Mengusovce – St Thomas’ Church


   The church was founded in a village belonging to the Cistercian abbey of Spišský Štiavnik around the middle of the 14th century. The first written mention of the construction can be found in the document from 1398, in which the church obtained 40 days of indulgence for all pilgrims who visit it. Although there is no direct, written information, it is likely that in the invasion of 1433, the Hussites plundered and burned the temple. The church and the village remained the property of the Cistercians until the fall of the monastery in Spišský Štiavnik in the 1630s. During the Reformation it passed into the hands of Protestants, who used it until the second half of the 17th century. At the end of the 17th century, the church was again Catholic, but it was in poor condition due to the small Roman Catholic community in the village. Repairs were carried out in the eighteenth and then in the nineteenth century. A major renovation was made in 1970-1972.


   The church from the fourteenth century was a typical rural sacral building of that period with a rectangular nave, square chancel, only slightly narrower than the nave, and a slender four-sided tower on the west side. On the northern side, a sacristy was erected at the chancel. The nave and the presbytery were covered with separate gable roofs, originally covered with shingles, with the roof truss obtained its present shape during the renovation in the 16th century. The church was originally illuminated by narrow, splayed windows, perhaps topped with trefoils, just like the chancel window preserved in the eastern wall. The tower’s two-light windows stood out, pierced on each side of the top floor. The original entrance portal was located in the southern wall of the nave (it is now bricked up). Inside, the presbytery was covered with a cross-rib vault supported by corbels with figural decorations.

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