St. Elisabeth Cathedral
The St. Elisabeth Cathedral (Slovak: Dóm svätej Alžbety (Slovak pronunciation: [ˈdoːm ˈsvɛtɛj ˈalʒbɛtɪ]), Hungarian: Szent Erzsébet-székesegyház, German: Dom der Heiligen Elisbeth) is a Gothic cathedral in Košice. It is Slovakia's biggest church, as well as one of the easternmost Gothic cathedrals in Europe.
The record on the existence of Košice, dating from 1230, is connected with that of the existence of the rectory church. In the process of the settlement's transformation from a rural community into a town, all its periods of successes and failures have been reflected on St. Elizabeth's Cathedral. According to historic data the present-day cathedral was built on the site of an edifice of older date which was consecrated to St. Elisabeth as well. It was referred to in the document of Pope Martin V of the year 1283 and in the letter of 1290, which stated that the bishop of Eger Andrew II exempted Košice parish from the dean's sphere of jurisdiction.
This medieval monument was built in the High Gothic style between 1378 and 1508 in several stages on the site of a parish church that burned down in 1370, in memory of Saint Elisabeth of Hungary, the patron of all armed mercenaries and also Portugal.
The cathedral was often damaged by calamities (1556) and underwent numerous restorations. The most extensive restoration works took place in the years 1877-1896 by the drafts of Imre Steindl. The northern tower was completed in 1775, while the southern, Matthias tower in 1904. During the last phase of the restoration, a crypt was built under the northern nave of the cathedral. In 1906 the remains of Francis II Rákóczi and his friends from Rodosto were buried there.
Art and architecture
The present appearance of the St. Elizabeth Cathedral preserves a five - nave planning with intersection of the main and traversal naves and with polygonal presbytery. A metallic tower is placed at the point of intersection of the naves. On its southern side there is an entrance chamber with the royal oratory above it and chapels on its sides. The southern steeple, the so-called Matejova, dates from 1461 and the northern steeple with Rococo helm dating from 1775 complete the western front of the cathedral. The western portal is decorated with embossed scenes with the following biblical motifs: Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane, Piety and Towel of St. Verona. The richest and artistically the most valuable is the northern portal with the embossed painting. The Last Trial executed in two rows one above the other. Also to be seen here are embossed paintings from the life of St. Elisabeth, Virgin Mary with women, St. John with soldiers. Above them there is one more painting the Crucifixion. In the middle of the northern portal there is a sculpture of St. Elizabeth. The southern portal has two entrances and forms an integral part of the whole composition according to the original design of the southern entrance chamber.
The interior of the St. Elizabeth Cathedral is very imposing and valuable. In this respect particular mention should be made of the main altar of St. Elizabeth, a hanged sculpture of Immaculata, the Late Gothic altar Visit of Virgin Mary, a stone epitaph of the Reiner family, a wooden sculpture of Virgin Mary, fragments of the wall painting The Last Trial, the side altar of St. Anton Paduansky, a wall painting The Resurrection, the bronze font, the altar painting of St. Anna Metercia, Gothic Calvary, the lantern of the king Matthew, wooden polychrome sculptures, the side altar Worship of Three Kings, Neo-Gothic stone pulpit. Valuable masterpieces and relics are preserved in the treasury.
- "St. Elisabeth Cathedral". Visit Kosice. Košice, Slovakia: visitkosice.eu. 2010. Retrieved 6 November 2013.
- Slovak Republic.org retrieved 19 June 2013
- Historia from Dom Rimkat retrieved 19 June 2013
- Reconstruction from Kosice 2013 retrieved 19 June 2013