Zobor

Ruins of a baroque monastery complex at the foot of the Zobor hill above the town of Nitra

monastery / 302 m


SK | EN


hore

Nitra, Nitra county

N48° 20' 41.93",  E18° 05' 29.77"


Kamaldulský kláštor

How to get there - Zobor

Ruins of Zobor monastery lie on the hill Zobor above the city of Nitra. From the main road leading through Nitra (Chrenovská street) turn to Svätourbanská, then left to Dolnozoborská, which will soon turn into Kláštorská street. It then continues to the right to the treatment center in Zobor. Here is an extensive parking lot. We recommend that you arrive well in advance as the parking lot is crowded here despite its large capacity.

Then we walk a little back from where we came, and on the left side we will see a stone wall. on which there is a fence (it is just below the institute), and right behind the wall is a forest path leading to the monastery. The journey is convenient and takes only a few minutes. The access path to the ruins leads outside the hospital area and is clearly marked. Information boards are fitted at the ruins.

time 10 min profile +33m/0m
difficulty Parking parking

Surrounding castles (direct line):

Nitriansky hrad - 3 km, Horné Lefantovce - 9.5 km, Nové Sady - 11.4 km, Gýmeš - 12.2 km, Oponický hrad - 12.5 km, Lukáčovce - 13.1 km, Oponice veľký kaštieľ - 13.9 km, Oponice malý kaštieľ - 14.5 km, Horné Obdokovce - 17 km

Interior and exterior

The whole monastery complex was built according to the project of an unknown Viennese architect. The construction was completed in 1695. During the construction work, the ruins of the original monastery were leveled, a new one-storey monastery with two side wings was built, and a church with three entrances and a tower with two bells was built in the garden on a slight elevation. Under the church was a tomb in which on the one hand were buried dead religious and on the other members of the family of Count Apponyi.

From the extensive Baroque complex of the monastery of St.Joseph only the main monastery building (currently the Therapeutic Institute of Tuberculosis and Respiratory Diseases), the ruins of the Church of St. Joseph, retaining walls and remnants of monks' additions were preserved.



Zobor - pôdorys

Ground plan - Zobor


Legend to the ground plan:
a - archeologically captured remains of a medieval Benedictine monastery, b - site of other medieval finds, c - floor plan of a baroque Kamaldul monastery

Photogallery

2018

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2021

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Unless stated differently, the photographs are subject to the copyright of hrady-zamky.sk

Historical photographs

  • Zobor-kresba

If the source is not mentioned, the photos come from deltiologists and users who sent or lent them to us, as well as from freely available sources, social networks and archives.

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History and personalities

Zobor Monastery is historically the oldest known monastery in Slovakia. The oldest known monastery in Slovakia - the Monastery of St. Hypolita originated in the territory of Nitra - in the forests on the western slope of Zobor at the source of quality water. Although no written records of the founding of the Zobor Monastery have been preserved, according to most historians, it was founded in the 9th century, at the latest around 880, when a diocese was established in Nitra, the first bishop of which was the Benedictine Viching. According to the Czech chronicler Kosmas, King Svätopluk II died. in the monastery in Zobor in 896. Between the 11th and 13th centuries, the Benedictine monastery served as an important center of spiritual, public and cultural life in Hungary. It is believed that it was the Benedictines who established the tradition of viticulture and winemaking in Nitra.

The importance and position of the Zobor monastery gradually declined from the 14th century. At that time, the economic as well as the spiritual decline of the Benedictine order affected the whole of Europe. King Matej Korvín handed over the monastery to the Archbishop of Esztergom and in 1468 Pope Paul II. at his request, he assigned the property of the monastery to the Nitra diocese. The monastery was looted and completely destroyed by the Polish army of Duke Casimir in 1471. Before the end of the 15th century, the monastery is no longer mentioned.

Despite the departure of the Benedictines, the tradition of a sacred place among the Nitra did not disappear and the abandoned monastery used to be a destination for pilgrimages. In the 17th century, a new chapter in the history of the monastery was opened. In 1663, the Bishop of Nitra, Juraj Szelepcsényi, had a chapel dedicated to St. Andrej-Svorad and St. Beňadikovi. The next bishop, Blažej Jáklin, decided to revive the monasticism in Zobor and to build a new monastery directly on the site of the medieval monastery. In 1691, he received the necessary permits from the Pope and Emperor Leopold I, and together with his brother Mikuláš, captain of Levice Castle, they began the construction of a monastery, to which Kamaldul monks were called - an offshoot of the Benedictines. The monastery was put into use in 1695. During the construction of the Baroque complex, the remains of the older medieval Benedictine monastery of St. Hypolita. The dominant feature was the three-nave monastery church of St. Joseph, on whose sides were the dwellings of the monks. The area is surrounded by orchards, gardens and a brick fence. Part of the monastery was a unique technical work - a stone water supply, bringing water from the spring of St. Svorada to the monastery. Excess water fed the ponds under the monastery. For a time, Brother Cyprian, an excellent botanist and herbarium compiler, also worked in the Zobor Monastery. From 1720, the Zobor monastery also played an important role in the education of the Kamaldul novitiate for the entire Hungarian part of the monarchy.

