Spišský Štvrtok – St Ladislaus church

History

   Church of St. Ladislaus was built in the 13th century, together with the Minorite monastery. In 1473, from the foundation of Stefan Zapolya, the then Spiš zupan, a late-gothic chapel it was supposed to be added to the church. Recent research has, however, shifted the date of its creation a few decades earlier and related to the Thurzon family. Soon after its completion, the building was decorated with wall paintings. In the era of the Reformation, when the church was occupied by Protestants, Catholics had to perform their services in this chapel. Catholics recovered the temple in 1671, although later for several years it was again in the hands of Protestants.

Architecture

   The building has the features of late romanesque and gothic architecture. The chancel is ended with a straight wall, and from the north a sacristy and an oval stair tower are added to it. At a one-nave corpus, from the west stands a towering tower with romanesque biforas. The top of the tower is a neo-gothic addition from the end of the 19th century.
   From the south a late gothic chapel was built. It is a three-bay structure, ended on three sides, covered with a steep gable roof and decorated with a very rich architectural details, which includes window tracery and pinnacles growing out of the buttresses, that surround the chapel. Its interior has been divided into two floors: upper and lower in the form of an oratory, partially sunk below ground level. It was likely to serve as a funeral crypt. It was crowned with a rich and complicated type of parler’s vault (which was started by the master builder Peter Parler, the author of, among others, vaults in St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague). In the western part of the oratory there is a richly decorated gallery (matroneum), under which the space has net vault. The construction patterns of this magnificent gothic chapel should be sought in the Sainte Chapelle in Paris, and closer to the Cathedral of St. Stephen in Vienna. In turn, it became an example for the Zapolya Chapel in the Spiška Kapitula.

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bibliography:
Website apsida.sk, Spišský Štvrtok.
Website zabytkowekoscioly.net, Spiski Czwartek, kościół św. Władysława.