Bzovik Monastery  


The King St. Stephen Monastery in Bzovík ranks among the oldest ecclesiastical institutions in Slovakia. The originally Benedictine abbey was founded by a member of the noted noble family of the Hunt-Poznans: Lampert with his wife Sophia and son Nicholas, in 1127-1131. The Benedictines of Bzovík were replaced by the Premonstratensians from Klášterní Hradisko near Olomouc in Moravia in 1180-1181. The assumed reason for their arrival was the effort to tighten the discipline of monastic life and to fulfil the function of a family monastery more effectively. The Premonstratensians resided here until 1530 when they were forced to leave by the Protestant magnate Sigismund Balassa, who transformed the monastery into a fortress. The monks were never to return to Bzovík.

Nowadays, the remains of the monastery are in the care of the monument preservation office; the remaining parts of the buildings are preserved and the walls above the ground partially reconstructed so that the ground plan of the buildings is outlined on the ground level today. The sacristy of the medieval church (later a chapel) was roofed.