Saturday, October 27, 2012

Trnava, Slovakia

Nat was in Edinburgh last week and since she was flying in to Bratislava we decided to take advantage and do a little exploring in western Slovakia 

Trnava is only a 30 minute train ride (45 km/28 miles) north-east of "Bratsville".  The only thing we had planned was the train to get there and the departure times going back because we didn't know how long the weather would hold out for or exactly what we would find in the city.  All we knew about Trnava was that it is the oldest city in Slovakia.  But hey, that's more than enough information for a totally random little adventure.

Trnava Town Hall

Trnava dates back to around 1211 but it was granted civic privileges by the Hungarian king in 1238 which makes it the oldest city in Slovakia.  Today, the city has a population of ~66,000 and is Slovakia's 7th largest city.

Red Army Liberation Monument

I don't think that Trnava is really considered a tourist town because this is the first city in Europe where I wasn't able to find any postcards.

The first thing we stumbled across was the Western Slovakia Museum.  It is located inside of the 13th century Klarisky Convent.  The museum was pretty eclectic with lots of random pieces.  Well worth the €2,50 ($3.20) price of admission.

The Square of the Holy Trinity is the main historic square.  It is home to the town's plague memorial and the city tower.

The Renaissance city tower is 57 meters (187 feet) tall and was built in 1574.  The clock dates back to 1729 and is still accurate to within 30 seconds.

Trnava is often called the "Slovak Rome" or "Little Rome" due to all of the churches within the old 13th and 14th century city walls.  Here are just a few of them...

The Church of St. Helen is the oldest church in town.  The Jesuit church was built in the 14th century.

The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist was the first early Baroque church in Slovakia.  It was built between 1629 and 1637.  Pope John Paul II visited the cathedral in 2003 and there is now a statue of him in front.

One of the oldest churches in Trnava is the St. Nicholas Cathedral.  Construction lasted from 1380 to 1421.  The St. Nicholas bell, in the north tower, is one of the biggest bells in Europe.  In 2008, Pope Benedict XVI proclaimed it a Minor Basilica, making it the country's 10th basilica.

It is a Catholic pilgrimage site because it is home to the Virgin Mary of Trnava.  The painting has been hanging in the church since 1585.  On multiple occasions, blood tears have appeared on the painting.  Many people come here to visit the painting and to ask for God's help and to give thanks.

The Church of St. Jacob was built in 1640.

The Jesuit Church of the Holy Trinity was built in 1729.

Since today was the Sabbath we weren't able to visit the Synagogue Status Quo Ante.  It dates back to 1831.  In 1947, a memorial to the Jews killed in the Holocaust (1938-1942) was erected in front.


  1. You can get postcards in the town tower :)

  2. Thanks Graeme. If only the tower was open when I was there. Oh well, next time. Cheers,