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SIMPLICISSIMUS REISEN
SLOVAKIA CULTURE TOURS 1000 YEARS OF CENTRAL EUROPE

HISTORICAL ORGANS IN SLOVAKIA

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During this study trip we will visit the interiors of religious buildings with precious and beautiful examples of the “royal instrument”, particularly organs whose mechanical parts have been preserved.  

Study Tour
SR ORG 9

Even in Slovakia (until 1918, a significant part of the Hungarian Kingdom) instruments were subject to innovations and renovations. Even here, many of their original parts became victims of metal requisitions during World War I. Fortunately, the many preserved and professionally restored organs are the cultivated reason for this trip.  This tour has been designed to provide a musical and artistic experience and to follow the period and workshop context in addition to their regions features.  And last but not least, to become acquainted with the country and its sights.  

Stanislav Šurin, an organ expert, organist, composer, organizer of musical events and teacher will be our guide and concert organist.  All of the participants in this tour will also be able to test the sound and quality of the majority of the instruments we see.

Itinerary


Big map

Day 1 (Saturday) Arrival in Bratislava by way of Vienna

Arrival in Vienna (railroad station, Schwechat airport). Meeting with the tour participants according to the time of their arrival (usually up to 4:00 p.m.). Bus trip (Simplicissimus Reisen) to Bratislava and accommodation. Special evening organ concert at St. Martin’s Cathedral.

 

Day 2 (Sunday) Tour of historical organs in the “Záhorie” region

Departure from Bratislava, brief visit to the Devín castle ruins situated on the geographical and historical border of European cultures. We will also see dramatic vestiges of the Iron Curtain. This will be followed by a tour of the religious buildings in the towns of Jablonica (organ 1844), Brezová (1843), and Myjava (1870) that are home to instruments from the famous workshop of Martin Šaško. In the free royal town of Skalica, we will experience first hand the instrumental qualities of the organs in the parish, Jesuit, Franciscan and evangelical churches. Along the way, we will also visit the burial mound at Bradlo and the pilgrim basilica in Šaštín – both monuments are significant in terms of architecture and art history.        

 

Day 3 (Monday) Important organs in Bratislava, instruments of organ maker Martin Podkonický in Central Slovakia

In the morning we will become acquainted with the organs in the large and small evangelical churches in Bratislava. We will also meet teacher and performer, prof. Ján Vladimír Michalka. Then we will visit the Slovak Philharmonic concert hall and see the concert instrument that is used there. In the afternoon our tour will pass through the famous mining town of Banská Štiavnica to the Koháry – Coburg Chateau in Svätý Anton. A small portative organ from the 17th century with an extremely charming sound is located in the chateau chapel. We will study the preserved instruments of organ maker Martin Podkonický(born in Hronsek in 1763) in the noteworthy wooden articular evangelical church in Hronsek, and then we will listen to the surprising color of the small positive organ (Martin Podkonický, 1750) in the unique Gothic church in the town of Smrečany.

 

Day 4 (Tuesday) Historical organs in the Upper Spiš region

On this day we will focus on examples of instruments in typical towns of the Spiš region which are located only a few kilometers from each other. We will start at the church in Spišská Sobota, which in addition to its grandiose early Baroque organ cabinet also contains many other art treasures. Then we will travel to the evangelical churches in the towns of Veľká and Matejovce and get to know the instruments (Michal Podkonický, 1812) whose mechanical parts have been fully preserved. In the Gothic Catholic church in the town of Huncovce we will listen to an authentic organ from 1653 (Samuel Stacovius). In Kežmarok, the second most important historical town in the Spiš region, we will listen to unique instruments in Evangelical churches – the wooden articular church (Vavrinec Čajkovský of Levoča, 1720) and an interesting newer organ in the new church. We will also see the visually grandiose, late Renaissance organs in the Catholic Gothic churches (1641, 1651). Finally, we will also choose the experience of another instrument made by Master Čajkovský – his famous positive organ in the town of Vojňany (1726).  

 

Day 5 (Wednesday) Monuments of the Central Spiš region

In the morning we will visit Levoča, the most significant historical town of the Spiš region. In the church of St. Jacob, in addition to its world famous late Gothic wing altars we will see the impressive, late Renaissance cabinets of organs. In the bishop’s town of Spišská Kapitula we will be introduced to three grandiose instruments made by the Rieger Company (1890) in St. Martin’s cathedral. In the afternoon we will visit the town of Markušovce. The rococo gazebo on the premises of the chateau houses an unusual museum of keyboard instruments. Valuable positive organs made in the workshop of this region in the 18th and 19th centuries are exhibited here. 

 

Day 6 (Thursday) Monuments of the Gemer region

We will travel south across the Slovenské Rudohorie mountain ranges to the Gemer region, which is famous for its ancient churches and medieval wall paintings. We will visit the church in Štítnik, which has a “lower” organ featuring unusual arrangements by organ maker Ján Mendel of Trenčín (1763) with a newer mechanical part and an older “upper” positive organ (1639). We will also stop at the evangelical church in Ratkovské Bystré and listen to the sound of a valuable instrument made in 1797 by František Eduard Petznik who acquired experience on his travels through the countries of Western Europe. We can also see some of the valuable medieval wall paintings if requested.  

 

Day 7 (Friday) Tour of the monuments of theVáh River valley

The church in Liptovský Hrádok with its noteworthy interior and dominant extensive organ made by Master Ondrej Pažický of 1799 will be our first stop. The mechanical part was made by the Rieger Company (1902) and enables the organizing of concerts here. Then we will visit the town of Žilina, where in the Franciscan church we will become acquainted with an organ (built by the monk Peregrín Werner 1732 – 1759) of a peculiar concept – the main instrument is located in the choir loft and its other two parts are in the front, on the sides of the main altar. This Franciscan master also built a similar organ in the monastery church in Pruské, which we will see during our next stop. A wonderful Rococo organ (Ondrej and Ján Pažický, 1777) is situated in the parish church in Pruské. The day’s program will conclude in Trenčianske Bohuslavice, where we will listen to the graceful and colorful sound of the organ from the workshop of Johann Hencke (1763) in a unique chapel that was completely furnished by Viennese Baroque artists.   

 

Day 8 (Saturday) Organs in the churches of Trnava

Trnava has a rich religious and university past and we will become acquainted with the valuable instruments in the cathedral, the dome of St. Nicholas and the Church of St. Anna and St. Helena. Stanislav Šurín, our organ expert, feels “at home” in the Trnava churches and on their organ benches, so we can look forward to several concert experiences.

 

Day 9 (Sunday) Return

Return by bus to the Vienna railroad stations and airport.

Servicepackage:

The price of the tour covers:

  • A qualified guiding service
  • Travel from Vienna, around Slovakia and back to Vienna in a comfortable bus
  • Expert guiding by an organ top expert
  • Expert guiding by a renowned art-historian
  • 8x accommodation in double and single rooms in three/four star hotels and guesthouses
  • Fullboard in carefully selected stylish restaurants - 8x breakfast, 7x lunch, 8x dinner

The price of the tour does not include the following:

  • drinks
  • entrance fees
  • contributions
  • insurance
  • charges for taking pictures in museums and monuments

Tour price

The price for the tour SR ORG 9  is 957 Euro per person in double room,

Extra charge for a single room is 165 Euro.

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

Dates

5.10. – 13.10.2013 (SR ORG 9)

Dates for Skupinové zájazdy – by appointment

Dates for VIP-zájazdy – by appointment

 

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