Nitra is the oldest Slovak city situated in western part of Slovakia with beautiful panorama of Zobor hill. Zobor belongs to Tribec mountains and it all to Carpathian mountains. The splendid scenery is multiplied by a meandring river of the same name and several little hills. The average year temperature is nearly 10° C with July being most warm with average temperatures about 20° C and January being most cold, the average slightly below zero. There are not so many towns endowed with such beautiful surroundings and such an ideal location as Nitra. They say that Nitra, like Rome, was founded on seven hills. Its name is connected with the beginnings of the history of Slovakia, with the names of Pribina, Svatopluk, Sts. Cyril and Methodius and even with the mention of the first Christian church on the territory of Slovakia and with the introduction of the old Slavonic alphabet.
Origin of name Nitra
The ancient form of the name of the town is Nitrava and that was later shortened to Nitra and seems to be of Slavic origin. Although, there are also another hypothesis:
1. The name is given by Quadi.
2. The name originates from germanic Niederau - low land.
3. The name is based on the sources of "nitre" that are nearby.
The first traces of settlements reaches back 30,000 year in the Paleolithic period. The oldest known ethnic were Scythian nomad tribes 7. - 4. century BC. In 4 - 2 century BC Celtics arriving in several waves in our territory. They knew pottery and smithery and their society was socialy devided. In 60 B.C. was defeated by Dacians. In 6. AD Danube river was crossed by Roman troops and shortly after Germanic Quadi penetrated southeast of present-day Slovakia. In the half of the first century they created kingdom with Vannius being the King. However, they were vassals to the Roman Empire. The first Slavs came here during Migration of Peoples at the turn of 5th and 6th centuries.
The Slavic history of Nitra started near the end of the 5th century when the first Slavs arrived here. As early as the first half of the 7th century, some western sources mention a state formation of Slavs, the Samo Empire. The Samo Empire was a predecessor of the subsequent state formation - the Great Moravian Empire, one of whose centres was Nitra. Precisely during the time of the Great Moravian Empire, the foundations of the renowened fame of ancient Christian Nitra were laid, as was recorded in extremely precious documents from the 9th century. One of these fortified settlements may have been the residence of Prince Pribina under whose rule Nitra was an important political, military and economic centre. Pribina showed great wisdom as a statesman and had great insight into European politics, when in about 828 A.D.,he, being a heathen himself, allowed the first Christian church in Nitra to be consecrated. This act was performed by Adalram, the Archbishop of Salzburg. The Pribina church is the first historically documented witness to the Christianity of the Slavs on the territory of Slovakia. This great events is mentioned in a document "Conversione Bagoariorum et Carantanorum" dating back to 870-871. Unfortunately, the exact site of the shrine has not as yet been located, but it is probable that the church did not stand on today's castle hill. In its later development, the Nitra principality was forcibly annexed by Mojmir to the Moravian principality in about 833, and a new state entity was formed which is mentioned in sources under the name Great Moravia. After the dethronement of Mojmir, Rastislav became the ruler of Great Moravia. His reign is connected with a very important event, namely the comming of the Byzantine missionaries, Constantine-Cyril and Methodius to Nitra, in 863.
Constantine-Cyril developed the first Slavic alphabet, which was called "glagolitic", he also translated the first liturgical texts into Old Slavonic. Methodius, whom Pope Hadrian II had authorized to be consecrated as a bishop in 870 and later as archbishop, was named as a papal legate for Pannonia and for the Upper Danubian Slavs.
Nitra was at the height of its fame during the reign of King Svatopluk . In one of the most valuable written documents for Slovak history, in the letter from Pope John VIII to Svatopluk, dating back to 880, "Indistriae tuae", Svatopluk is addressed as king and the Pope informs him of the appointment of Viching as bishop of Nitra, by then, probably had a municipal character, and it consisted of five fortified settlements and twenty communities where skiled craftsmen plied their trade.
Until the beginnig of the 14th century Nitra remained the resedential town of the principality that bordered the newly formed Hungarian monarchy. Also, during the Middle Ages it was the site of important historical events, and it was often plundered by various armies. The Benedictines took up the organization of ecclesiastical life, their monastery of St. Hyppolite on the slope of Zobor hill was the oldest in Slovakia.
In 1248 the ruler Bela IV, in appreciation for protection from the Tartars, promoted Nitra to the status of free-royal town with privileges similar to those of Székesfehérvár.
The medieval Nitra was divided into the Upper Town and Lower Town, the latter being further divided into several separate parts, each with its own alderman and local seals. Four new independent parishes came into being in connection with the churches of St. Michael in the square Na vrsku, St. James in the central square, St.Stephen in Parovce, and Our Lady on the Calvary hill.
The Nitra castle on the rock has always had a strategic importance because it was a natural fort standing above a meander of the river Nitra. It was already well fortified in 13th century which enabled it to withstand a raid by the Tatars. The longest preserved building is the Romanesque church of St. Emeram. The dominant features of the castle area are the cathedral, the bishop`s palace and the massive fortification of the jutting bastions. The buildings were rebuild several times and the present shape of the castle basically dates from the end of the 17th century when it was fortified following battles with the Turks.
Nitra castle is the most precious heritage left to Nitra by its ancestors and dominates the panorama of the city. Since 1981 the castle has been ranked National Cultural Monument. It is situated on a small hill above the level of the city and unlike most of Slovak castles is still fully functional. In the Bishop´s Palace is the office and the residence of the bishop and serves as a seat of archeological department too.
During its existence the castle was several times strongly damaged and consecutively rebuilt and its current appearance has acquired in 17th century. The whole castle complex consists of the castle itself and primarily baroque styled buildings in so-called Upper town. The oldest preserved part is Romanesque church of St. Emmeram dating back to 11th century, however the castle hill was settled even earlier. After massive damages to the castle, caused by Matus Cak of Trencin, was built new Upper church finished as late as in 1355. This Cathedral was completed by bishop Jan Telegdy who built in 1621 - 1642 Lower church and these three churches are interconnected.
Next to the Cathedral is two-floor Bishop´s palace which was found in the Middle Ages and rebuilt in 18th century. The Palace is the office and the residence of the bishop.
The castle is fortificated by massive walls, which also underwent a number of reconstructions. The first walls underwent a number of reconstructions. The first walls seem to have been done during the period of Great Moravia and later several times reconstructed. An extensive works were carried out from 15th to 17th century owing to development and use of fire-arms and defensive system was modified. Also the castle was damaged several times during anti-Turks wars and revolts. Present appearance has been obtained in 17th century after the Turks were expelled from Nitra in 1664 and star-shaped baroque fortification with bastions was built. There is one south-oriented entrance gate in the castle.
In 18th century a boom in building occured and several baroque buildings were built which are up to this day precious architectural monuments.
Ďaľšie referáty z kategórie
|Jazyk:||Počet slov:||3 615|
|Referát vhodný pre:||Gymnázium||Počet A4:||12|
|Priemerná známka:||2.95||Rýchle čítanie:||20m 0s|
|Pomalé čítanie:||30m 0s|