1673.

It was in poor condition until the beginning of the 18th century, when after the fire of the second apparently Gothic Church of the Virgin Mary in 1711, it took over the role of parish church (and patronage), which required its repairs in the following years.

A major Baroque reconstruction took place in 1764. The Romanesque architectural elements of the building, such as windows and portals, were bricked up or covered. Both the nave and the apse were vaulted with new, much lower vaults. In the western part of the church, they modified the brick tribune. The church also received a new interior, including altars.

From the north side a long sacristy was added, from the south side an apse and a nave bricked vestibules. The statics of the building were strengthened by the corner supporting pillars on the western façade, and two pillars were also added from the eastern side of the apse. The building was restored in 1842 and in 1877 the interior was decorated with paintings by the Hungarian painter Károly Jakobey. In 1912, the church received a new roof. It was also repaired in 1966 and the exterior facades were restored in 1991. In 2014, a comprehensive renovation combined with research began, which brought several interesting discoveries.

Source: Apsida.sk (10.9.2021)

Interesting facts

- Thanks to its location, the church also forms an important and far visible landmark of the village, together with the nearby manor house.

- With its size (length 25 m) and two-tower (height 22 m) solution, it represents one of the most important sacral buildings of the Romanesque period in the whole wide region and in the whole of Slovakia.

- The church, together with the church in Livina, is the northernmost representative of a group of brick Romanesque buildings.

- The church was probably built on the site of an older building, as a georadar survey found the presence of masonry under today's apse. This is also indirectly indicated by the mention of the church in a document dated to 1158, although it is a forgery from the 14th century.

- The rough structure of the Romanesque church has been preserved in almost its original form, but today it is hidden behind a baroque facade.

- The facades of the church were decorated with an attic arch frieze, complemented by half-cylindrical lysines (now cut). Similar lysines can be found in the Romanesque church in Hedi.

- In the western part of the northern wall of the nave and on the western façade of the twin towers there is a strip of cob brick masonry (opus spicatum), which was still used during the Roman Empire and is documented in our territory only in a few cases. It is interesting that one strip has a row of flat stones placed in the middle instead of bricks.

- Even in its current form, the interior of the church has a monumental impression, which in the Middle Ages had to be enhanced by a triumphal arch of about 1.5 m higher, the end of the apse and the flat ceiling of the nave, which was 11 meters high.

- Medieval elements of the building can be seen in the attic above the baroque vault. Here you will find the upper part of the Romanesque triumphal arch, the remains of the dismantled end of the apse, as well as the outlines of the masonry Romanesque windows in the southern but also the northern wall of the nave.

- The research captured six Romanesque windows on the south and north sides of the nave, as well as several lower Gothic windows, which could indicate that the nave received a brick vault during the Gothic period. Romanesque windows were also captured on the apside.

- The original windows were uncovered on the towers, and it was found that combined windows (biforions) were used on the upper floors and even triple windows on the highest floor, which are very rare in our territory.

- There is a Romanesque portal in the north tower.

- The interior also preserves the original columns of the western emporium, which were later rebuilt into pillars of quadrangular cross-section. Recent research has uncovered the head of one of the pillars.

- The walls of the church in the interior were originally unplastered, and it was a jointed brickwork.

- In the interior of the church, including its attic, wall paintings from the 13th and 14th centuries were created, created in several stages.

- The oldest painting is the scene of the Crucifixion in the lower part of the north-eastern wall of the apse above the pastophorium. However, it has survived only in fragments. It probably dates back to the end of the 13th century.

- A little later, perhaps at the turn of the 13th and 14th centuries, the apse and the triumphal arch were decorated all over. On the walls of the apse it was a traditional series of figures of the apostles in the arcades of the heavenly Jerusalem, but preserved only in small parts. At the end of the apse was depicted Jesus Christ in a mandor surrounded by symbols of evangelists. Due to the dismantling of almost the entire conch, only the lower part of the mandor and part of the wings of the evangelists have been preserved from this scene.

- The inner lining of the triumphal arch depicts the half-figures of the prophets in the medallions, each of which is identified by an inscription tape with the name.

- On the triumphal arch from the side of the ship, the figures of saints are relatively unusually depicted - in the upper part on both sides it is St. Nicholas, to whom the church was originally consecrated, below them are the figures of St. Stanislava (northern part - the only known fresco in Hungary) and St. Dorota (southern part). At the level of St. Dorothy is a kneeling figure of a donor on the adjoining part of the south wall of the ship.

- Sometime in the second half of the 14th century, an extensive Ladislav legend was added to the north wall of the nave.

- The interior of the church also included a stone baptistery from the 13th century, which is now stored in the Tribeč Museum in Topoľčany.

- One of the three bells of the church dates from 1468 and was cast by the bell-maker Pavol of Topoľčiany.

- The church is associated with a legend of Templar origin, which, however, has not been confirmed by research.

- There was an interesting exchange of patronships between the churches in Krušovce. While the Romanesque "upper" church was still consecrated in the 16th century by St. Nicholas, the Gothic "lower" church had the patronage of the Virgin Mary. In the second half of the 17th century, when both temples were returned to the hands of Catholics, the upper church was dedicated to the Virgin Mary and the lower church was consecrated by St. Nicholas.

- Archaeological research has confirmed the existence of an older medieval church in nearby Chynorany.

Source: Apsida.sk (10.9.2021)

Current status

The church serves as the parish church of the local parish. In 2014, an extensive historical-architectural and restoration research began, which brought several significant discoveries in the form of masonry architectural details or medieval fresco decoration. We visited it in August 2011, March 2015, March and October 2017.

Source: Apsida.sk (10.9.2021)

Additional information

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

Languages: Slovak, Czech

Suitable for: Childrens, Families with childrens, Elderly, Handicapped, Cyclists, Young, Adults
Season: Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter
Updated on: 10.9.2021
Source: Apsida.sk

Opening hours


Not specified


Church of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary - Krušovce
956 31 Krušovce
Region: Nitriansky
District: Topoľčany
Area: Ponitrie
 48.593118521563, 18.205397974685

956 31 Krušovce

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