Chmeľov – Holy Cross Church


   The church was built by monks from the Order of the Holy Sepulchre, before 1212. They left Chmelov in 1313, when they exchanged it for Lendak in Spiš, and the church was transformed into a parish. During the Renaissance, as in many other churches in the region of Šariš and Spiš, the church was rebuilt, changing, among others, crowning of the tower. In the following centuries only minor repairs were made.


   The church was erected on a hill in the middle of the settlement, as a typical early Gothic village building with a single-nave, a polygonal chancel on the eastern side and a sacristy attached to its northern wall. Yet in the Middle Ages, a western tower was added, originally covered with a hip roof (rebuilt in the Renaissance period). The interior of the church was illuminated by narrow and small, but already pointed windows, located between massive buttresses. The ogival form was also given to the portals: west and south in the nave and leading from the chancel to the sacristy. Inside the chancel was covered with a cross vault, the nave was crowned with a wooden ceiling, while the sacristy had slightly pointed barrel vault. Probably the walls of the chancel were covered with colorful polychromes in the second half of the 14th century.

Current state

   The church has been preserved almost intact in its Gothic form. In addition to the perimeter walls, many original elements of architectural details have survived: three portals, window jambs (from which, unfortunately, traceries were partially removed), or the presbytery vault with two decorative bosses. After removing the baroque altar in the eastern part of the presbytery, relics of 14th-century paintings were discovered.

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