Ochtiná – St Nicholas Church

History

   Church of St. Nicholas was built at the turn of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The first record of it was in the list of papal tithes from 1332-1337. In the years 1340 – 1380 the chancel was rebuilt and new gothic windows were pierced. A rich fresco decoration was also made, very similar to the frescoes in the nearby church in Koceľovce. Another, significant expansion and enlargement took place in the second half of the fifteenth century.
   During the Reformation, before 1545, the church was taken over by Evangelicals. Around 1635, they rebuilt the originally flat wooden ceiling, painted the medieval frescoes and transformed the windows of the nave. At the end of the 17th or the beginning of the 18th century, they added a gallery to the interior of the nave. In the second half of the eighteenth century, the tower received a wooden superstructure. The gothic frescoes were discovered in 1894 by I. Groh, who then renovated them in 1901-1907, unfortunately in a very unsatisfactory manner. Another intact frescoes were revealed in the 70s of the last century. In the years 1958-1959 the whole church was renovated.

Architecture

   Originally, the church had the form of a single-nave, towerless building situated on a small hill, with a narrower chancel on the eastern side, on a square plan. In the second half of the fourteenth century, the chancel was transformed into a larger, gothic and polygonal ended, and its raised walls were topped with a rib vault.
   The interior of the church was then richly decorated in the form of wall paintings. The main motif of the frescoes was the detailed life of Christ, next to which there were figures of evangelists, apostles and other saints. An unusual motif was the apocalyptic animal on the chancel arch, or the image of Holy Trinity in the shape of a head with three faces, which was found on the jamb of a round window on the eastern wall of the presbytery.
   In the second half of the 15th century, a side aisle with a stellar vault was added from the north side, connected to the main nave by two arcades. A massive four-sided tower was also built with Romanesque windows, probably from an older building, and on the north side of the presbytery, a square sacristy was built, covered inside with a barrel vault.

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bibliography:
Website apsida.sk, Ochtiná.