Open crypt and unconventional concert attracted hundreds of people to KATARÍNKA

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Members of Katarínka organizational team at radio Regina

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Open Doors Day at Katarínka launched new working season

Volunteers working for the project prepared for the visitors the traditional Open Doors Day on Sunday, 5th July. It has been the 15th event taking place regularly on the feast of St. Cyril and Methodius since the creation of the project. The 21st season of voluntary works at St. Catherine's of Alexandria Church and Monastery was launched on this occasion, as well.  

The Open Doors Day at Katarínka was  launched by a solemn Holy Mass celebrated by Franciscan Father Felix Maria from Bratislava and brother Bartolomej from Zvolen. At noon, the founder of the project Peter Herceg presented the plan for the upcoming season, during which the volunteers will dedicate their time to the finish inside the tower, so to works related to its opening to the public as an observation tower. „We are pleased that we can present Katarínka, our four "pillars" (spirituality, work, community, genius loci) and what we do here to the people during a single day. We are glad that we managed to organise the event thanks to many volunteers. We strove to keep the main points of the programme and bring people the atmosphere of peace and the good, which we believe they felt.“

The programme then continued with "the catering" for the visitors in the form of cooked sausages and garlic soup. The organisers prepared sufficient water supplies  for the tropical temperatures. There were also guided tours of the ruins of the church and monastery with presentations about the history of this pilgrimage site. The main organiser Matej Krajčovič was satisfied with  the course of the event despite the high temperatures. "About 600 to 650 sympathisers and tourists of different age categories came to visit us. Traditionally, families with children were interested in creative workshops and 'guilds', especially the painting, fishing and rope guilds." 


This way, another working season was launched at Katarínka by the biggest event of the year.  Apart from working, volunteers have the opportunity during the two-week camp sessions to experience adventure and the taste of the 17th century, without electricity, the Internet, mobile phones and other modern conveniences of our era. There are some places left for boys and men of the age of 17 and above in the upcoming sessions.

The Night of the Churches 2015 also at Katarínka

On Friday, 29th of May, the imaginary gates of the monastery of St. Catherine of Alexandria have opened for guests within the frame of the nation-wide event Noc kostolov. This year‘s motto was quotation of the Psalm 139,12: "Even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you."

The program was opened by charming melodies  of the young cabinet composition „Guitar Duo Jókaiová Hnat“ by the songs of well-known representatives, such as K. Mertz, Antonio Soler, Radamés Gnattali and others.

After the concert, a moderated prayer took place by means of the volunteers, to whom the evening prayer is a part of each day spent at Katarínka.

After the prayer, there was a refreshment in form of greasy bread with onion and a hot tea.

The guided commentary about history, surveys, works and life of the volunteers was offered to the guests and it all accompanied by the light of the moon and kerosene lamp.

The event was ended by non-traditional lighting of the external walls of the church and monastery, which exuded mysterious atmosphere of the 17th century.

We estimate the total number of guests to 200 from Trnava, Bratislava and also from the Nitra region.

Video report in TV Lux (Slovak only) »»

KATARÍNKA work plan for the summer season 2015

As usual, we continue saving St. Catherine's ruins during the summer season 2015.

What awaits us this year?

Almost final preparations to let tourists access the tower, such as

  • repair vaultings of large windows on the 5th floor of the tower,
  • paving tiles on the 6th floor with scenic view.
  • and put together a missing floor on the 2nd floor and a completion of wooden staircase.

From the last year, inside the Church we continue with

  • repairing of pillar caps in the aisle of the church,
  • masonry of the long wall in the sanctuary,
  • and we also plan to carry out a masonry "experiments" on the northern wall of the monastery.

We will also go further with works in the monastery, especially

  • repairing of the crown of tall thin wall in the middle of the monastery,
  • and with conservating of masonry.
Archeology doesn't sleep either. There will be probably still going thorough research of the second crypt in the middle of the church and also a small probe in corner of the tower will be carried out.

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This article is available only in Slovak language.

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This article is available only in Slovak language.


Torches and candles lit during the event The night of castles and ruins

On Saturday 16th August, during the event "The night of castles and ruins", in which several other Slovak castles and monuments were involved, torches, candles and kerosene lamps were lit at Katarinka. Our programme attracted 300 visitors despite the colder weather.

The evening was opened by a concert of chamber music performed by the guitarist and composer Ondrej Veselý and the sopranist Eva Šušková. The church ruins with their ambience and genius loci represented  a wonderful symbiosis of the natural environment and some kind of "concert hall".

Apart from the compositions by J. S. Bach, C. Domeniconi and N. Boulanger, works of renowned living Slovak composers were played as well - besides the ethereal psalm  "Nad Rzekami Babilońskiemi" (By the Rivers of Babylon) by Ondrej Veselý, there were also compositions by Viera Janárčeková and Vladimír Bokes, who also attended the concert premiere of his Psalms in person.

After a short rain break, the silhouette of Katarinka was vested in an impressive rainbow and made the visitors stay to attend the following programme - a solemn mass celebrated by Ľudovít "Lemuel" Kubán.

In the dark, we managed to offer the visitors some unusual meals - bread and grease and lots of home-made cookies.

At last, our interest in history was nourished as well - there were night-time guided tours lit by torches and kerosene lamps, which were interlarded with theatre performances dealing with the monastery's history in the church and the largest room of the monastery. We believe that the most persistent visitors leaving Katarinka before midnight were full of positive impressions and experiences associated with this unusual night.

Other photos:

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