Nitra is a city situated in western Slovakia at the foot of Zobor Mountain, in the valley of Nitra River. With its population of 85000, it is the 4th largest city in Slovakia and also, a seat of an agricultural Nitra region. Nitra is the oldest Slovak town, nowadays it is a seat of 2 universities and agricultural research. The town offers a various cultural life, exhibitions or business activities.
Nitra Town Districts
- Old Town
- Dolné Krškany
- Horné Krškany
- Párovské Háje
City has an extraordinary historic importance as it was inhabited 6000 years ago. First Slavs arrived to the territory of Nitra in the 5th century. At the end of 8th century, Nitra became the capital of Principality of Nitra ruled by prince Pribina. After Moravian prince Mojmír I. ousted Pribina from Nitra in 828, the two principalities were united into the empire of Great Moravia.
Nitra reached its height under the reign of Svätopluk I. – the prince of Nitra and the king of Great Moravia. He created a real metropolis; the city consisted from 5 large settlements and approximately 20 villages. After the breakup of Great Moravia in 906-907, Nitra became a part of Hungarian Kingdom and later a part of Poland until 1030. Since 1100 the city still remained as a seat of Bishop and capital of Nitra region, even after the principality was abolished. Nitra received the privileges of a free royal town from Béla IV. in 1248.
During the next centuries it was under control of Matúš Csák, under threat of Ottoman attacks, affected by anti-Habsburgs uprisings and as a result of fights it burned down in 1708. Renovation in 18th century was in Baroque style. Agricultural machines, brewery and other works ware established until the World War I. It became a part of Czechoslovakia after the war and still remains as a seat of Nitra county.
Castle of Nitra
The most striking and most precious monument of Nitra is the Castle, towering on the rocky limestone hill wrapped by the mythical river Zobor. The castle is a monument of many centuries with political and social history and despite the frequent disasters, the castle maintained its residential character and has not changed its architectural appearance from the 17th century.
The castle consists of four separate parts of different nature, bounded in an indivisible unit: the cathedral, the bishop’s palace, service buildings and well-preserved fortification with the only gateway to the interior spaces of the castle. According to the archeological excavations, the castle hill was inhabited since the 9th century but the castle itself was built in the termination period of Great Moravia.
Stone bridge, which is leading to the castle gate, is decorated with four stone statues of saints and four vases from the end of the 18th century. Above the arch of the gate is a Latin inscription proclaiming that the castle was built in the year 1673. Today’s Baroque walls of the radial fortification system (similar to Leopoldov in Nove Zamky) with massive corner towers were built on the behalf of better defense of the castle.
The most important of the service buildings of medieval origin is the oblong building in the courtyard. Above them is towering a round tower as a remmant of medieval fortifications with an additional Neo-Gothic building from the year 1857.
Right from the service building, a broad staircase leads to the cathedral. The cathedral due to its architecture, history and art works belongs to the prominent monuments in Slovakia. History of the cathedral dates back to the ancient times. It consists of three temple premises originating from different periods – St. Emeram’s Church, Upper and Lower Church.
The oldest part of the cathedral is the St. Emeram’s Church, built in the 11th century, regarded as the Church of Pribina till lately. A horseshoe-shaped sanctuary is placed in the church, divided from the squared boat by triumphal arch. Recent interior had undergone a massive reconstruction in 1931-1933. In the wall niche of the north wall is placed a hutch of beaten silver with the remains of St. Andrew and Benedict made by unknown smith from 1647. In the south wall is a relic of remains of St. Cyril, which were moved here from Rome.
Damage to the Romanesque church by the army of Matúš Csák created a need for building a new church – the Upper Church. This one-boated church in Gothic style was built on the top of the rocky ridge in 1333-1355. The most precious monument of this church is the main altar of St. Savior.
On the western part of the cathedral is the two-storey Bishop’s Palace from the Middle Ages. On the ground floor of the palace is the bishop’s office and on the first floor is bishop’s residence. The dominant feature of the Bishop’s Palace and the cathedral is a two-dome-shaped tower from the year 1642. It was reconstructed after a fire in 1945. The bishopric treasure is guarded in the sacristy of the cathedral accessible from the Lower Church. The oldest monument is a gospel-book from the 11th century.
City Palace (County House)
City Palace (County House) or Mestský palác (Župný dom) in Slovak, the originally late-Baroque building was built in 1777 as the decent seat of the county of Nitra and also in order to protect the entrance to the Upper Town. The building obtained its present form during an extensive reconstruction in 1903-1908.
It is a four-winged and three-storey building enhanced with an additional building with underpass, which goes to the Horný Palánk (leftover of the anti-Turkish fortification). Façade is decorated and in the middle of the main entrance is located the coat of arms of the former county of Nitra.
