Trnava is located in western Slovakia only 47 km from the capital Bratislava on the Trnávka river. With its population of 69500 it is the 7th largest city is the country. As a capital of Trnava region it is a seat of Roman-Catholic archbishopric and 2 universities.
The city is often referred as the “Slovak Rome” thanks to many churches within its city walls. The name of the city is implied from Slovak word tŕnie which means thornbush. The center of Trnava has been designated a Town Monument Reserve in 1987.
- Trnava-Middle part
The first written mention of Trnava dates back to 1211. It used to be a very important market settlement as it was a junction of two roads, one from Mediterranean to Poland and the second from Bohemia to Hungary. The market used to be held on Saturdays what was the reason of its name – Sobota (Saturday in Slovak). Trnava received the privileges of free royal town from King Béla IV. in 1238 what made Trnava being the first city in the country with such privileges.
It was a meeting and negotiating place for many important historic persons. Czech and Hungarian kings, John of Luxemburg and Charles I., signed their currency agreement here in 1327. In 1360, Emperor Charles IV. signed a friendship agreement here with King Louis I. who often stayed in this city and also died here in 1380.
Tranava became an important commerce center during 16th century. After Archbishop of Esztergomb along with the Chapter moved to Trnava in 1543, Trnava became the clerical and cultural centre of Kingdom of Hungary and it kept its importance for nearly 300 years. The Jesuit Trnava University was the only university in Kingdom of Hungary in 1635–1777.
The city was also the centre of artistic and literary Slovak National Revival from the late 18th century. Anton Bernolák who created the first standard codification of Slovak Language in 1787 based his work on the dialect used in Trnava Region. It kept its cultural, economic and agricultural importance till now.
The city lies at the crossroads of two roads of international importance; from the Czech Republic to southern Slovakia and from Bratislava to northern Slovakia. The D1 motorway connects the city to Bratislava, Trenčín and Žilina and the R1 expressway connects it to Nitra. A part of a planned bypass is currently under construction.
The city also has an important station on the Bratislava–Žilina railway, with two tracks from Sereď and Kúty (near the Czech border) ending in the city.
Although there is a small airstrip at the north-eastern edge, closest international airports are in Bratislava and Vienna. The city also operates a public transport service, currently represented by 16 regular and other lines.
City Tower (Mestská veža) in Trnava is one of the most important Renaissance monuments of the city. The tower has a square ground-plan in the shape of solid prism with eight storeys and is 57 m tall.
The scenic gallery is in a height of about 29 m. Corners and the top floor are decorated with diamond graffiti and on the southeast side is a sundial. On the niche above the entrance is a circular relief with symbols of Christ. History of the building began on 28th of July 1574, when the citizen and mason Master Jacob committed to mayor George Schlegl to complete the building. Fires in 1666 and 1683 damaged the tower and the tower remained roofless.
On the top of the tower there was originally a moon with a star. This symbol was replaced in 1739-1742 by a statue Immaculata, but a huge storm tore the statue and on its place was given a new gold-copper statue in living size on 8th of September 1791. Its peculiarity is that the statue has a face from before and from behind. This is because of the burghers fear, that Virgin Mary will watch over the side her face is turned to.
Later, in 1997 were found documents in the bowels of the statue from the 30s of the last century. These were subsequently removed and stored in the county archive and were replaced by current documents as a reference for the future generations. The last reconstruction of the façade in 2004, returned the look of the tower into the original Renaissance appearance.
In 1729 was on the fifth floor placed clockwork from the workshop of Franz Langer. Three hundred kilograms weights are hanging from a 30 m long rope and run in a glazed prism extending into the third floor. The Nemeček family takes care of the clockwork for several generations. Despite of the age of the clockwork it still is slow just 30 seconds in 24 hours.
In 1818 was opened a new entrance to the tower above which was an inscription: Nisi dominus custodiert civitatem, frustra vigilat, gui custodit eam – If Lord will not protect the city, in vain will watch who protects it. The tower has undergone a reconstruction in 1938-1941, during which the graffiti has been covered with parging and the statue was re-gilded in the workshop of Peter Michaletz. Another reconstruction was in 1997-1998.
Cathedral of St. Nicholas
The first mention of the Romanesque parish Cathedral of St. Nicholas (Dóm sv. Mikuláša) in Trnava is from the second half of the 11th century.
