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The Beginnings of Christian Slovakia

The aim of this tour is to become acquainted with the period of the 7th to 12th centuries, when Central Europe, which lay between the Frankish and Byzantine empires, was stabilizing and the historical, territorial and cultural foundations of present day Slovakia were created. The 1,150th anniversary of the arrival of Christian missionaries, Cyril and Methodius to this territory in 863 is the perfect occasion for become acquainted with them. These brothers and saints are worshiped as co-patrons of Europe. 2013 will definitely be a good year for visiting Slovakia.

Cultural tour

Contemporary historical science and archeology provides many interesting answers to questions regarding the history of the territory of present day Slovakia. The western two thirds of its current territory was referred to as Nitriansko in many documents and sources. This territory was first inhabited by Germans and then by Slavs. Until around 800, this territory was in touch with and part of the Avar Empire. From 805 until 833 it was an independent principality under the rule of prince Pribina. After his expulsion by the Moravian family of Mojmírovci (year 833) it became an appanage principality of the Great Moravian Empire. Nitriansko kept its appanage status even in the early-Arpad Hungary (from the 10th century until the end of the 11th century). The town of Nitra was always its center.

We shall visit sites and museum expositions which give evidence of the culture and events of those centuries.  The arrival, work and heritage of Cyril and Methodius also complements the interesting history and interests of Roman popes, the Frankish Empire and Bavarian Counts and the Salzburg and Pasau dioceses of the Byzantine Empire. In 828, Adalrám, Bishop of Salzburg, consecrated the church at Pribina’s ancient settlement in Nitra; in 831, the elite princes in the neighboring Moravian principality were christened by the Bishop of Pasau. Great-Moravian Prince Rastislav requested a Christian mission from Byzantium in 862, and in 870 Methodius became the archbishop.

However there were Christian missions in the Nitra principality even before that time. Monuments from the latest archeological research, which we shall see at the site of Bojná and in the diocese museum in Nitra, give evidence of Christianization from Aquilea in northern Italian after 800. Even after the decline of Great Moravia and the invasion of the Magyars (around 900) Christian societies and Benedictine monks maintained the continuity. We shall also visit preserved religious monuments which belong to the period after the origin of the Christian Hungarian Kingdom in the year 1000 (King Stephen I was canonized in 1083). From then on, the territorial and independent existence of the state was gradually stabilized.

The tour will also feature exhibitions and expositions marking the arrival of the Christian mission of Cyril and Methodius. In addition, we will offer the possibility of extending the tour to the east of Slovakia where the Byzantine heritage has been preserved in culture, religious architecture, fine arts and mass services.   


big KR CUM4 map

Bratislava (Preßburg): We will visit the castle and expositions from the late Middle Ages – the migration of nations, Slavs, the Principality of Nitra, the Great Moravian Empire and the first centuries of the Hungarian Kingdom. From there we will move to nearby Devín Castle uniquely situated above the junction of the Morava and Danube rivers. Once a significant border castle of early medieval Slavic principalities, it now serves as a museum featuring articles from several cultures. 

On our way to Nitra, we will stop at the rotunda in Križovany and the church of St. Clement in Močenok. In Nitra we will visit the Bishop’s Castle and parts of the former prince’s seat; we will also visit the diocesan museum and the archeological institute of the Slovak Academy of Sciences. We will then travel to the archeological site of an ancient settlement above the village of Bojná and the preserved church of St. George in Kostoľany pod Tríbečom which features early medieval wall paintings. 

This day will be dedicated to visiting monuments and archaeological sites along the Nitra and Váh rivers. We will visit the hermitage site and ruins of the monastery at Skalka and see the remains of the rotunda at nearby Trenčín Castle. We will also see the remains of the Great Moravian Prince’s Court in Ducové.

From there we will cross the border to southern Moravia (Czech Republic) to see the monastery at Velehrad, a significant historical, pilgrim and spiritual location and the place where Archbishop Method lived and worked, and the large archeological park in Mikulčice. After returning to Slovakia, we will take a short hike to the church near the village of Kopčany.

Service package:

The price of the tour covers:

  • A qualified guiding service
  • Expert guiding by a renowned art-historian
  • Travel from Vienna, around Slovakia and back to Vienna in a comfortable bus.
  • 4x accommodation in double and single rooms at three/four star hotels and guesthouses
  • Full board in carefully selected stylish restaurants - 4x breakfast,37x lunch, 4x dinner
  • Entrance fees (except Group tours and VIP tours)

The price of the tour does not include the following:

  • drinks
  • voluntary contributions
  • insurance
  • charges for taking pictures in museums and monuments
  • individual transportation from the residence to the point of departure (except Group tours and VIP tours)

Tour price

The price for the tour KR CUM4 is 422 Euro per person in double room,

Extra charge for a single room is 64 Euro.

For tours of the type Group tours and VIP tours the price is calculated individually


Dates for groups – by appointment

Dates for VIP – by appointment

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