These articles were published in the Spectacular Slovakia travel guide, published annually by The Slovak Spectator since 1996. The latest editions can be obtained from our online shop.



Skalka nad Váhom

By Michaela Stanková

    Skalka nad Váhom is known as the oldest pilgrimage place in Slovakia. It now draws more than 15,000 pilgrims every year.
 Skalka nad Váhom is known as the oldest pilgrimage place in Slovakia. It now draws more than 15,000 pilgrims every year.
 Photo Ján Lacika

Skalka nad Váhom is known as the oldest pilgrimage place in Slovakia. Pilgrimages used to take place twice a year and nowadays the tradition is being renewed. The popularity of the place is growing - more than 15,000 pilgrims from Slovakia and surrounding countries now attend.

The ruin of the Benedictine monastery with a small church attached to the rock attracts many pilgrims. The curious thing, however, is a small cave near the church, where St. Svorad and St. Benedikt lived in the 10th and 11th centuries.

The oldest legend in Slovak literature, written by the bishop Maurus, is connected with this place. The story says that in the 11th century Svorad, a Polish monk, joined the Benedictine monastery in Nitra. In the last years of his life he went to Skalka with his disciple, Benedikt.

When Svorad died in 1034, a chain was found on his dead body, deeply ingrown under his ribs. Benedikt only lived three years longer than his teacher. According to Maurus, Benedikt was attacked by outlaws, who tied him up and threw him from the rock of Malá Skalka. One year later, his body was recovered from the Váh River by an eagle, unharmed. Since then, both saints have been worshipped together.


These articles and related information were published in Spectacular Slovakia 2007, which you can obtain from our online shop.

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