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.

Svätý Jur

By James Thomson

    St George’s Church in Svätý Jur.
 St George’s Church in Svätý Jur.
 Photos by James Thomson

Many of the towns of the Malé Karpaty region have - or at least had - their own ethnic identities. Croatian is still spoken in Devínska Nová Ves, on the other side of the Little Carpathians; Hungarian is the most commonly-heard tongue in the Danube towns south of Bratislava; and Svätý Jur was, until 1945, a predominantly German-speaking town. You are unlikely to hear any German spoken here now, but the legacy of its residents can still be observed.

Svätý Jur's main square - actually a wide boulevard - has been attractively renovated in recent years. It leads from the main road up towards the hills; on the right, as the road starts to rise steeply, is St George's, one of the most valuable Gothic churches in western Slovakia.

Dating in part from as early as the thirteenth century, the church contains an intricately carved sandstone altar depicting St George slaying the dragon, which was created in 1517 by the same master responsible for St Anne's in Vienna.

The first mention of wine-making here dates from 1270. But neighbouring Pezinok is now a much larger viticulture centre.

These articles and related information were published in Spectacular Slovakia 2009, which you can obtain from our online shop.

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