The Parish church was built in the eastern part of the city, on the fusiform marketplace of the Romanesque estate, which was founded on the old trade route from Czech through Jablonický Pass and Trnava. The church was consecrated to St. Nicholas, the patron of merchants. It was a Romanesque building, which ground plan is unknown and is just assumed that it was rectangular. The oldest written reports of Trnava mention this church.
A Romanesque Chapel of St. George stood on the north side of the church. Its establishment is unknown. The church is 60 m long, 31 m wide and the main nave is 18 m tall. The main façade is two-towered. The north tower has one of the biggest bells in Europe – St. Nicholas bell.
The church was a metropolitan cathedral church of the Archdiocese of Esztergom in 1543-1820. Subsequently, in 1918 after the establishment of the Apostolic administrative in Trnava, the church became a cathedral again until the year 1977, when after the establishment of the Trnava Archbishop, Pope has transferred the title of the cathedral church to the current Cathedral of St. John the Baptiste.
On 10th of August 2008, Archbishop of Trnava – Ján Sokol celebrated a solemn Mass, during which he acclaimed the Cathedral of St. Nicholas to a Marian pilgrimage site of the Archidiocese of Trnava. Pope Benedict XVI. proclaimed the Cathedral of St. Nicholas to a Minor Basilica on 9 November 2008. This status allows to use the papal emblem of crossed keys on temple flags and tools. Minor Basilica of Trnava is the tenth basilica in Slovakia.
Church of St. Helena
Church of St. Helena (Kostol sv. Heleny) in Trnava is a Gothic church built in the 14th century and converted in Baroque style in the 17th century.
The church is a part of the complex of medieval spital rebuilt in classicist style. The oldest preserved written mention comes from the year 1490 and says about the damages caused to the church and its facilities. The first part of the building, the original church, was probably a shrine, to which was later built the nave of the church.
It is a single nave building with a closed polygonal presbytery and crossed-ribbed vault. On the both sides of the nave are Baroque chapels. Above the Gothic portal is a three-part edicula with statues. The simple main altar in pseudo-Gothic style dates from the late 19th century.
In the south chapel is the altar of Male pain from around the year 1700, with a statue of the Divine Heart in the middle and with late-Gothic altar wings on the sides from around the year 1500. In the north chapel is a side altar with the image of Our Lady of Lorety from the years 1725-1728. In 1766 was put a the bell of St. Elisabeth into the tower and later the bell of St. Helena.
The Church of St. John of Baptist
The Church of St. John of Baptist, also called the University Church, was built in early-Baroque style and became one of the most beautiful churches of its kind especially in Europe. It was built between the years 1629 and 1637on the site of a medieval Dominican monastery and church as a first church in Slovakia built in Baroque style. The precious wooden alter, that is 20, 3 m high and 14, 8 m wide constructed by B. Knilling and V. Stadler in 1640, dominates the interior of the church. Church is full of amazing paintings made by many well known artists such as G. B. Rosso or G. Tornini.
There are many other beautiful monuments interesting for visitors such as the Town Tower built in Renaissance style in 1574 that is situated on Holy Trinity Square. The most extensive cultural monument in Trnava is the city fortifications. It has been constructed in Gothic style in 13th century and reconstructed in 14th, 15th and 16th century. There is a gate – Bernolak Gate – situated in the western part on the fortifications.
Synagogue in Trnava
Jews lived in Trnava already in time of Great Moravia. Jews formed a compact settlement on the territory of today’s Slovakia since the 12th century. Living evidence, is the fact that Rabbi Eliezer ben Natan, who was Rabbi of Poznaň in1150, came from Trnava. In the second mid of the 14th century, the Rabbi of Trnava was Isac Jicchak Tirnan, later rabbinical school administrator and finally the main Rabbi in Vienna. Jews were expelled from the city by King Ferdinand I. in 1539. During the 18th century, figts against Jews continued. Trnava protested even against the fact that the Buda Jews built a synagogue.
Prohibition of Jewish residence in the city changed the Toleration Patent of Joseph II. In those days, Trnava belonged to the rabbinate in Cifer. The Jews bought the land on Halinova Street in 1831 and built a house of prayer in the yard. The village was detached from Cifer in 1855 and Trnava became the seat of the rabbinate. Even Simon Sidon the Rabbi of Cifer moved to Trnava.
