The church of the Holy Spirit. This former early gothic church was rebuilt in baroque style. Valuable early gothic interior paintings were saved for the National cultural preserve. The church is situated in a village with an unusual name – Žehra. The originally Slavic name was accepted even by the Hungarians who called the village “Zsigra”. The “g” in the name points out the fact that the village existed before 1200, since at that time the Slovak language was in the process of exchanging “g” for “h”. Thus, while Hungarians accepted the old “g”, this letter changed into “h” in the Slovak language. The name of the village may therefore be derived from the noun “žeh” – the burning (of dead bodies).
Slavs living close to the hill Dreveník (currently a natural reservation with precious species of fauna and flora) might have considered it a mystical place. Only a small number of medieval churches have known dates of construction. The Church of the Holy Spirit in Žehra is one of them. According to written documents, the church was constructed between 1245 and 1275 in the so-called transitional style from late-Romanesque to early-Gothic style, which is evidenced by the walled up original entrance to the church. When entering the church, one will see a pillar dividing the originally sole nave into two parts, turning it into a doublenave church. The original single nave had a wooden paneled ceiling. At that time, churches used to serve as depositories. In order to protect the stored valuables from fires, the nave had to be furnished with a vault, which required the addition of a central pillar in 1380. However, this unique church is so valuable not only because of its architecture. Almost the whole interior is covered with frescos. The oldest ones date back to the 13th century and can be found on the mentioned walled up portal. The consecration crosses date back to that period as well. The most fascinating is the decoration of the sanctuary which reminds of ancient Byzantine churches. The following four scenes appear between the Romanesque ribs: Christ Pantocrator, the Mother of God, the Abraham’s Bosom on the right and the most interesting is the image of the Most Holy Trinity on the left which is depicted as one man with three heads. The scenes date back to the first half of the 14th century similarly like the frescos on the walls of the sanctuary and are arranged in three rows. The top row shows the Mariological Cycle consisting of the Coronation of Virgin Mary and Annunciation, with the patron Saints Cosmas and Damian in the back, who were protecting the people from plague. The Passion Cycle in the central row starts with the Last Supper which is (and that is unique) attended also by St. Paul. The following scenes follow: Judas’s Kiss, Christ before Pilate, from Whipping to Crucifixion, and Removal from the Cross. The bottom row is a decorative drapery. Considering the method in which the frescos were manufactured, it can be assumed that their author was from Italy and was also familiar with Byzantine art. The Arch of Triumph depicts prophets in medallions and the Hungarian Kings St. Stephen and Ladislas on the sides. From the side of the nave the whole scene is dominated by an image of the Judgement Day. Also the southern wall of the nave is decorated with three rows of frescos from the 15th century.
High Tatras with its 24 peaks higher than 2.500 m above sea level provide the only mountains with an Alpine character in the whole of the 1.200 km length of the Carpathian Mountain range.
The town of High Tatras was founded in 1947 and it has a population of 5,000 residents. The Administrative centre of the town is Stary Smokovec, which together with Tatranska Lomnica and Strbske Pleso provides the focal point for one of the three most important Tatra tourist resorts. High Tatras covers an area of 398 square km and is one of the largest cities in the Slovak republic.
Konverzný kurz 30,1260 Sk = 1 €
Tourist information for the visitors of High Tatras:
Mountain rescue service
NONSTOP emergency calls: 18 300
Contact: HZS Vysoké Tatry, Starý Smokovec 23, 059 60 Vysoké Tatry,
phone: 052/4422820, fax: 052/4422855, mobile: 0903624869, e-mail:
TIK - Tatra information board:
TIK STARÝ SMOKOVEC:
address: Oblastné stredisko HZS Vysoké Tatry, Starý Smokovec 23, 062 01 Vysoké Tatry
phone: +421 (0)52 442 34 40
TIK TATRANSKÁ LOMNICA:
address: TIK TATRANSKÁ LOMNICA, 059 60 Tatranská Lomnica, Vysoké Tatry
phone: +421 (0)52 446 81 19
TIK ŠTRBSKÉ PLESO:
address: TIK ŠTRBSKÉ PLESO, 059 85 Štrbské Pleso, Vysoké Tatry
phone: +421 (0)52 449 23 91