Trnava

Trnava is one of the most important towns in Slovakia and was first mentioned in writing in 1211. In 1238 it became the first town in this region and the second in Hungary to be granted free royal privileges by the Hungarian King Belo IV. In the 13th century, Trnava already belonged to the largest, most important and wealthiest towns in Hungary. It was also a favourite meeting place for several kings. When Bratislava became the administrative centre of the country, Trnava took over the role of the cultural and religious centre. The importance of the town grew when the archbishops of Esztergom and their diocese relocated here, threatened by the Turks. Trnava became the coronation town and the spiritual and cultural centre of Hungary. For example, the building of the theatre was the first of its kind in Hungary and the town was connected to Bratislava via the first horse-drawn railway in Hungary.

The town centre is enclosed by one of the best preserved fortification systems in Slovakia. Tourists can visit the town tower, the town hall, the Baroque buildings of the Trnava university and above all the 13 churches, 8 of them located in the town centre, due to which Trnava earned the nickname Little Rome.

Some of the sights worth visiting:

 

Town Fortification

In the 13th century, the town erected an extensive fortification system covering almost 60 hectares. The fortification was formed by brick towers connected by wood and earth ramparts, which were later substituted by brick walls.

 

Town Tower

The Renaissance dominant feature of the town square was erected in 1574 as a watchtower. It is 57m high, with a viewing platform open for tourists. On top of it there is a golden statue of Virgin Mary. The south wall of the tower features the only preserved sundial in Trnava.

 

St. Nicolas Basilica

Another dominant structure of the town. It was erected in the years 1380-1421 as a Gothic three-aisle basilica with a twin tower front and Baroque chapels. The Baroque chapel of Virgin Mary houses a painting of the Virgin, making it well-known among pilgrims.

 

Synagogues

There are two synagogues in Trnava, both showing distinctive oriental features. The orthodox synagogue has a simple front with no towers, decorated only with the stone panels of the Decalogue. The second, Status Quo synagogue, is a representative two-tower building, as its front is formed by two towers and the stone panels of the Decalogue.

 

Church of the Assumption – Church of the Clarists

The Clarist monastery and church form one of the oldest monastery complexes in town. It was first mentioned as early as 1239, when Pope Gregory IX took it under his patronage. Since 1954 the complex accommodates the West Slovakian Museum.

 

The Archiepiscopal Mansion

An important renaissance style building erected by Archbishop Nicolas Oláh in the years 1542 – 1562 on the foundations of several medieval town houses. After a couple reconstructions, the residence became a palace with an enclosed yard. Until 1820, the palace was the seat of the Esztergom archbishops.

More detailed information in Slovak, English and German can be found at http://www.vitajtevtrnave.sk/en/article/landmarks-and-history.