A religious community, status quo ante, was established in Trnava after the Jewish Congress in Michalovce and Budapest. The municipality built a synagogue in 1891 designed by the Viennese architect Jacob Gartner (Trnavská synagóga). The congregation erected in the garden a monument in memory of victims killed during World War II. This monument was designed by architect Arthur Slatinský-Szalatnay. It consists of a sarcophagus with the inscription: “To our sufferers 1942-1945” and has a symbolic stand with three columns.
In 1896 was founded an Orthodox Jewish religious community in Trnava. The orthodox community also had a yeshiva, which student number fluctuated between 100 and 150. The orthodox synagogue is separated from the synagogue qua ante by a narrow street. According to the Orthodox customs the synagogue is without pomp and without towers.
Although the exterior is modest, the interior is impressive and gives the visitor a positive impression. Nowadays, it is in private property and its future is uncertain. The old cemetery was founded in 1801 and is the second cemetery in Trnava. The first was established in the 12th or the 13th century. The new cemetery is located on the outskirt of the town and was founded in 1879. It is unique in that there were buried members of the orthodoxy and the status quo.
Exhibition of the Museum of Jewish Culture is placed in the gallery of the synagogue status quo ante, which currently manages the Gallery of John Koniarik. Most of the exhibits are the property of the Bratislava Jewish community. Every visitor will certainly take up ritual objects of the Jewish culture (Torah, prayer books, pepper pots, candlesticks, Chanukah lamps and textiles). Impressive is that they are exposed in the former Sacred building.
Historical Trnava University (Trnavská univerzita) is one of the oldest universities in Slovakia. Trnava University was founded in 1635 by Cardinal Peter Pázman. The university had four faculties: theology, art, law and medicine. It has become known due to the observatory founded by Maximilian Hell, the university library, gardens and theater.
The university worked for 142 years. In 1777 the university moved to Budín. The Slovak National Council restored the university on 25 March 1992 and reopened on 1 July 1992. The Academic Senate Uiversity established the Faculty of Humanities and the Faculty of Education in September 1992. Faculty of Nursing and Social Work was founded in 1994, was changed the name of was changed to the Faculty of Health and Social Work in 1998.
Pedagogical Institute of St. Andrew in Ružomberok became a part of the Trnava University, from which was established the Catechism and Education Faculty of St. Andrew in the academic year 1996/1997. This faculty became a part of the University of Žilina on 1st of November 1997.
Theological Institute of St. Alojz, established by the Rector of the Trnava University, became a part of the Trnava University, of which was established the Faculty of Theology with seat in Bratislava on 23 October 1997. Faculty of Law was established on 1 October 1998. The first Rector of the re-established Trnava University was prof. RNDr. Anton Hajduk, DrSc.
Trnava University defends Christian priciples, wants to protect the moral and spiritual values, wants to educate in the spirit of ecumenism, to cooperate with other universities. Trnava University contacted not only Slovak universities, but also other 13 universities abroad (Czech Republic, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Sweeden, USA, Poland, Hungary and others).
Address: Jeruzalemská 2
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Castle Cafe Bar
Address: Štefánikova 32
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Tel: 00421/33/551 36 85
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Tel: 00421/33/551 13 23
Address: Sladovnícka 15
Tel: 00421/918 892 888
Address: Jeruzalemská 45
Tel: 00421/33/551 25 16
Route 66 Restaurant
Address: T. Vansovej 2
Tel: 00421/914 265 555
Santa Lucia Restaurant
Address: Pekárska 39
Tel: 00421/33/551 58 87
Stará pošta Restaurant
Address: Radlinského 2
Tel: 00421/33/551 40 06
Tavern Láry Fáry
Address: Halenárska 15/1
Tel: 00421/33/553 30 50
U Michala Restaurant
Address: Orolská 5
Tel: 00421/33/551 45 38
U zeleného stromu Restaurant
Address: Zelený kríčok 1
Tel: 00421/33/554 64 80
Address: Pekárska 11
Tel: 00421/905 386 647
- Address: G. Tajovského 8
- Tel: 00421/908 390 814
Theatre of John Palárik
- Address: Trojičné square 2
- Tel: 00421/33/551 11 25
Theater of John Palárik (Divadlo Jána Palárika) was one of the most important centers of Jesuit theatre in Hungary already in the 17th century. Later in Trnava were many mundane German and Hungarian theatrical companies.
