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SK, Bratislava – Hluboka Road: Lurdska Cave

Published: 11.12.2014
Bratislava - the capital of Slovakia. Its most famous landmarks - Bratislava castle, Slavin, St. Martin's church, the SNP bridge and its UFO, and many other cultural and historical sights are very well-know to Slovaks even though they often even have not seen them.

Since the elementary school, we have known how it looks on the hill above the Danube. Proud national landmark of Bratislava castle , or controversial SNP Bridge and its “UFP” on the top. The bridge was a reason to demolish the Jewish synagogue. Yet not many visitors to Bratislava visit places sought by locals for their silence. Such places are to refill energy and thank for solving life crisis that only a while ago seemed as unresolvable.
Bratislavský hrad

Hluboka road

The place worth your visit is not to be found in guide books. It is the Hluboka road and the nooks along it.
Hluboká cesta

Stone from local querry mentioned already in 1493, was used to build city’s fortifications and also houses in Bratislava or nearby church. What evolved here would later become a unique sanctuary where you can find stone boards of thank darting to the beginning of the 20th century or the present.
kamenné tabulky       kamenné tabulky

Even though I am not a frequent visitor to the church, I have to admit that seeing the sanctuary at the Hluboka road, near historical center of the city and yet surrounded by nature, sparks me with optimism and strength for many days to come.
Hluboká cesta: Lurdská jeskyně

The Hluboka road was constructed as early as 1870. It was laid in very interesting rocky hollow way and had to serve as a access road to Horsky park (granodiorite and diorite occurrence is very interesting from geologist’s point of view). Later the State Environment Protection Agency declared it a protected area . Until this day, many locals take advantage of its to get to Horsky park or just take a romantic walk despite the road is close to the city. Two springs with drinkable water used to be on the edge of the road. Water from there flew to municipal waterpipe system.
Hluboká cesta

Lurdska cave

A lurdská mariánská socha          . Where I like to go to refill energy or just to think why I complain about unimportant things? I go to Lurdska cave located very close to Bratislava Calvary. The very first look at thanksgiving boards dedicated to the Virgin Mary resembles the oldest sanctuary in Slovakia - Marianka. Believers and only them should be grateful to Countess Gabriela Szápáryova (1834-1912). She founded it after inspired by deep experience during her pilgrimage to Lourdes, France towards the end of the 19th century. This unique sanctuary emerged after clean-up of former stone quarry. The leitmotif of the compound is - a Lourde Marian statue . In September 1892, the statue consecrated during a memorial day of the Bratislava Calvary foundation. It was a gift from women of local textile factory. This important ceremony, the part of which were massive processions conducted by the pastor Karel Rimel of the Church of St Martin , was visited by some important town’s figures. The compound of Lurdske cave and its stone boards is divided to five parts – right wall, maple sector, left off the stairs, field altar, and the very cave.
Lurdská jeskyně

Stone Boards of Thanks

Originally, stone was exported from this area as a stone quarry used to be here. Later, believers started to coming here and bring their own stones, or rather stone boards of thanks. On the boards were carved messages that imply gratitude for their prayers coming true. Ten years ago, a counting revealed that there are more than 4.200 stone boards. There mostly contained thanksgiving, wishes, or prayers. The oldest date back to the 19th century, their language is German. The oldest board dates to the inauguration year of sacral object. It is written in German-Hungarian. Probably the very founder of the Lurdska cave put it there. You can learn a lot about history on these boards, the most difficult years saw wishes for surviving bombings. But one can read very intimate wishes asking for help in exams, or to overcome severe disease. While the first glimpse might suggest this is a historical place, it is not true for it is still live. There are new boards that have been put there in the 21st century. Most of them are in Slovak, Hungarian or German, languages common in the area in the past. But you can find there scribings in Latin, English, French, Czech, Russian, Polish , Iralian, even in the Ukraininan či Romanian.
kamenné tabulkykamenné tabulky

Text and photo: O. Maňáková



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