Kraskovo – St Ladislaus Church

History

   The chapel was built in the first half of the 14th century on the site of a slightly older building. It was a typical early gothic building, still with romanesque elements. In the 60s-80s of the 14th century, it was decorated with frescoes, the author of which was apparently the Italian master. In the fifteenth century, the building was fortified and modified in the late gothic style. Despite the fortifications in 1555 it was damaged by Turkish troops. In 1596, the evangelicals adapted the temple to their liturgical needs and painted the wall polychromes. In 1751, the building received a new roof, and in 1814 the original gothic windows were enlarged. In 1901 medieval frescoes were discovered. Larger construction interventions took place in the 1920s, when a new western entrance to the church was built and a new window was pierced in the west wall of the nave. A comprehensive restoration, including the renovation of painting, took place in 1983 and 1986.

Architecture

   St. Ladislaus church is an early Gothic building with defensive features, erected on a hill and surrounded by a stone wall. It received a layout typical of rural churches of that period, consisting of a single nave on a rectangular plan with dimensions of 12 x 10 meters with an almost square chancel measuring 6.9 x 6.1 meters and a northern sacristy.
   The original, gothic portals were placed on the south side of the nave and in the sacristy. The interior was illuminated by very narrow windows with small openings and semicircular finials, only in the eastern wall of the chancel a slightly larger ogival window with a stone tracery was pierced, letting sunlight onto the altar. The northern wall of the nave, in line with the medieval building tradition, had no window openings.
   Inside, the nave was covered with a wooden ceiling or an open roof truss, and the chancel with a rib vault. It was covered, like the walls and the semicircular chancel arcade with colorful polychromes. On the arch of the chancel from the side of the nave there is a monumental scene of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, supplemented on the sides with the image of the Guardian Mother of God and the image of Archangel Michael weighing the soul. The arch was covered with figures of Old Testament prophets, the walls of the chancel with figures of the apostles, and Veraicon on the eastern wall above the window. In four sections of the cross-rib vault, the painter placed Christ in a mandorla, symbols of the evangelists and a scene of Abraham. In the nave there is an extensive legend about St. Ladislaus and the scene of the Adoration of the Magi. The depiction also includes camels, which the painter has probably never seen.

Current state

   The church is a great example of a small 14th-century sacral building, mostly preserved in its original state. Two gothic portals, window jambs and the presbytery vault have survived (a coffered ceiling was installed in the nave in the 18th century). Inside, the church also has one of the most valuable examples of medieval wall painting in Slovakia, dating from the second half of the 14th century, and a baptismal font from the 13th century. Wall polychromes have been preserved on all surfaces of the chancel, the chancel arch and the northern wall of the nave.

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bibliography:
Website apsida.sk, Kraskovo.