Radvaň – church of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary

History

   The church was built in the second half of the 13th century. Due to its favorable location, the building served defensive purposes and became a pilgrimage site, which in the next century required expansion. In the fourteenth century, the chancel was extended, and another expansion took place at the beginning of the sixteenth century, when a late-gothic chapel at the northern wall of the nave was built. Soon afterwards, the annex from the west was added and the nave was enlarged by an additional south aisle.
  
In 1581, the building became the property of Evangelicals, while in the early eighteenth century it was taken over by Catholics. In 1668, several important works were carried out: the flat ceiling was replaced with a transverse groin vault supported by two central pillars, and the church tower was completed, which was part of the fortifications along with the nearby bastions. They were largely demolished after 1713, when the cemetery was expanded. At the beginning of the 20th century, the neo-gothic reconstruction of the church took place, which led to a change in its orientation. The church became a late-gothic chapel, and the original chancel was turned into a side chapel.

Architecture

   The church was erected on a hill above the Hron River. Originally, it was a single-nave, early Gothic building, orientated towards the sides of the world, consisting of a rectangular nave and a square chancel on the eastern side. It had a layout, and probably also architectural details characteristic of the transition between Romanesque and Gothic periods.
   As a result of the gothic reconstruction from the fourteenth century, the chancel was extended and polygonal ended. It was reinforced with high buttresses, between which large, pointed windows with stone traceries were placed. Inside, the presbytery was covered with a rib vault.
   From the sixteenth century, the church became a two-aisle building, enlarged by a southern aisle, a late-Gothic northern chapel and a western annex. The southern aisle was accessible through the new southern portal, while the northern chapel through the portal in the western wall. The interior of the chapel was covered with a late Gothic net vault. After some time, the chapel was extended towers west, and the new part was illuminated by rectangular windows with bevelled reveals, relatively rare in medieval church architecture.

Current state

   There are many valuable gothic and late gothic elements in the church and its interior. The ogival windows with traceries, two medieval, unusual rectangular windows and vaults in the chancel and the northern chapel. You can also see two pastophories, the older of which comes from the fourteenth century.

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bibliography:
Website apsida.sk, Radvaň.