When in 1782 Emperor Joseph II. dissolved the contemplative orders in the Austrian monarchy, which meant the end of the activities of the camaldules under Zobor. The larger part of the complex remained abandoned and the complex gradually fell into disrepair. The main building, which has been preserved to this day, continued to serve several purposes. In 1786 there was a manufactory for the production of cloth. In 1886, the building was bought by Bishop Roškováni and, for a suitable climate, he set up a dormitory for the sick. In 1902 the diocese resigned the monastery of Dr. Thuróczy to establish a climatic spa.

In 1927, for unknown reasons, the monastery burned down. In 1933, it was repaired on the occasion of the Pribin celebrations. One floor was added, the side entrances were removed and a small door was installed instead of a large wooden gate. In 1940, Archbishop Karol Kmeťko placed here the order of the missionaries of the Heart of God - verbists. The verbists were forcibly evicted by the communist regime in 1950, and in 1953 the complex was taken over by the Ministry of Health. The subsequent construction of an extensive treatment center completely changed the previous appearance of the locality, which today hardly resembles the place where both monasteries stood.

Myths and Legends

Legend about Svätopluk

Svätopluk is buried under one of the large boulders lying on the way to the mine, as the old Zoborčany has long called a quarry. But who among us would be able to roll the stone and see if it was true? No one, of course, and that is why this claim is still shrouded in secrecy. The big stone is still in place and may be patiently waiting for the powerful strongman Corgoň from below the castle. What does a legend that the Baptists believed, and which seems to fill gaps in history long gone, sound like? The legend of the sword buried under Zobor says that in the monastery under Zobor, which was built by King Svätopluk, the monks one day just extinguished the candles and closed the gates, because it was already evening. On the way to the monastery, there was a lone rider, riding a beautiful horse. The horse was torn, overcame a long journey, and the rider was tired. Despite being a powerful guy, used to sitting on a horse. He had a long sword strapped to him, and although it was getting dark, the handle gleamed. It was made entirely of gold, inlaid with precious stones. The gate of the monastery was already closed when he pounded on it with his boot. One of the monks matured across the arch. The brothers, a rider standing in front of the gate, certainly a royal messenger, the monk said. But when he opened the gate, there was no one at the gate. At that time, the rider was already behind the monastery in the woods. He pushed his horse to get deeper into the mountain. He found himself on a small remote clearing. Here he tied the horse to the oak and spread the fire. It could be seen in the glow of the fire that he was neither a messenger nor an ordinary pilgrim. He wore expensive clothes, the clasp of his cloak jagged, and his spikes were gilded. As soon as one fire broke out, he started another. For a long time, like a statue, he stood between two fires. Nadrán brought a horse when Zornička came out. There he beheaded him and buried him. The sword buried all its valuables under the hearth of the fire. When the light dawned and the top of Zobor was gilded by the sun, he descended to the monastery from the mountain like an ordinary pilgrim.

Open up, I'm a friend, a pilgrim without a weapon! What do you ask of us, my friend? the monks asked.

I want to be your brother and stay among you!

The monks opened the gate, consulting for a long time whether to accept it. They presented him with sacred books, and it became clear that he was very wise. They soon accepted him as a brother. He lived there for a long time until his hair was bleached. When he died, he told the monk: I am King Svätopluk. And he finished right away.

The three monks who heard it, almost muted, didn't say a word. They only ordered to keep great sorrow in the monastery. When the sun set for seven times, they carried the wrapped body in a pure white cloth to the top of Zobor. There King Svätopluk was placed in a hewn grave. They did not build a mound, as was the custom, only laid a flat stone in that place. They swore not to reveal this place to anyone, because it was the king's last will. Nobody knew who the monks had buried on top of Zobor. Only when Svätopluk's nation waged a war for freedom did people hear the strange cvengot from the foot of Zobor. King Svätopluk's buried sword twitched. It is said that many heroes of the Slovak nation have already found him, fought with him for his homeland and always saved him back after the victory, so that future generations could use him in danger.

Useful information

The ruins of the monastery are freely accessible, except for the main building where the medical institution is located

Used sources and literature: WEB: www.zoborskyklastor.sk, sk.wikipedia.org, Archív hrady-zamky.sk