Dražovce – church of Archangel Michael


   Romanesque church of St. Michael was founded at the beginning of the 12th century on the site of an iron age settlement and on the foundations of an earlier temple from the mid-eleventh century. In the twelfth or thirteenth century, it went under the administration of the Benedictine monastery. At that time, it was also added a western turret and most likely a gallery. At the end of the 18th century, a rebuilding was carried out, during which the perimeter walls of the nave were raised, the entrance was widened, the porch and windows on the tower were modified, and the interior fittings were replaced. In 1803, a new church was built directly in the village, so the church of St. Michael ceased to fulfill its original role. Fortunately, it avoided demolition, and renovation works were carried out in the 19th and 20th centuries.


   The church was built on a lofty hill above the village. From the west it borders on a cliff, and from the east on the earth rampart of the former stronghold, and in the Middle Ages it was surrounded by a cemetery. It was built of unworked stones, strengthenat the corners with larger ashlar blocks, while the gallery and the turret were built of bricks.
   The church is a small, Romanesque building about 10 meters long, with a single nave ended from the east with a semicircular apse and a turret rising from the western part. The internal dimensions of the nave are 6.3 x 4.3 meters, and the apse is 2.9 meters wide. The only window openings, like in many other medieval churches, are located in the nave only in the southern elevation, and two additional ones illuminate the apse decorated with a frieze. The windows in the turret were originally decorated with trefoil tracery. The entrance to the church was located in the southern wall of the nave, but its original form is unknown.
   At the turn of the 12th and 13th centuries, a two-space annex was erected on the southern side of the church, possibly related to the fact that the church was then owned by Benedictine monks. The main part of the extension was almost as long as the nave, and on the east side it was connected to a smaller rectangular space, so that the entire extension was about the same length as the church itself. The annex disappeared at the turn of the 14th and 15th centuries.

   Inside, the church has a gallery (matroneum), probably placed inside at a later stage, after the temple was built. This is confirmed by the uneven placement of pillars and only one wall-mounted pilaster. The western gallery, rising in the ground floor on three arcades, is covered with vault of domed form. On the first floor, it is separated from the nave with a full wall, made of three semicircular arcades.

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Mencl V., Stredoveká architektúra na Slovensku, Praha 1937.
Tomaszewski A., Romańskie kościoły z emporami zachodnimi na obszarze Polski, Czech i Węgier, Wrocław 1974.

Wesite apsida.sk, Dražovce.