Malá Bara – St Peter’s Church


   The church was built in the first half of the 13th century. Originally, it served as a temple for the nearby knightly court, but after a few decades, when the settlement was established (mentioned for the first time in 1298), it became a parish church. In the mid-fourteenth century, the church underwent the first major reconstruction. The space for the congregation was enriched by the addition of a new Gothic nave, which was attached to the Romanesque building. A sacristy was also created in this century. Another reconstruction took place in the second half of the 15th century. A tower stood on the west side of the nave, which served not only as a belfry, but perhaps also had a defensive function.
In the mid-17th century, the building was taken over by the Reformed Church, which still uses it. During the communist rule, the church deteriorated. It was only in the summer of 1989 that the necessary renovation started, which ended in 1993


   The church was originally a relatively small building with a very short four-sided chancel ended with a semicircular apse decorated with a brick frieze. The internal dimensions of the nave were 6.1 x 4.5 meters. From the chancel measuring 1.8 x 3.1 meters it was separated by a semicircular arcade of an chancel arch with a moulded jamb and two wall steps. A similar semicircular arcade separated the apse from the presbytery. The upper part of the apse was vaulted with conch and illuminated with two narrow, slightly splayed windows closed at the top with semicircular arch. The southern wall of the presbytery was illuminated by one larger Romanesque window with a semi-circular crown, at least one window, narrower and higher, also lit the nave from the south. An unusual element of the latter were two pairs of stone seats (sedilia) facing each other. In the plan they were semi-circular, covered with conchs, and their parapets were straight. The nave was covered with a flat wooden ceiling.
   At the beginning of the second half of the 14th century, a sacristy and a new Gothic nave, 6.1 meters long and 7.5 meters wide, were added to the Romanesque church. The preserved part of the Romanesque nave was functionally assigned to the presbytery and separated from the nave by a new Gothic arcade. The Gothic nave was crowned inside with a wooden ceiling, illuminated from the south by two pointed windows with tracery, while the old, Romanesque nave during the reconstruction was covered with a barrel vault. The foundations of the Gothic pulpit were found on the south side.
   The entrance to the church from the fourteenth century led by the west facade. When a four-sided tower was added on the west side in the 15th century, a new passage to the nave had to be led through its ground floor, serving as a porch. The tower received a fairly massive structure, with walls pierced on the top floor with small windows, where bells were hung.

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Mencl V., Stredoveká architektúra na Slovensku, Praha 1937.
Tajkov P., Sakrálna architektúra 11 – 13 storočia na juhovýchodnom Slovensku, Košice 2012.

Website, Malá Bara.