Svätý Jur – St George’s Church

History

   St. George’s church was built in the first half of the 13th century. Around 1280 it was expanded, which led to a significant enlargement of the building’s nave. Reconstruction was also carried out in the next century, when the northern aisle was built, and a tower was added to the western facade. It was destroyed in 1663 during one of the Turkish raids. Around the middle of the 15th century, the chapel of Holy Trinity was built on the south side of the church (today it is dedicated to St. Bartholomew).
   In the 16th century, during the Reformation, the church was taken over by the Evangelicals. Catholics did not retake it until 1628. In the Baroque period, a porch was erected at the northern aisle, and a gallery was removed from its interior. Construction works were also carried out in the 20th century. At that time, a porch was built in front of the western entrance, a Gothic gallery was demolished in the southern chapel, and open arcades were walled up in the southern vestibule, turning it into a closed space. Comprehensive renovation has been carried out since the nineties, and related research led to the discovery of the Romanesque phase of the building in 2010.

Architecture

   The original late Romanesque church was a single-nave building with an unknown appearance of the presbytery under which there was a vaulted crypt. Judging by its considerable size, the chancel must have been impressive, but it is not known whether it had a quadrilateral form in its plan or a progressive one with a polygonal closure. The church was illuminated by small windows, and the entrance led from the south.
   In the second half of the 13th century, the nave was extended to the west to about twice its original length, and the Romanesque chancel was replaced with a Gothic, polygonal choir. Its façades were reinforced from the outside with buttresses, between which high pointed windows were pierced, illuminating the six-section vault in the eastern bay. The western bay of the chancel was covered with a cross-rib vault.
   In the mid-fourteenth century, a gallery was erected in the western part of the nave, while in the last quarter of the fourteenth century, the church was enlarged again by erecting the northern aisle, connected with the main nave by arcades. The side aisle, narrower than the main one, was topped in three bays with cross-rib vaults. The main nave was also covered in a similar way. On the west side, the church was enlarged by a four-sided tower.
   Around the middle of the fifteenth century, on the southern side of the church, at the height of the eastern bay of the nave and the western bay of the chancel, the chapel of Holy Trinity was added. It received one bay on an elongated rectangular plan, topped with a stellar vault, and a three-sided closure in the east, added to the chancel buttress, and covered with a six-section vault. In the 16th century, the gallery was extended to the north side of the nave.

Current state

   Currently, the dominant style in the church is Gothic. The vaults in the main and side aisles, as well as in the southern chapel, large, pointed gothic windows and two early gothic windows in the western part of the southern wall of the nave have been preserved. An interesting tracery is visible in the windows, and there are still several Gothic portals leading to the church. The former southern wall of the nave has survived from the Romanesque period, in which two small windows and a crypt under the presbytery were discovered. The tower-like pastophorium in the northern wall of the presbytery, which was probably built around 1462, is also valuable. There is also a gothic bell with the date 1400, which hangs next to the church in a wooden belfry from the 17th century. In the interior, from among the old wall polychromes, a painting of St. Erasmus from the first quarter of the 15th century, is visible on the eastern wall of the aisle.

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bibliography:
Website apsida.sk, Svätý Jur.