Skalica – St George’s Rotunda


   The rotunda was built in the first quarter of the 11th century in the area of the early medieval hillfort. Partial reconstruction took place around 1435, when the walls of the nave were raised and the second floor was created. After this reconstruction, the rotunda was incorporated into the defense system as a watchtower, and the lower space was still used as a chapel.
   At the end of the 16th and at the beginning of the 17th century, the Skalica burned twice and the fire also damaged the rotunda. Then after 1650 it was repaired, but unfortunately it was rebuilt in the spirit of the baroque. It lost defensive function, received a new roof, and the windows were enlarged. During the Second World War in 1945, it was destroyed by a bomb explosion. During later reconstruction in 1949, external plaster was removed and original romanesque and gothic elements were shown. The post-war repair of the rotunda was completed in 1954, while in the years 1975 – 1977 it was thoroughly renovated. In the mid-1990s, the inner medieval polychromes were partly restored.


   The Romanesque rotunda was made of a cylindrical nave and a semicircular apse on the north-eastern side. It received extremely thick walls for this type of structure: from 1.3 to 1.4 meters. The internal diameter of the nave was 5.4 meters. The apse was opened onto the nave with a straight edge, without emphasizing the semicircular chancel arch. The internal facades were originally covered with colorful paintings depicting the life of St. George.
   The second floor of the rotunda was added in the first half of the 15th century, during the transformation of the rotunda into a town fortification tower. On the west side, right under the roof, a gothic portal was then placed, connecting the rotunda with the porch in the crown of the defensive wall. In the Gothic period, a pointed window filled with a trefoil tracery was also pierced in the apse.

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Mencl V., Stredoveká architektúra na Slovensku, Praha 1937.

Website, Skalica.