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Kežmarok’s wooden articular Lutheran A.V. Church is one of five Lutheran A.V. wooden churches in Slovakia. The others being Hronsek, Paludza (relocated to Svätý Kríž due to the Liptovská Mara hydro electric dam), Istebné and Leštiny. The only one I didn’t photographed yet is Leštiny.

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It is from the time of religious persecutions of Lutherans that were under the decision of the Šoproň assembly from year 1681 allowed to build their churches from their own resources, away from the center of the town, without bell tower and without bells. Materials allowed for construction were wood and no iron nails and the construction of the church must have been completed in 365 days.
The first church in Kežmarok was built in 1687, but only a stone christening well remains from 1690. The church was rebuilt in 1717, as we know it today, all from wood, with wooden nails. The builder was Juraj Muttermann from Poprad. The whole structure rests on side foundations and four twisting columns to which in 1894 supporting columns were added. 1465 seats accommodate the worshipers on the mail floor and six choirs.

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The interior has fascinating paintings on wood and many woodcarvings. The woodcarvings are creations of Ján Lerch from Kežmarok and the paintings were painted by Mayer from Levoča and Kramer from Prešov. Organ was made in 1717 by organ master Vavrinec Čajkovský and Martin Korabinský from Spišská Nová Ves completed it in 1729. Because of its perfect sound, numerous concerts are organized here and several recordings were made in the church.

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On the floor of the church are fragments of epitaphs from 17-19 centuries. One of the stone parts of the church is the sacristy. This two-room building was constructed in 1593 and it was used as a pub. After the construction of the church was finished, the pug was closed and a school was opened in its place. In 1985 the church was declared a National Cultural Monument.

Reprinted from: Kežmarský Hrad, Nora Baráthová, Neografia, Martin 1989, ISBN 80-217-0085-8  


Published in the Slovak Heritage Live newsletter Volume 9, No.1, Spring 2001
Copyright © Vladimir Linder 2000 
3804 Yale Street, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada V5C 1P6
The above article and photographs may not be copied, reproduced, republished, or redistributed by any means including electronic, without the express written permission of
Vladimir Linder. All rights reserved.