Nowadays, the building is the residence of the Nitra Gallery, a specialized cultural institution. Its main mission is to collect, process scientifically, professionally manage, protect, use and present works of all disciplines of visual art of the 20th and 21st century in the districts of Nitra, Topoľčany, Zlaté Moravce and Šaľa. Collection fund consists of about 4,400 pieces of collection objects.
The building of the former County House includes a court, which was until recently a meeting place for Literary Club Janka Jesenského, which was founded in 1990. Nowadays, after the reconstruction, the object is re-starting the tradition of building similar cultural meetings, such as folk evenings of Nitrianske kultúrne leto (Nitra Cultural Summer).
On the building is placed a memorial plague in honor of writer and poet, national artist Janko Jesenský, who served as the head of Nitra County in 1923-1927. The corner of the building is equipped with a memorial plague with the embossment of Dr. Ľudovít Ďuriš, a Nitra native and sometime director of the Slovak Philharmonic. The building is marked with a bronze plague with a brief description of this cultural heritage.
Church of St.Jacob
Church of St.Jacob (Kostol sv. Jakuba), Parish Church of Lower Town was built next to the former Town House at Mariánske statue. The first written mention about the church comes from the year 1232 and later in connection with the papal tithe from 1332-1337. Around the church was a bunk parish cemetery.
The church survived all hardships, which stormed the city such as Tatars, Přemysl Otakar II, Matúš Csák, Hussite army,… In the 17th century a square surrounded the church, which served as a city market. In 1766 Bishop Gustini ordered to pave this square with stone cube ‘cat heads’.
According to the canonical visitation, the church was built in cross floor plan with thick walls. In the church were five altars. Above the main altar was a St. Rosalia painting and on the sides were statues of St. Jacob and St. Rachus, which were made by Bishop Jaklin.
There were three bells in the tower. The greatest weighted 1.2 tons and was consecrated by Bishop Peter Korompay. In 1697 bells were passed, because the tower was already cracked. The church had two crypts, where significant townspeople were buried. This temple was destroyed due to military raids and fires.
The church was built in a plain near a river, what caused that the church moistened. A huge fire engulfed the Lower Town in the 18th century and the church burned down. The church was demolished in 1786, but its tower stood until 1880 and survived the period of the Napoleonic Wars (1809) and survived the years of revolution and rebellion during 1848-1849. Nowadays, the cross is placed above the cave of St. Svorad on Zobor.
Nitra synagogue building was built in 1910-1911 according to the project of Leopold Baumhorn in the Moorish-Byzantine style.
Originally, there were three synagogues in Nitra – first was on the Parovská Street, the second was on Parovce and the third is the current Synagogue. Only the last one was preserved, which was built of masonry cutting, designed as a central rectangular building into which lead two staircases. To the south side of the central part of the building is docked a façade with two towers, which are closed inside by a hall, a staircase and a sacristy. The façade is rugged and decorated by oriental ornaments. The main entrance from the south side is accentuated by massive wooden doors and five wooden footboards.
Interior is formed by an atrial space, which ends in a dome. Side buildings are spaced by spiral staircases. In the middle of the eastern wall of the central area of the chapel is an Ark (today without the sacraments). Oriental ornaments are decorated by flower and geometric ornaments, made by laminating and the whole interior is in white color. The interior is well lit by hanging lamps (reconstruction of the original lamps).
The building was under the direction of the Municipal National Committee since 1982 and is now under the direction of the city of Nitra. General reconstruction of the building, which began in 1983 and was finished in 2003, consisted of several parts (roof, interior and exterior repair).
Synagogue reopening ceremony was held on 3 July 2003 with the participation of distinguished guests. Nowadays, the area of Synagogue is used as a concert and exhibition hall of the city of Nitra. The building serves as a place for theater, music, scenic and other performances.
Church of the Assumption of Virgin Mary
Church of the Assumption of Virgin Mary (Kostol Nanebovzatia Panny Márie), the church with ancient monastery is located on the top of Calvary (Kalvária). It is a valuable object originally one-nave Romanesque building. The exact date of the establishment is unknown.
The oldest record about the church is in Pray Codec from the late 12th century. It is also mentioned in the list of King of Hungary Béla IV. From the year 1248 and the church is mentioned as significant point on Vrch zelenej planiny (Green Hill Plateau). Later, it was mentioned in 1506 by Bishop Stephen. In 1696 Paul Esterházi wrote that the church is already 200 years old.
In 1765 Bishop John Gustinyi built a monastery beside the church. Several documents and canonical visitations mentioned the Church of Our Lady as a very old and holy shrine. The church befell a lot of disasters but the believers always rebuilt it.
