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SK, Dechtice: Church and Monastery of St Catherin - VIDEO
In our today’s journey across Slovakia we visit a remarkable ruin located in the region of Trnava only 3 kilometers from Dechtice. People call it Katarinka yet its official name is church and monastery of Saint Catherine of Alexandria.
We have heard a lot about Katarinka - it is beautiful, mysterious and abandoned. Therefore, on one day we came to conclusion that we have to visit it. There were several routes we put into our consideration. We could choose a walking route from Dobra Voda or from Nahace. In both cases we would have followed a blue tourist trail. Another option was to set off from the town of Dechtice. You can park your car at the edge of the forest there. Eventually we chose Dechtice. It was not as much as a lazy option but rather for practical reasons.
The ruin itself is to be found in the middle part of the Male Karpaty. Concretely it is in the area of the same name which is a nature reservation. The ruin is actually a complex of defunct buildings of a Franciscan church. There are some parts of preserved wall and a 17th century belfry. The monastery was founded in 1618. The legend has it an apparition of St. Catherine of Alexandria to Count Jan Apponyi inspired him to found this monastery. However, his parents didn’t like his spiritual life. They dragged him back home but the young count died on the following day. Krystof Erdödy, the owner of the dominion, learned about this story. He ordered to construct a chapel and also a monastery..
True or not, the ruin seemed to have truly something mysterious about it as we were approaching it. The whole complex, or rather it remains, was constructed in an early Baroque style. In the 17th century, it had been damaged by Turkish and royal troops. However, it would be always renovated. The reforms of Emperor Joseph in 1786 meant the end to the monastery. Its inventory was moved to other monasteries. The original monastery was left to its fare.
Information boards tell history of this place. They introduce the monastery and its history and significance. We were particularly interested in the fact that there used to be a Gothic stone chapel built in the times of Emperor Sigismund of Luxembourg. We had also learned that the building was took apart and used as construction material. All of this caused the monastery complex to gradually decay.
Fortunately, a group of volunteers has been founded pretty recently. It tries to reconstruct the complex. They conservate it, gradually reconstruct it and help researchers. Also, they hold there concerts, pilgrimages and events such as a day of open doors. On this day, a performed guidance in the ruin of the monastery. Volunteers also conduct workshops there.
Close to the ruin we saw a gamekeeper’s lodge, and an example of narrow-gauge railway which once connected Smolenice and Dobra Voda. We saw a short railway with contemporary carriages. We had learned that there is an initiative to reconstruct this object, but only time would tell if it succeeds..
It was great experience to see Katarinka. The trip is accessible also to children. Therefore, we recommend you this adventure.
The city of Trnava is located in the central part of Trnavian Highlands. From historical point of view, it is one of the most interesting cities in Slovakia. Lets join us in exploration of this city. Since ancient times, trade routes crossed it, rulers changed and breathtaking sacral buildings were erected.
The Trnava region is located in the western part of the Slovak Republic. The area is the second smallest, but it offers more than enough tourist attractions. Lovers of history can take a tour of Trnava, for those who like spa, we recommend a visit to Piešťany, Velký Meder or Galanta, for gourmets and lovers of specific architecture Skalice and for pilgrims is definitely a picturesque stop Šaštín-Stráže.
We left the former luxurious hotel Grand Hotel Royal and walked down Sad A Kmete street (Winter Street) which takes us through the historic center. Soon we get to the so called Berlin guest houses (Dr Cmunt).
The ruin of Ostry Kamen castle stood once as a guardian of the so called Bohemian Road. The ruin is near Bukova, Trnava country. Its history isn’t as deep and as rich as in case of other castles nevertheless it is a popular place for tourists to see. And we went there as well.
At the end of winter we set off to see the Natural Reservation of Rostun, in the Small Carpathian Mountain. We entered through the town of Plavecke Podhradi. All what we have seen is on the lines below.
Last week we made a tour from Dechtice to the church and monastery of St Catherine. This nice stroll inspired us to make another trip – this time to Dobra Voda town, couple of kilometers away. The town boasts with a beautiful ruin of a castle and Jan Holly.
Today, we travel to the region of Zahori. There we visit the town of Holic which holds a unique Baroque/classicist chateau, megaliths, and last but not least a windmill, our main destination for today.
Since the time immemorial people were attracted to high places so they can have a view over surrounding landscape. Observation towers emerged quickly in central Europe, mostly in the second half of the 19th century and at the beginning of the 20th century. There are countless towers in Slovakia and it can be claimed some more will be constructed every year.
Many interesting places not frequented by holidaymakers are in the Small Carpathians. These are mostly hills with beautiful vistas to the surroundings that lure tourists to climb them. Vapenna Hill is one of the three highest peaks in the Small Carpathians and it offers beautiful vistas as well.
The Small Carpathian Mountains are not the highest mountain range in Slovakia. Nevertheless, they have a lot to offer. There are many interesting and picturesque nooks. From some peaks there are magnificent views of the landscape. However, the visitor will be enchanted by deep forests, caves, or many rock formations along the ridges.
As every mountain range, even Small Carpathians has its dominant peaks. They are above the surrounding lands. Peaks of these several giants make characteristic panorama of the Small Carpathians. They create visible dominants, they are orientation spots and give beautiful views of the surrounding landscape. One of these impressive titans of the Small Carpathians is Vysoka.