Kláštorisko – Carthusian Monastery

History

   Originally, in the Kláštorisko glade there was a monastic settlement and a small stronghold referred in the documents as Lethon Castrum. During the Mongol invasion in 1241, it was a shelter for the inhabitants of the surrounding villages, hence the name of the area of ​​Lapis Refugii, or “Rock of the Shelter”. At the beginning of the 14th century, the stronghold was taken over by the Carthusians, who built their monastery there around 1307.
   Initially, the convent from Kláštorisko was very poor, and its land was barren, suitable only for grazing animals. It was only thanks to royal donations, but mainly noble and church subsidies, that it gradually acquired the property in the vicinity, even in more remote places such as Šariš, Liptov, Zamagurie and vineyards south of Zemplín. Thanks to this, throughout the fourteenth century, the expansion of the monastery church and enclosure buildings continued, and it was also possible to create a branch of the monastery on the Dunajec River (Red Monastery) with which Kláštorisko was in constant contact.
   In 1433, the monastery was destroyed by the Hussites, after which it was abandoned for a long time. Unfortunately, the location of the monastery away from other human settlements meant that this object from time to time fell victim to robberies. After a partial renovation under the auspices of Ján Monesser from Kieżmark, in 1454 it was attacked by post-Hussite troops of “bratrzyks”. The monks then moved to Levoča, but life in a large town did not suit them, so they returned to Kláštorisko and from 1478 began rebuilding under the leadership of the prior from Mauerbach. In the following decades, work was continued, mainly under the leadership of prior Andrej (after 1492), and then Jodokus (after 1500), during which time almost all of the cells were restored under the patronage of Hedwig of Cieszyń, the widow of the palatine Štefan Zapolya, who, according to the monastery chronicler, was the only woman who could pass the monastery gate.
   In 1543, the monastery was attacked by the captain of the castle Muráň, the knight – robber Matej Bašo, who plundered the monastery and began to transform the buildings for military purposes. By the decision of representatives of the cities and nobility of Spiš and Šariš, as well as with the consent of the Spiš chapter, the monastery was deliberately demolished in the same year so as not to become a robbers’ stronghold. The monks moved with their belongings (especially with the monastery library) to the Red Monastery, and the buildings fell into total ruin.

Architecture

   The monastery consisted of three clearly separated parts: the southern one, generally accessible part for everyone, with the entrance courtyard surrounded by hospices, behind which there was a central part with the church and the most important enclosure buildings surrounding a small patio, and the northern part, where there was a spacious courtyard surrounded by houses – Carthusian cells. The original entrance gate was located on the lower, northern side, while on the upper (southern) side, only a gate for lay visitors of Kláštorisko.
   The central part of the monastery followed the typical Benedictine pattern. There was a single-nave church with a polygonal chancel on the eastern side and a sacristy added to the south. On the opposite, northern side, an inner patio was adjacent to the church, surrounded by cloisters connected to the three wings of the buildings. In the eastern part it was a chapel with a three-sided eastern closure and the prior’s house, in the northern range there was a refectory and a monastery kitchen, while in the west there were rooms for novices and lay brothers. The latter from the west were adjacent to the complex of economic buildings (granaries, pantries, warehouses) surrounding another small courtyard.
   The large northern courtyard measuring 40 x 40 meters was surrounded by the aforementioned Carthusian hermitages, each of which was 10 x 10 meters. There were nine of them in total, separated from each other by gardens with a shape similar to a square. In the courtyard, more or less in its central part, there was a well, and on the southern side, near the cloister garth, there was a four-sided building of the monastery library.

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bibliography:
Website apsida.sk, Letanovce-Kláštorisko.
Website wikipedia.org, Kláštorisko.