Church of St. Helena

The Gothic Church of St. Helena is the oldest preserved church in Trnava. It originated at the turn of the 13th and 14th centuries, and it is assumed that an older church had preceded it. The church has undergone several changes. Already around the year 1400, a pastophorium was added to the sanctuary, and an entrance vestibule with an aedicule for the statue of St. Helena - the church’s patron - which was originally complemented by two painted figures on the sides, was incorporated in the front face. A tower was erected adjacent to the sacristy. In the first half of the 17th century, the church was enlarged with side chapels, the older nave roofing was replaced by a vault with a simple stucco decoration, and the interior was enriched with a music gallery. The pulpit and side altars were built in the following century, while painted wings from an older, late Gothic altar were incorporated in one of them. The stained glass windows and the main altar originated at the end of the 19th century.The church was a part of an adjacent hospital on the northern side. This social and charity facility was created in the southern part of the town, close to the Lower Town Gate, in the 13th century. It was originally administered by a socially oriented Order operating in the town at that time; however, this work was later taken over by the town. It provided free housing as well as medical care to old, weak, and poor residents. In the 18th century, before the hospital’s foundation, students of the Medical Faculty of Trnava University practiced there. The ward block was a big hall, which was sufficient for medieval conditions; however the 8 – 16 beds no longer met demands at the beginning of the 19th century. The town doctor also recorded the unsuitable situation in his records in 1834, when healthy and strong people were in one common room with severely sick and dying people. But it was not for four more years until reconstruction was definitively decided upon. Bernard Grünn, the architect of the Trnava Theatre and district hospital, was entrusted with the reconstruction. The original hospital and adjacent house were joined in the street section into one big building, which was designed with a representative Classicist front face, later adjusted into its present day Eclectistic form.

Church of St. Helena
 

Contact

Church of St. Helena
Hlavná 47
91701 Trnava

GPS:
N 48.3739307 / E 17.58720059999996

 
 
 

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