The church has a cross plan with attached sacristy on the south side and with a chapel on the north side. The engraving on the tower from 1558 images the church with a tower built above the sacrarium. The façade is in historic style from the 19th century.
The interior of the church was restored by the painter Storn. The church has three altars – the main marble altar was made in the late 19th century with a statue of Our Lady of Sorrow. A precious woodcarving is also placed in the church, which is 112cm high. The tower ends in a pyramidal tower built in 1725. In the tower are located two bells made by L. Berezovič, Nitra mayor in 1731-1747.
To the church belongs a Calvary, in the middle of which dominates a sculpture of Crucifixion and on its sides are two crucified thieves. The Calvary includes twelve smaller chapels with the scenes of the Calvary. In each chapel are embossed colorful scenes of the Passion of Christ, coming from Munich from the 19th century. On the top of the hill is a small chapel of the Holy Cross built in a hexagon form. This chapel served as a watchtower, as an ejected defense of Nitra Castle.
His Eminence Cardinal John Crysostom Korec re-established Parish at the Calvary on 1 June 1997.
Zobor is a hill, which belongs to the zobor group of Tribeč above the Podunajská pahorkatina (Podunajská Heights) and city of Nitra. The peak Zoborská lesostep (Zoborska steppe) is a nature reservation.
There are various archeological sites on Zobor. On the top of the hill was a prehistoric fort, which was probably used as a refuge fort in the 9th century. To the southwest of the hill was a Benedictine monastery in the 11th century, which was firstly mentioned in Zobor bills in 1111, mentioning a school, which was the oldest documented school in Slovakia. On the southeastern tip was located a Slavic fortress built in the late 8th century.
Zobor was originally an independent municipality and since 1960 it is a Nitra ward Zobor. Slopes of the hill Zobor, which were covered with vineyards in the past, are now densely overbuilt by luxurious villas.
The chair lift to Zobor is not in use for years, but the hill is easily accessible on foot. The front of the hill called Pyramid (553 m a.s.l.) provides a panoramic view of Nitra and wide area. Behind the slight saddle lies the main peak Zobor (586.9 m a.s.l.), which provides a limited view to the east side.
Chinese Restaurant Fenix
Address: Mostná 72
Tel: 00421/37/653 44 64
Address: Štefánikova 5
Tel: 00421/37/652 53 81
Address: Dolnozoborská 8
Tel: 00421/37/651 33 33
Address: Svätourbanská 37
Tel: 00421/37/651 61 01
Address: Vlčie hrdlo 76
Tel: 00421/949 606 000
Address: Panská dolina 65
Tel: 00421/37/651 24 51
Chinese Restaurant Panda
Address: Kupecká 2
Tel: 00421/37/652 66 89
Address: Mostná 58
Tel: 00421/37/772 28 00
Address: Fraňa Mojtu 6
Tel: 00421/37/651 03 63
Address: Farská 36
Tel: 00421/37/652 27 13
Pizzeria Toscana Junior
Address: Kupecká 2
Tel: 00421/37/652 50 45
A. Bagara Theatre
Address: Svätoplukovo square 14
Tel: 00421/37/772 15 77
Old Theatre Club Tatra
Address: 7. pešieho pluku
Tel: 00421/37/652 50 03
Address: Štefánikova 1
Tel: 00421/37/651 00 00
Slovak Agricultural Museum
Address: Dlhá 92
Tel: 00421/37/657 25 53
Address: Župné square 3
Tel: 00421/37/657 96 41-3
Address: Kupecká 7
Tel: 00421/37/741 93 60
Natural Gallery of Art Ceramics
Address: Pustý Chotár 495
Tel: 00421/37/63 30 680
Address: Výstavná 4
Tel: 00421/37/657 21 11-3
Address: Chrenovská 1661/30
Tel: 00421/905 833 794
Film club UKF
Address: Tr. A. Hlinku 1
Tel: 00421/905 580 297
Address: Rázusova 2
Tel: 00421/905 315 155
PULSO Nigth Club
Address: Slančíkovej 1
Tel: 00421/905 810 247
Rock Club OZZaY
Address: Kupecká ul.
Tel: 00421/917 716 688
Tel. 037 7769755, 7769756, 7769757 7769722
Tel. 00421/903 693 211
Tel. 00421/ 37/ 651 52 30
Nitra – Mlynárce
Tel. 00421/ 37/ 775 51 11, 00421/ 37/ 651 42 10
Metro Cash & Carry Slovakia
951 41 Lužianky
Tel. 00421/ 37/ 657 31 11, 00421/ 850 700 70
Tel. 00421/ 37/ 652 93 81
NISYS Nitra Tourist Information Centre
Address: Štefánikova 1
Tel: 00421/37/ 741 09 06