History of theatre in Trnava was significantly influenced by various professional ensembles and Slovak amateurs. The theatre building, which is still used, was built by the city in 1831. On its façade is still a Latin inscription: Isthanc aedem Thaliae po suit senatus ac populus Tirnaviensis – This house of Talia was built by the Senate and the population of Trnava. The building of the Trnava City Theatre which is considered as the oldest preserved building if its kind in Slovakia, has undergone several internal and external reconstructions.
Important personalities of the Slovak culture worked in Trnava such as M. Schneider of Trnava or playwriter Ferko Urbánek. The first professional theatre in Trnava was Regional Theatre Trnava in 1960-1965. After its disappearance were in the city mainly amateur theatres. In 1974 was in the city established a professional drama touring theater for children and youth. The youngest ensemble played in the oldest theatre and achieved the greatest success in the history of theatre.
The theatre was renamed to the Theatre of Trnava in 1990. The theatre was renamed to Theatre of John Palárik in 2002, has currently in its repertoire staging for adults and children. After a year-reconstruction of the theatre in 2003, was opened a new playing space – Studio Theatre. To it were added new areas of central dressing rooms for the audience – in the old cellars under the theatre.
Red Stone Museum
Red Stone Museum (Múzeum Červený kameň)
- Address: next to Častá village
- Tel: 00421/33/690 58 03
Western Slovak Museum
- Address: Múzejné square 3
- Tel: 00421/33/551 29 13
Museum tradition in Trnava is connected with the work of the City Museum, which extinct after the World War I. In 1935, during the 300th anniversary of the establishment of Trnava University was inaugurated Museum of František Richard Osvald, established by the Museum Society of F. R. Osvald.
The direct predecessor of the Western Slovak Museum (Západoslovenské múzeum) – Trnava Regional Museum was established in 1954. Its collection includes a part of the funds of the former Museum of F. R. Osvald and the major collectors work of Stephen Cyril Parrak.
The aim of the museum is to purposefully collect, preserve, process and make available documents about the development of nature and society in western Slovakia. In its specialization the museum focuses on the research and documentation of the history of campanology in Slovakia and forms a collection fund binding to this specialization. The museum also forms a specialized fund of Asian ceramics art. A part of the museum is the Museum of literary culture with an extensive historical library.
An extended exhibition of the Western Slovak Museum is the Exhibition of figural sculpture of Ignatius Bizmayer in the urban fortification in Modra. The museum provides tutoring services, hostes concerts, seminars, conferences and literary events. The museum also has spaces for social activities and meetings.
The Western Slovak Museum is placed in the former Poor Clares Convent. The museum currently registers 130,987 artefacts of which 53,397 scientific, 12,533 archeological, 34,220 historical, 16,719 numismatic and 14,118 etnographic.
Address: Štefánikova 35
Tel: 00421/33/551 38 11
Galéria Dag (Dag Gallery)
Address: Hlavná 17
Tel: 00421/33/551 14 70
Galéria ÚĽUV Trnava (ULUV Trnava Galery)
Address: Hlavná 5
Tel: 00421/33/551 36 84
Slnečná galéria (Sunny Gallery)
Address: Štefánikova 5
Tel: 00421/908 749 960
Galéria Jana Koniara (John Koniar Gallery)
Address: Zelený kríček 3
Tel: 00421/33/551 16 59
Address: Rybníková 14
Tel: 00421/33/550 46 51
Address: F. Urbánka 11
Tel: 00421/33/595 82 00-1
Kino Hviezda (Cinema Star)
Address: Paulínska 1
Tel: 00421/33/323 64 44
Kino Oko (Cinema Eye)
Address: Building of the University of SS. Cyril and Methodius , J. Her Square
Tel: 00421/33/550 26 58
Prírodné kino (Natural Cinema)
Address: Halenárska 29
Tel: 00421/33/551 48 17
Stavbár – Modranka
Tel: 00421/33/554 30 78
Address: Hlavná 17
Tel: 00421/902 324 972
Address: Radlinskeho 7
Tel: 00421/904 305 568
Address: Zelený krícek 2
Tel: 00421/905 716 369
Tel: +421 33 553 18 12
Ul. Ferka Urbánka 11
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V. Clementisa 41
Tel: +421 33 550 48 11
Tel: +421 33 591 62 22
Tourist Information Centre
Address: Trojičné square 1
Tel: 00421/33/323 64 40