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Kostolec is a projecting promontory of the Povazsky Inovec Mountains, 240 meters above the sea level. It dominates adjacent parts of Povazie and provides a broad view of its surroundings.

The hill was populated during ancient times and in the Middle ages owing to its advantageous location at ancient roads especially the so-called Amber road which connected North and South Europe.

The Archeological Institute in Nitra organized archeological excavations in this area from 1968 to 1973 and again in 1975. The investigations have provided a coherent survey about development on the site.

The primeval artifacts collected are dated to the Old Stone Age (22000 BC) and to the late Stone Age (2000 BC). In the Late Bronze Age (1100 BC) there existed here an important fortified settlement of Velatice-Baierdorf culture which was enclosed by a mighty rampart and a broad ditch, and in the inner part of the settlement manufacturing implements were uncovered. The findings from the period of the Roman Empire (2nd and 3rd century AD) attracted much attention.

Kostolec played its most decisive role during the Great Moravian Empire (9th and 10th century AD). The fortified estate of the nobility with some buildings, a church, and a small cemetery were built here. It was a political and economic center of the villages of the craftsmen and the peasants who worked in the near-by surroundings. Kostolec ranks among the most important monuments of the Great Moravian culture.

After the extinction of the estate the site was famous for its cemetery exhibiting gravestones dated 11th to 14th century AD and 16th to 19th century AD. In 15th century AD some craft workshops were erected here and the plateau occasionally served as a military citadel due to its excellent position.


Published in the Slovak Heritage Live newsletter Volume 6, No. 4, Winter 1998
Copyright Vladimir Linder 1998 
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.