Hronsek is a small village with beautiful historic and natural monuments in the Zvolen basin next to Banská Bystricka. The biggest attraction and the most famous monument is the wooden evangelical articular church. Since 7.7.2008, this historic gem is registered as an UNESCO Cultural and Natural Heritage site together with Leštiny and Kežmarok.
What’s an Articular Church?
In 1681, the Emperor issued a resolution that allowed the construction of churches also to the evangelicals, however no more than 2 cathedrals in each Austrian-Hungarian street could have been built and only after meeting certain conditions set out in article 25. This article set out very strict conditions under which the evangelicals could build a cathedral. It had to be:
- built within 1 year
- made entirely of wood and built without using metal elements
- built on the outskirts of the village, outside of city borders
- it could not have a tower
- the entrance could not be directly from the street
- the rock foundations could have been only one foot above the ground
There was an additional condition made for the Zvolen district; it had to be built on marshes. Therefore today, the space in front of the cathedral is graced with beautiful old linden trees (2 as old as the cathedral), the roots of which reinforced the soil on the bank of the river.
Hronsek Wooden Articular Cathedral
The construction of the cathedral with 1100 seats began in October 1725 and it was finished in fall of 1726. The eight meter high cathedral has a cross-shaped ground plan, which is 26 meters long and 11 meters wide. It is decorated with 30 windows and oak columns decorated with Ionian carvings. The amphitheater-like organization of the seating allows seeing the altar from each seat. The altar is decorated with paintings, which are changed throughout the year. The cathedral has excellent acoustics and so there are often classical music concerts here. The shingle roof is decorated by oak crosses on three sides and there is a rooster statue above one of the entrances. The architecture has German and Scandinavian influences, since the masters who constructed it used their experiences they gained during the construction of ships in foreign docks.
You can take a tour of the cathedral at the top of the hour between 9:00 a.m. and 5 p.m., or after prior appointment if there are larger groups (contact information can be found on the official website of Hronsek). You can support the maintenance and administration of the monument by buying a postcard or some souvenirs after the tour.
Other sights and monuments in Hronsek
A Gothic-Renaissance castle built in 1576 also called the Water Castle is the oldest building in the Village of Hronsek.
Wooden Bell Tower
It was built in 1726 together with the cathedral also based on the articles and can be found across the road.
The Soosov-Géczy Mansion from 1775 was built in the Baroque style with Rococo details and preserved interior decorations. There is a 25 meter high lime tree that is more than 200 years old in the garden and there is also a more than 200 year old rare oak in front of the mansion.
Memorial house of important personalities such as Ján Simonides, Jozef Melcer, August H. Krčméry, Pavel Hronec, Andrej Ľ. Katina, Andrej Hajduk, or Daniel Šovc.