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SK: Marian Columns – Stone Witnesses of Victories over Epidemics V

Published: 12.7.2020
After a week, we return to Kremnica, specifically to the late Baroque column of the Holy Trinity, which recalls the plague epidemic.

The Kremnica mines did not prosper for two centuries, but after 1730, when new gold veins were discovered, they could afford to invest not only in the column, but also in the Gothic church of the Virgin Mary. However, you will not find it here, because it lasted only 150 years.

Kremnica; (c) Mgr. Anna Nociarová

You ask why? Below Kremnica Square are galleries from which ore has been mined for centuries. And so, at Christmas in 1880, the land collapsed and the Church of the Virgin Mary broke down during the Holy Mass. A sacral building larger than the current dominant feature of the city - the Church of St. Catherine - had to be rehabilitated together with more damaged houses. Miraculously, only the pillar in front of the church survived.

Kremnica; (c) Mgr. Anna Nociarová

What saved the column from destruction in 1880 became fatal over time. The sandstone from which it is formed is a porous material and is easily destroyed. And when they painted it with linseed oil and oil paints in 1820, it gradually began to fall apart. Remains of the original statues from the column can be seen in the old town hall. The current column standing in the square is more or less just a copy of the original one. In 1905, a stone balustrade fence was built around it.

However, when it comes to the number of sculptures, it has the upper hand. There are 54 of them! Angels predominate, followed by saints, and there are also reliefs with religious and plague themes (plague - David's sin, hunger - Joseph and his brothers, war - the struggle of Jews with the Amalekites and reliefs from the life of the Virgin Mary).

Kremnica; (c) Uhrincek, Wikipedia.org

At the top of the column reigns the Holy Trinity, below it is the Virgin Mary and below are the saints. All were to protect the people of the city and the miners. The Plague Column of the Holy Trinity in Kremnica is one of the last built in the former Habsburg lands and still dominates its square.

Marian Columns in the Area

You can also admire the plague columns in other localities of the Banská Bystrica diocese, let's mention at least some of them. Dionýz Stanetti also built a column in Prievidza in 1739. In 1797 it was supplemented by a relief of St. Rosalie, which turned his character into a plague sculpture.


In Krupina, the townspeople also ordered a plague sculpture from the Kremnica sculptor Stanetti in 1752. It is one of the first large plague columns. In addition to the Holy Trinity and Imamaculata, there are protectors against the plague and fire (St. Urban, St. Florian and St. Roch).

Krupina (radnice); Palickap, Wikipedia.org

The late Baroque trinity plague column from 1740 has its place in the picturesque village of Pukanec. It consists of a depiction of the Holy Trinity and protectors against the plague (St. Roch, St. Sebastian, St. Barbara), but it also includes the patron saint of the city of St. Saint Nicholas.

Pukanec; (c) Miloslav Bahna, Wikipedia.org

A Marian plague column was established in Slovenská Ľupča around 1750. He stood in front of today's evangelical church, which had not yet been built at the time. Due to the weather, it was falling apart, so in 1976 it was moved in front of the Roman Catholic Church. The statue of the Immaculate Conception is completed by 8 figures (3 archangels and 5 angels).

Slovenská Ľupča; (c) Patrik Kunec, Wikipedia.org

In the past, Nová Baňa was also one of the rich mining towns. The square in front of the historic town hall is dominated by a late Classicist Trinitarian column made of Novoban rhyolite. It was built between 1843 and 1846 by only the 25-year-old sculptor Josef Neuschl Faragó, without the right to a fee. In the niches on the sides there are statues of the Virgin Mary, St. Stephen, St. Helena and St. Ladislava. Above them are relief scenes, as well as the papal and city coat of arms.

Nová Baňa; (c) Szeder László, Wikipedia.org

The trio of important and rich Central Slovak mining towns is complemented byBanská Bystrica. Its square is still decorated with a plague column, but you would not always find it here.

Banská Bystrica

More next time.

GPS: Kremnica 48°42'15.4"N 18°55'00.7"E 


Text: Mgr. Anna Nociarová

Photos: Wikipedia.org: Szeder László, Patrik Kunec, Miloslav Bahna, Palickap, Uhrincek, A. N., redakcia, Uhrincek

Edited by: Infoglobe


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