Spišské Vlachy – St John’s Church


   The original romanesque church was erected after the Tatar invasion in 1241. Two years later, the local settlers, apparently of Walloon origin, received a privilege from King Bela IV. The village was later mentioned in documents from 1258 and 1262. Most likely, the parish church was built in this period, because its “royal” parish priest was mentioned in a document from 1273 in which king Ladislaus renewed older privileges. Church was damaged at the beginning of the fourteenth century during the fights of king Charles Robert with Matthew III Csák, Hungarian magnate, who sovereignly ruled the western part of today’s Slovakia. In 1434, the destroyed building was demolished and significantly rebuilt in the late Gothic style. The church tower was modified in the first half of the 19th century.


   The late-Gothic church was built as a three-aisle, pseudobasilic structure with a polygonal ended chancel and sacristy. The central, higher nave opens with side arches, but it does not have the lighting of its own windows. It was erected on the foundations of an older 13th century church. The presbytery and aisles have numerous buttresses, between which there are Gothic, ogival windows. The church is the second largest temple in the Spiš region (after the church of St. James in Levoca) with a length of 53 meters and a width of 21.5 meters. Inside, it is crowned with a stellar vault in the side aisles and a rib in the central nave. Among the original equipment have preserved the 15th-century crucifix of master Paul of Levoča, a Gothic tabernacle and a baptismal font from 1497.

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

Website mojakomunita.sk, Farský kostol sv. Jána Krstiteľa v Spišských Vlachoch.