Winter tower opening – 6th of January 2019

On Sunday, 6th of January 2019, we made the tower available to the public during the winter season for the first time ever. Big thanks to every volunteer who helped to make it possible.


In total, nearly three hundred tourists came to see Katarínka.

As the event was pretty successful, we are already looking forward to repeat it next winter as well!

Nearest tower opening will be on sunday 28.04.2019 at the end of Octave of Easter pilgrimage.

Katarínka just won two awards!

We are glad to announce that our project was awarded two prizes. One of them, Fenix – Cultural landmark of the year 2017 , for our work on restoration and conservation of the tower of the ruin of St. Catherine’s Church that was once part of St. Catherine’s Monastery dedicated to St. Catherine of Alexandria, near Dechtice village. Our project representatives were awarded by this prize on November 29th, 2018, by the Minister of Culture of the Slovak Republic. The second prize that we were awarded, is the Most picturesque restored cultural landmark of the year, a public voting contest organized by SPP and SPP foundation.

 

The appraised tower restoration, which we realized between 2010 – 2017, is a truly unique accomplishment. Hundreds of our volunteers from all parts of Slovakia and even from abroad participated in this restoration without any expectation of financial compensation, using traditional methods, which were used back in the days when the tower was originally built between 1700 – 1714. The tower was opened to public in the summer of 2017 and can be visited during the summer season with our tourist guides. The lookout at the top of the tower (30 meters high) provides some very spectacular views.

 

These awards further prove that our project is an example of partnership between volunteers and professionals. The restoration was realized in partnership with researcher and preservationist Jaroslava Žuffová, structural designer Vladimír Kohút, archaeologists Ivana Kvetánová and Michal Slivka, carpenters Miroslav Čársky and Michal Hrčka and many others. For the village Dechtice, this is the second Fenix award awarded for a monument located within their municipality. In 2015, the rotunda of the Church of All Saints in Dechtice was awarded, dating back to the 12th century.

The year 2018 is marked by the celebrations of the 400th anniversary of establishment of St. Catherine’s Monastery in 1618 by the count Krištof Erdödy and his wife Barbora Thurzova. Public celebrations were held during the summer on 5th of July during the Katarínka Open Door Day. Further celebrations were held just a couple of days ago, on November 17th, in the historic manor house in Chtelnica, where the house of Erdödy lived and where they signed the establishing documents.

Besides 40 professionals and invited public figures, more than 120 of our volunteers participated. As a part of the celebrations a professional convention was held, summarizing 24 years of work, which included very interesting results from archaeology, history, art, geophysics, anthropology and other fields.

The event Night of Churches at Katarinka was a great success, the weather was unexpectedly good and number of visitors high

We joined the project The night of churches on the 25th of May.

About 300 visitors and supporters took part in this event. The evening program started with the holy mass.
As the time advanced, the dark and silence settled, what was perfect for The String Quartet ZOE and their chamber concert.
Between the walls of the church, we could hear the well-known pieces, as f. e. Four Seasons from Antonio Vivaldi and other pieces from J. S. Bach.
The program was concluded with a night tourist visit through the Saint Catherine´s church, monastery and its surroundings.
Before the program started, there was an opportunity for tourists to enter the church tower and go on the top. Throughout the program, the visitors could help themselves with tea and snack.

We got the award! National Award of ICOMOS Slovakia for long-term activities

On Friday April 20, we, the volunteers from the civic association Katarínka, received at the Bratislava Castle two nominations and one of the two main ICOMOS Slovakia awards – Heritage for the Future 2017. The national committee ICOMOS Slovakia awarded the main prize in the category Extraordinary Activity Leading to Increasing Awareness of the Monuments Fund Values and Strengthening the Public Awareness of These Values to the hundreds of volunteers from the Katarínka project – for saving the ruins of the Monastery and Church of St. Catherine.

At the ICOMOS award ceremony at the Bratislava Castle, five volunteers from Katarínka, representing various generations – from the founders of the activities from 1994 up to the current hard workers and leaders of the project – received not only the main prize, but also a nomination in the category Renewal of a Monument by Using the Traditional Construction Technologies for their project Reconstruction of the Church Tower of the Franciscan Monastery Katarínka. We see the award and the nomination as evaluation of our long-term selfless work to save the precious and large monument – Monastery of St. Catherine of Alexandria located near Dechtice and Naháč, where hundreds of volunteers every year move to the history without mobile phones, internet, or electricity and this year for the 24th time they will work on conservation and saving of Katarínka. Tower reconstruction, which was also nominated for an award, allowed in 2017 to make the tower accessible to visitors as a sightseeing tower. The floors and stairs in the tower were faithfully reconstructed from the hand-sculpted beams using the traditional techniques.

The complete press release (in Slovak) »»

The most visits of pilgrims during pilgrimage to Katarínka

Sunday 8th April 2018, it is the 19th time that pilgrims and visitors came to the St. Catherine monastery on Octave of Easter. More than 200 people were on the road through the Little-Carpathian woods. They fare forth from the Buková railway station and were awaited by other 300 visitors at Katarínka. There was the bishop Jozef Haľko (from Bratislava archdiocese) who joined the pilgrimage as well.

The newly reestablished Octave of Easter pilgrimage is the traditional event that always takes place one week after the Easter. From 2000, the volunteers out of Katarínka NGO reestablished this tradition after more than 200 years of its inactivity.

The pilgrimage started on with the train arrival to the Buková station and with the organizer’s introduction. The 12km long journey enriched by cast ups filled with the spiritual program, historical facts about the former pilgrimages (that were attended by some thousands of pilgrims) to St. Catherine monastery. The whole journey was held on the beautiful sunshiny day. The climax of the program was the ceremonial Mass that was held in the ruins of the church near Dechtice village. The Mass was attended by more than 500 people. Monsignor Jozef Haľko addressed himself to listeners that they should not be ashamed of their belief and of the belief to Jesus Christ. “Even the most modern-living person longs for nothing more than the love which is spread and given, which comes from within and which makes sense for the whole life.” Altogether with the assistant bishop there were some priests that are enthusiasts for the goal of OZ Katarínka project. The Mass was celebrated by Ondrej Chrvala, Miroslav Kováč, Ľudovít Kubán, Jeusit Martin Halčák, Dominicans Bartolomej Vladimír Hurňanský, Matej Juraj Šulík and Franciscan Zenius Félix-Mária Žiška.

After the Mass the volunteers offered to the visitors the tour with the presentation of historical facts. The outstanding interest was put to the climbing on the tower of the church. Regarding the fact that the tower has its limit the 16 visitor per one visit not all the visitor could see the look-out. The period with every day tour starts at the end of June and will be till September.  Until that time, the tower will be opened occasionally on weekends.

Many visitors enjoyed their time together with their kids and families and prepared their lunch by roasting food.