Church of St. James Veľký Šariš – originally a Romanesque-Gothic church.

Originally a Romanesque-Gothic single-nave church, today a three-nave church with a square presbytery, a sacristy in the northern part, a tower in the west and side chapels. The church was probably built at the same time as the Šariš Castle as a single-nave building with a massive tower and a square-shaped presbytery with a cross rib vault. Shortly after the church was built, its interior was decorated with murals.
The first written record dates back to 1262 when the parish was removed from the jurisdiction of the archdeacon. The documents mention tithes paid by Veľký Šariš as early as 1248. Experts believe that there may have been an older church on the site of today’s building.
The church underwent a major renovation in 1656, when the nave was divided by built-in pillars into three naves, which were newly vaulted. The alterations also affected most of the Gothic windows of the church, which were reshaped into their current Baroque form. A tribune was built in the western part of the nave and a smaller extension was built in the southern part of the tower.
The building lost its medieval appearance in the last third of the 18th century when side chapels were added to the south and north sides of the nave, making the floor plan of the church into a cross. In 1869, the tower was raised by one storey.
The church underwent a major renovation between 1995 and 1999. In 1998, the medieval murals from the 13th – 14th centuries with Byzantine motifs were uncovered.
Despite the Baroque-style renovations, the church is a valuable example of how Romanesque and Gothic architectural styles complemented each other in the medieval times. Today, only the tower and some parts of the presbytery have preserved their original medieval appearance. Most of the valuable architectural details have been preserved on the tower – combined windows, several hexagonal windows and a Gothic portal to the basement. On the eastern side of the presbytery is a Gothic window with a valuable stone tracery. We can find very similar ones in the church in nearby Župčany. The presbytery and the sacristy, connected by a Gothic portal, feature a heavy cross rib vault with round bolts decorated with a relief of a rose and oak leaves. A Gothic stone baptistery from around 1300 has been preserved, too. In the north wall of the presbytery there is a late Gothic stone pastophorium with an arch in the shape of a donkey’s back. The late Romanesque mural fragment on the north wall of the nave represent the Flagellation of Christ. Slightly “newer” is the fresco with the scene of the Crucifixion on the left side of the triumphal arch, which dates back to the period around 1300. The tombstone of Daniel Hrabecius de Turocz from 1645 is set in the south wall of the presbytery.

Informations

How to get there

The church stands in the city center on the square in a fortified but accessible area.

Contact the parish office: 051/ 7762329.

GPS: 49.039489117, 21.193860769

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Friday, August 14, 2020 - Sunday, August 16, 2020

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