piatok 24. júna 2011

St Margaret of Antioch Church, Kopčany

A gothisized originally Pre-Romanesque church. It is the oldest architectural monuments not only in Slovakia, but in whole Central Europe.   

The church is situated only about one kilometer from one of the biggest and  most important fortiffied Settlement from age of Great Moravia - Mikulčice - Valy, in domain of todays  Mikulčice village at Moravian side, which used to be the residence of Great Moravian earls. Originaly - in the 9 th century this Fortiffied Settlement was situated on isle in the middle of Morava river - todays border between Slovakia and Czech republic, but many years after that the river changed its water course and moved into east. 

Mikulčice - Valy - the church was situated eastern from "oppidum"

 On both sides of river was large settlement, that belonged to main "oppidum", and this church belonged to eastern part of settlement. Typologically the church is a small rectangular single-nave church, which were built in central and western Europe in the 8th to 11th century. 

Results of surveys and studies around the church carried out in years 1994 - 2000 demonstrate the presence of an intensive settlement dating back to Late Stone Age. It peaked in the 9th - 10th century, when along the expected historical path leading from the Mikulčice's settlement Valy towards east, on the left bank of the Morava river, in the area of today's Kopčany, a group of settlements, which organizational structure is still unknown, was formed. As mentioned above, functionally it was related to the settlement of Valy. Even after the decay of Mikulčice hill-fort the life in two still known settlements in the vicinity of the Church of St. Margaret of Antioch continued until the 13th century, when the place becomes probably the last inhabited area in the used to be Mikulčice's agglomeration, unless considering the remains of a medieval settlement around the church IX within the extramural settlement of the Valy fortress. 

Existing historical topography research indicates that the last inhabitants of villages surrounding the Church of St. Margaret of Antioch left probably towards today's Kopčany in 16th - 17th century. The church probably continued to serve the adjacent territory until the 18th century, when a new church was built in the village. The first written mentioning of a chapel dates back to 1554. Its existence is confirmed also by the famous map of Comenius from 1627, on which the settlement of Kopčany is marked as a medium-sized village with a church located in the area of "Hrúdy"

There are another two churches in Slovakia that are considered to be originaly built in 9 th century. Rotunda Blatnický Ďurko and Kostoľany pod Tríbečom.


Source taken from: http://www.slovakia.culturalprofiles.net/?id=9539

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