The uniqueness of cultural and historical sights and most of all the plenitude of church buildings are the main attributes of the ancient-looking Trnava, one of the most attractive towns in Slovakia. “The pearl” among Slovak towns, often called as “the little Slovak Rome”, has for centuries welcome tourists and visitors to show them its valuable treasures. Welcome to Trnava – the centre of Lower Povazie.
Very long time ago, somewhere in the 9th century, there were markets held at the crossroad of the trade routes, and so the settlement established here was named after the market day – Sobota (Saturday). Not far from there to the west, another settlement was founded near the Trnávka creek, which was given the name Trnava. Step by step, the settlements were joined and created a small town which was granted an important privilege in 1238 by the king of the Kingdom of Hungary, Belo IV. Trnava as the first Slovak town got the privileges of the free royal town what induced its great economic and architectural development. Trnava experienced its greatest progress in the 16th century when it became a significant trade centre. In 1543, when Esztergom was occupied by Turkish, Trnava provided shelter to the Esztergom archbishop as well as canonry and that way it became also the church centre of the whole Kingdom of Hungary for nearly 300 years. The peak of the Trnava development was the last third of the 16th century when the town flourished most and attracted many immigrants from the near as well as far surrounding. Thus, when the cardinal Peter Pázmány founded a university in the town in 1635, Trnava became a prominent cultural centre. Town, worshiped as the “Athens of Kingdom of Hungary” or the “Residence of Muses” was acknowledged by the whole Europe. Although the university was move to Buda, the omnipresent genius loci remained forever. The university life as well as the presence of an archbishop in Trnava was interrupted for a while, but they returned back to the town in 20th century. Since 1978 Trnava has been the seat of an archbishop again and the student life was revived in 1922 by founding the Trnava University.
Trnava takes pride mostly in its historical centre which was declared a historical town reserve in 1987.The architectonic treasures are protected by the ellpreserved Trnava city walls which only few cities in the Middle Europe can boast with. Trnava people usually meet in the Trinity square full of good atmosphere and colourful cultural and social life. The Town Tower, which dominates the square, keeps watch over the town day and night. In 1574 it was ordered to be built by craftsman Jacob and from its view terrace you can admire an amazing view of Trnava and its surroundings. To the most valuable historical sights of Trnava definitely belongs the Cathedral of St. John The Baptist. Besides the stunning painting decorations, the colossal wooden main altar from 1640 is the highlight of its interior. The university church is to the core connected with other former university buildings such as collegium, grammar school, seminars and dormitories. The area of the oldest settlement in Trnava, in the St. Nicolas Square is for Trnava people oasis of quiet in which the far-back history of the famous medieval town is still present. Here is also present another important gothic monument – the parish church – St. Nicolas Basillica, which was the cathedral church of the Esztergom archbishop in 1543-1820. The weeping painting of the merciful Virgin Mary in the church can remind us of the sorrow and pain of the Trnava people at the time of the Turkish invasions and plague epidemics.
Let the walks around the oldest royal town inspire you to discover its interesting nooks.