Čerín – St Martin’s Church

History

   Church of St. Martin was erected around 1315 on the initiative of a certain Paul of Krtíš. In the first quarter of the 14th century its the interior was decorated with colorful paintings, completed at the beginning of the 16th century by the insertion of a polychrome ceiling in the nave. In the 17th century, a wooden belfry was erected next to the church, and in the 18th century, a gallery was placed inside the nave. During World War II, the church was damaged by shelling, but it was restored in 1947-1948 and in 1975, when the restoration of medieval polychromes was completed.

Architecture

   The church was erected on a hill as a towerless, single-nave structure with a narrower, four-sided chancel on the eastern side and a sacristy attached to it from the north. The whole building received thick walls and only a few small windows with high and very narrow jambs. The walls were so thick that no buttresses were used, despite the fact that cross-rib vaults were placed in the chancel and sacristy. The interior of the nave was covered with a flat, wooden ceiling. The church was surrounded by a stone wall with a gate on the south side.
   The interior of the church in the Middle Ages was covered with colorful polychromes. First, in the first quarter of the 14th century, half-figures of prophets in round medallions were created on the inner surface of the chancel arch, then at the end of the 14th century and at the beginning of the 15th century, the Christological cycle was placed on the walls of the chancel. The interior of the nave was decorated with, inter alia, scenes from the life of St. Bartholomew, St. Ladislaus and St. George, while in the north-eastern corner at the beginning of the 16th century scenes depicting the Madonna and the Archangel Michael weighing souls were placed.

Current state

   The church is one of the best-preserved early Gothic village churches with defensive features in Slovakia. On the walls of its nave and on the vault of the presbytery there are valuable gothic frescoes from the period from around 1370 to around 1500. The nave is covered with a wooden, painted ceiling from the beginning of the 16th century. The valuable equipment is complemented by a stone, Gothic baptismal font from the end of the 14th century.

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bibliography:
Website apsida.sk, Čerín.