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Work done in 2017

The work season at Katarínka was finished with completion of almost all planned targets that were outlined in the article with the plan for season 2017.

Due to the fact that at the beginning of the season the tower was made available to public, the work in it was adjusted to avoid disturbing the guided visits. We were pointing windows arches and jambs on the first and second floor of the tower, mainly from the outer side (see picture comparison below).

The head of the pillar in the north-east corner of the church nave was repaired and grassed over. Next to it, there is the last remaining pillar that will be repaired the next season. In both the interior and exterior of the church, plasters were being fixed and holes filled with mortar, including the entry to the tower.

The southern chancel wall was deeply re-pointed from both sides, its top was disassembled and masoned anew. The masonry at the top was covered with a clay layer covered with grass clumps in order to protect the new mortar from frost and other weather conditions (see picture comparison below).

In the monastery, the work was carried out mostly in the last three cells and in the corridor. The work included pointing, fixing of plasters and repairing jambs of doors and windows.

Archaeology was carried out on a large scale; the entrance to Erdődy crypt and its side wall were discovered. During the excavation for lightning conductor, pieces of floor were found in the church nave and the pedestal of big Calvary statue (that was after the monastery dissolution moved to Dechtice) was discovered to the left of the monastery entrance.

Krypta 2017

In the middle of summer, during the weekend July 21-23, the long awaited lime slaking was done; the lime hole was filled with nine tons of lime. After the season, in autumn, window shutters were installed to protect the 5th tower floor from snow and rain.

 Hasenie vápna 2017

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Sightseeing tower at Katarínka – more information

Sightseeing tower at Katarínka is closed by default. It will be open only during specified dates – see on the right – Nearest tower opening.

Good weather is a must. Entries occur every top of the hour*; max. 16 visitors can enter the tower at one time and only with 2 guides.

Children taller than 130 cm can enter only accompanied by an adult person: 1 adult on 1 child** (it is necessary to oversee the child all the time and stairs are steep, going up to 30 m).

Standard guided tour in the sightseeing tower takes 25-40 minutes.


* Permanent access to sightseeing tower is not guaranteed – depending on availability of guides, number of visitors and weather – tower must be closed in case of bad weather. Current information about the next sightseeing is always available directly under the tower.

** Limitations for children are due to steep and long stairs (almost like ladders). Therefore, each child/teenager must be secured and accompanied by an adult. Height limitation for young children is due to steep stairs and also due to height of window ledges and wall edge on the top – see photos. Smaller children would not see anything and it is forbidden to lift children up.

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Doors Open Day at Katarínka – sightseeing tower opening

Wednesday 5 July 2017 was the day of the biggest event of the year at Katarínka. The program of doors open day at Katarínka attracted more than 1,000 visitors from all parts of Slovakia. The focus was on the sightseeing tower which the volunteers from will Katarínka will open to public from 6 July.

The first people came to enjoy the peace and natural scenery even before the official beginning of the program. The main program started with a holy mass in the ruins of the church. The mass was celebrated by Franciscan Felix Mária (ThLic. Zdenko Žiška) and parish priest from Dechtice Miroslav Kováč. It was followed by a theater performance that described the interesting history of Church and Monastery of St. Catherine of Alexandria. Afterwards, visitors could enjoy the food prepared by the volunteers from Katarínka. The program continued with guided tours and various creative workshops for children.

After years of active volunteering activities, mainly in summer months, we are announcing opening of the sightseeing tower for general public, starting from 6 July. During doors open day, the tower was festively blessed, with presence of the invited guests. Entrance to the tower is possible only during good weather for max. 16 visitors and together with 2 guides. No special authorization is needed in advance; the tower will be (with a few exceptions) open during whole summer between 8:00 and 17:00.

Founder of Katarínka project, Peter Herceg: “We are very pleased that we can share this success with others. After years of hard work, when hundreds of volunteers were taking turns here, we can open the sightseeing tower for public. Visitors can get to the top of a 30-meter high tower and enjoy the view of surroundings – Little Carpathians. We ask visitors for their patience, because we do not know how big will be the demand. A situation can occur when more visitors come and not everyone will be allowed to enter the tower. These limitations are related mainly to security measurements. We also in advance would like to point out that visitors should be careful when going up or down the tower, because the stairs are rather steep. We are looking forward to all visitors and believe that the sightseeing will be worth it.”

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Year of the first stairs in the tower

The main aim of an annual report is to share what our project accomplished in the year 2013.

It also talks about important and interesting facts from the life of Katarínka. Besides these, you can also find there information about events open for public that were and are going to be organised.
Figures in a chart prove how important voluntary contributions and donation of 2% of income tax are.
At the end of this report you can read about our plans and vision for the year 2014.

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Summer working season 2013 is over

The summer season at Katarínka has been successfully completed. This, however, does not mean that Katarínka cannot be visited anymore. Quite the contrary: right now, when the autumn is so beautiful and multicoloured, the place is really worth visiting.

We would like to share with you a summary of how we got on and what we have managed so far. Here is some brief information on our most important summer (especially working) activities.

Conservation works on the tower

The masonry and grouting took place on the crown of the tower – on its roof at the height of 363 metres above sea level, 30 metres above the ground. On the highest 6th floor, it was necessary to ensure the static equilibrium and fix the wall that will be used as a railing of the tower.

The masonry was also done on the individual storeys inside the tower. All storeys are already completed and masoned (there are 5 storeys plus the roof). The masonry was done on the spots where the bearing beams of the storeys were embedded – in stripes of 50 cm above and 50 cm below the floor – in order to complete the floors and to make a ladder.

In the next few years, our task will be to do the grouting on the mezzanine level.

Carpentry

We managed to craft the stairs (some are fitted between the 4th and 5th floor, others are prepared). The floors were done too – the ones on the fourth and fifth floors are already installed thanks to the intensive planing of wooden boards during our two-week summer camps.

Archaeological research

The presbytery and the crypt were discovered. “We have it! Finally, in the crypt…” Elorien and our archaeologist Ivana Kvetánová were both very pleased. The ceiling of the crypt was crushed, and the whole crypt was buried under the debris. We found the remains of the marble altar, which is likely to have been situated above the crypt . Occasionally, we came across some bones and splinters. The crypt is divided into two storeys with two internal partition walls. Six grave sites were probably situated there. Based on the historical sources, we can assume that the crypt was robbed several times in the past, or that the descendants transferred their ancestors’ remains elsewhere.

Conservation of the monastery

After a couple of years, we came back to work on the monastery. It was the drilling and anchoring of the statically vulnerable parts – the internal partition walls. We also did the complete re-masoning of the crowns of the walls and the grouting of the monastery, which is to be continued next year.

The highlight of this season was the disassembling and the re-vaulting of the destroyed arches, the repair of the brick shutters and the grassing of the crowns of all the repaired walls.

See also photos – The monastery before and after. Especially the completely disintegrated vault, whose possible fall during the winter 2012/2013 was the subject of a bet. It did not fall at last 😉


Of course, Katarinka is not just about work. It’s about all of its 4 pillars, that is the people, community, spirituality as well as the place itself, which got prettier again last year.