Spišská Kapitula and St. Martin's Cathedral
View of Spišská Kapitula from above
|UNESCO World Heritage Site|
|Name||Levoča, Spiš Castle and the associated cultural monuments|
|Region||Europe and North America|
Spišská Kapitula, (Hungarian: Szepeshely or Szepesi Káptalan) (both meaning the "Spiš Chapter house") is an exceptionally well-preserved ecclesiastical town on the outskirts of Spišské Podhradie, Slovakia, and overlooking Spiš Castle. It is part of the UNESCO World Heritage site Levoča, Spiš Castle and the associated cultural monuments.
Town and history
The town consists of St. Martin's Cathedral (dedicated to St. Martin of Tours); a former monastery; and a single street, all of mediaeval construction and enclosed by a wall. The lower gate gives a spectacular view of Spiš Castle, located on an opposite hill.
Spišská Kapitula became the main seat of the church administration in the region in the 12th century. In 1776 it became the seat of the Diocese of Spiš (Szepes). (The present bishop, the 14th, is Mgr. Štefan Sečka).
The cathedral was built between the 13th and 15th centuries in the Romanesque and Gothic styles. It is one of the largest and most interesting Romanesque monuments in Slovakia. It contains many mediaeval carved altars and is the resting place of many lords of Spiš Castle; the 15th century carved marble tombstones of the Zápoľský family are of exceptional quality. A recently restored wall-painting from 1317 depicts the coronation of Charles Robert of Anjou as the King of Hungary; another painting in the cathedral is the source for the provisional name of the anonymous Master of Kirchdrauf.
Spišská Kapitula was visited by Pope John Paul II in 1995.
View of main street with Spiš Castle
- Tibor Horváth, "Szlovákia", p. 108 (Hungarian)
- Horváth, Tibor (1999). Szlovákia (in Hungarian) (1st ed. ed.). Budapest: Cartographia. ISBN 963-353-180-2.
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