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Sk: Spisska Bela, Strazky – Art and History – Two in One

Published: 17.10.2013
Today we head to eastern Slovakia in the former village Strážky, which is currently part of the local Spišska Bela. Strážky lies on the main route between the Royal City Kežmarok and the previously mentioned city Spišska Bela. Known for its spectacular castle, an English park and a unique bell tower. And for these unusual sights pointed our steps.

Village Srazky originated in the second half of the 12th century , as evidenced by the oldest written record found. It was a scroll by Bela IV written in 1251. At the heart of the historic settlement were and still are mansion, the church of St Anna and a bell tower . Today the bell-tower is a national cultural sight and is one of the architectural gems of Spis.

Kostel sv. Anny a zvonice

Castle in Park

On Sunday afternoon we went from Poprad to learn about unique sights of Spis. For his goal this time we chose local part of Spisska Bela - Strazky , a district we still know very little about. Signboards on a road towards Kezmarok directed us to place of our trip. We parked our car on the outskirts of the local area, which was also the entrance to the park, which includes a mansion. Very pleasant discovery was that the park, which is completely fenced, is open to the public until the evening hours. Immediately after entering the park we noticed two things. The first was a spectacular information boards and the second-present art. We learned from the board that vast English park was founded in the 19th century and its history was really sad until the 1970’s. Then it, with the castle, became a part of Slovak National Gallery.

Anglický park

Anglický park (vstup)Anglický park (umělecké dílo)

A walk through this park was truly remarkable. One its side is surrounded by the Poprad River, along the other side runs main road. From the outside world is separated by an unusual massive brick fence the arches of which are filled with wooden slats. Lawns, planting trees segmented and sculptural art of stone and metal in our intensified pleasure. Paths winding through the park led us to the white Renaissance castle. At the entrance stood information boards from which we learned interesting facts. For example, that the first known noble family owning Srazky was family Berzeviczyove . They acquired it in the early 14th century as a gift by King Charles Robert. In 1556, the new owner became a Croatian family, whose most prominent member was Gregor. He rebuilt the castle in Renaissance style and founded there latin school and library . In 1801, the chateau became the property Szirmayove and in the second half of the 19th century they were replaced by Mednyans . The last owners of the castle were Czobels who inhabited the castle until 1945. After the death of the former owner, Baroness Margit Czobel the castle was transferred as a property of the Slovak National Gallery. This object along with a park were renovated in 1991 and opened to the public. The permanent exhibitions, which we unfortunately did not manage to visit include exceptional paintings by Ladislav Mednyanszky , exhibition of historical furniture and interior items, original humanistic library and exhibition of portraits of the 17th - 19th centuries. Chateau is also used on various musical - dramatic and educational programs, which are held through the year.

Zámek Strážky

Zámek Strážky Zámek Strážky

Behind the road

Behind the road there is a church of St Anna and a beautiful bell tower . Together with the castle it is a single architectural-urbanite complex. Here we came across a nicely prepared an information board, from which we learn that it is a Roman Catholic church from the 14th century walled original input Gothic portal. It was once a part of the cemetery. Currently, there are several altars and there is a sculpture by Master Paul of Levoca . What is interesting is also the baptistery and the Christological cycle of wall paintings, which is the most important presentation of wall paintings from the first half of the 16th century in Spis. Surprising thing we had learned about was that the bell tower differs from all bell tower in Spis thanks to it sgraffito decoration . At sgraffiti can be seen hunting theme - hunt with centrally framed by roses and forget-me-not. Below is the text attic cornice Soli deo Gloria HB 1629, which translated means "Glory belongs to God ." In 2006, the bell tower underwent reconstruction.

Kostel sv. Anny Zvonice

This half-day trip was truly a wonderful highlight in our hectic lives. Although we did not get into the castle and church, their neighborhood provided us not only pleasant "images" of art and historical knowledge, but also experience , which we will long remember.

Řeka Poprad u Anglického parku


Text and photo: Oskár Mažgút



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