The Church and Monastery of St.Catherine in Dechtice



The village of Dechtice lies in the south-east from the root of the Little Carpathians, around 20 km from Trnava. The village has many sacral sights and one of them is the romantic ruins of the Church and Monastery of St. Catherine. It lies hidden in the most western tip of the cadastral area of the Dechtice village and the locals know it under the name Katarínka. The Franciscan monastery and church was built in 1618 by Krištof Erdődy. It was dedicated to St. Catherine who based on the legend used to appear here in front of a young count and hermit Ján Apponyi. Later the constructor of the cathedral church of St. John the Baptist in Trnava, Pietro Spazzo, rebuilt it in early Baroque style with late Gothic elements. A part of the monastery was also a dining room paved with marble, and oratorium. The monastery was a place of a monks’ busy life and the destination of pilgrimage. In the 17th century it was damaged several times during the Turkish invasions or by imperial troops, but it was always repaired. In 1786 the emperor Joseph II decree dissolved the monastery, Franciscans left it and since then it has been deteriorating. Nowadays its old glory is reminded only by a part of walls of a monastery building wing, remains of the church nave and tower. A partial renovation of the valuable sight is carried out by volunteers who restored also the short section of narrow gauge railway in the woods near the church. The church and monastery ruins lie outside main roads and access by car is not possible. It can be visited on foot or by bike following the blue hiking trail from the south side from Naháč and from the north side from Dobrá voda, or from the east via not labelled trail from Dechtice. The route of a educational trail focusing on history leads through the area of the church nad monastery lying within the Katarínka nature reserve area. The majestic ruins of the monastery which are hidden in the beautiful and quiet environment of the Little Carpathians’ woods will definitely amaze every visitor. Not far from there, one can visit also a hunting summer house, Planinka, built by the Count Jozef Erdődy in 1774 and 1775.

The Church and Monastery of St.Catherine in Dechtice
 

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The Church and Monastery of St.Catherine in Dechtice

Dechtice

GPS:
N 48.554938 / E 17.535637

 
 
 

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