Okoličné – St Peter’s church

History

Church of St. Peter and the Franciscan monastery was built in the years 1476 – 1492 on the site of an older gothic church, part of which was incorporated into the new building. The construction was initiated by king Matthias Corvinus himself, who assigned this task to the zupan Matúš Czeczei. When the construction was completed, at the beginning of the sixteenth century, the monastery received a very rich salary. At that time, its patron was the Zápoľský family. In 1565, the monastery and the church passed into the hands of Protestants. The Franciscan monks were forced to leave and returned only in 1697. As a result of the Reformation and insurrectionary struggles, the building was devastated. In 1744, it underwent a major renovation in the baroque style. The restored temple was rededicated to Saint Peter from Alcantara. In 1812, during the flood, the church was seriously damaged. A nationwide collection for the reconstruction of the temple was even announced. The next reconstruction was carried out in the years 1903 – 1904. Damages suffered during World War II were removed only in 1952.

Architecture

The monastery church from the end of the 15th century was built as a three-nave hall structure with an extended, polygonal chancel and a large northern chapel. From the south-east, a tower was erected by the chancel. A four-span chancel length of 15 meters, is ended on three sides, lit with four high windows and covered with a beautiful net vault. The four-span naves are covered with a stellar vault supported by six octagonal pillars with square bases. From the north side to the aisle, a chapel is added, two spans wide, vaulted and covered with a separate roof. From an older church dedicated to Saint Kosma and Damian a presbytery preserved, transformed into a sacristy of the monastery church. According to some experts, the church tower could also be part of an older building, because its place on the southern wall of the chancel is very unusual.

Current state

The church is a unique building in the Liptov region, quite different from the prevailing, relatively simple sacral architecture from the gothic times. Even in the whole of Slovakia this is one of the most significant and representative buildings of late gothic. In addition, it has been preserved in its original shape.

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bibliography:
Website apsida.sk, Okoličné.