Date updated: 02/05/2023
Trenčín is a city in western Slovakia with a rich history dating back to the Roman Empire. It is located on the River Váh and has a population of more than 55,000.
During Roman times, Tren ín was an important military and commercial centre, known as Laugaricio.
In the ninth century, Tren ín was part of the Great Moravian Empire, a Slavic state that existed in Central Europe. At this time, Tren ín became the cultural centre of the Slavic peoples, and it played a key role in spreading Christianity in the region. During the reign of the Great Moravian Empire, Tren ín was a centre of trade and commerce, linking the various regions of Europe and facilitating the exchange of goods and ideas. The town was also famous for its skilled craftsmen and was a centre of metalworking, weaving and pottery.
In the 11th century, Tren ín became the centre of the Považie region and was granted city privileges by King Béla IV. During the medieval period, Tren ín was a strategically important town, often fought over by various kingdoms and empires.
During the 19th and 20th centuries, Tren ín experienced significant industrial and economic development, becoming a centre of textile, engineering and food industries. During World War II, Tren ín was occupied by Nazi Germany and suffered considerable damage.
After the war, Tren ín was rebuilt and became an important centre of education, culture and industry in Slovakia. Today the town is famous for its well-preserved medieval castle and its unique blend of modern and historic architecture.
The legacy of the Roman Empire and the Great Moravian Empire can still be seen in Trenčín today. Its rich history has also made it a popular tourist destination, attracting visitors from all over the world to experience its unique blend of ancient and modern history.
Trencin has a unique historical monument known as the Roman inscription on the rock. This ancient inscription is carved into the rock of Trencin Castle Hill and is considered one of the most important Roman inscriptions in Slovakia.
It is believed to date back to the 2nd century AD, when Tren ín was a Roman military and trading centre. The inscription contains the names of several Roman legionaries, and is believed to have been made in memory of soldiers.
Today, the Roman inscription on the rock is protected as a cultural monument and is well preserved for future generations to enjoy and study. It is a reminder of Trenčín's important role in the history of the Roman Empire and the cultural heritage of Slovakia.
This magnificent castle is the subject of a separate article under the heading 'Castles' with all the details and numerous photos. Ticket prices, tours and many other useful information for tourists. Read more about Trenčiansk Castle.
In the Old Town admire the magnificent square and the numerous monuments. So, let's begin our journey.
And we will start with the Hotel Elisabeth. It is of course housed in a beautiful building and has an interesting history, as any hotel in an old building does, but the main historic monument is inside the hotel. Due to its proximity to the mountain it hides a unique Roman inscription dating back to 179 AD on the rock. This inscription was made by the Legate of the Second Auxiliary Legion M. V. Maximianus to commemorate the victory over the Germanic tribe of the Quadii (855 soldiers).
The Trenčianska Museum is housed in the building of the former provincial administration (Župny dom). The building has a beautiful façade and a coat-of-arms above the entrance. Until the Trenčiansky Regional Society of Natural History (Prírodovední spolok župy Trenčianskej), founded by Dr. Karol Brančík in 1877, was located there.
In 1912, the Natural History Society merged with the museum to form the Trenčianske Museum.
As a part of a region rich in history and culture, the museum includes historical, natural science, art history, archaeological, ethnographic, art history and literary-historical exhibits. The museum has 175,449 items in its collection, you will see very interesting archaeological finds (7123 exhibits), numismatics collections (34872 items), faleristics, furniture, interior items, weapons and arts and crafts and much more. One of the most valuable collections in the museum is the collection of paintings of the Ileshgazi family. The Ileshgazi family was hereditary statesmen, the Pans of Trenčiansk Castle from 1594 to 1835. A comprehensive collection of this family is represented in the picture gallery of Trenčiansk Castle.
The plague took many lives and left wounds in people's hearts. Trenčín was moved by it in the 18th century. A monument to the plague was erected to commemorate it. It is made in the Baroque style.
For centuries the Peace Square (Mierové námestie) was the political and cultural centre of Tren ín. Between 1652-1657 a Jesuit monastery was built in the south part of the square, today it is a Roman Catholic church.
The statue of St. John of Nepomuk and the Plague Column were erected in the 18th century.
They were joined in the early 19th century by the sculpture of St Florian, who protects the city from fires, but it has not survived to this day.
Other buildings that were gradually erected included the town hall, the regional administration building, the post office, the casino and the hotel.
Its name was changed to Peace Square in 1962. Earlier it had many different names: Intra moenia (15th century), Civitas (15th and 16th centuries), Teatrum, Rink, Forum publicum (1772, 1785), Hauptplatz (mid 19th century), Fópiac, Fóter (1868-1911), Szalavsky Gyulatér (1911-1918), Masarykovo námestie (1918-1938), Hlinkovo námestie (1938-1945), Stalinovo námestie (1945-1962) and finally Mierové námestie (Peace Square).
Church of St. Francis Xaverius
The Roman Catholic Church of St. Francis Xavier (originally a Jesuit church, since 1776 a Roman Catholic church) is one of the most beautiful Baroque monuments in Slovakia.
It is interesting because of its illusory painting. In reality, the church has no dome, but it is painted in such a way as to create the impression of its presence.
In 1653 the Jesuits laid the first stone in the foundation of the church.
It was built in 1653-1657 by architects of Italian origin Pietro and Gothard Spazzo in an earlier Baroque style.
It was based on the Roman Il Gesù church, which was the canon of all Jesuit churches all over central Europe.
The Vienna University Church (1623-1631) and the Trnava University Church (1629-1637 by Antonio and Pietro Spazzo) were also built in this style.
The church was consecrated on 1 July 1657 by Archbishop Juraj Lyppay, the patron saint of the church was St. Francis of Xavier (1506-1552). In Europe, St Francis was venerated mostly in Rome and the Jesuit church in Trenčín was the first church in Slovakia to choose this saint as its patron.
During the big fire in Trenčín on 14 May 1708, the interior of the church and the Jesuit monastery nearby were completely destroyed by fire.
The Italian Jesuit novice and painter Andrea Pozzo was hired from Vienna to help reconstruct the church, however, he died in 1709 in Vienna before he could arrive in Tren ín.
In his place, Christoph Tausch (1673-1731), a Jesuit novice, architect and painter of Tyrolean origin, was invited from Vienna.
Christoph Tausch completely rebuilt the Church of St. Francis.
The paintings in the church were dedicated to the life of St. Francis, the patron saint of the church.
The city tower offers a beautiful view of Trenčianske Castle, the Church of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary and Peace Square. It was built as part of the city's fortifications at the beginning of the 15th century. Since the Middle Ages it has served as the western entrance to the main square, now Peace Square. Originally the tower was two-storey, later rebuilt and expanded, and it is now 32 metres high.
The Trenčianska synagogue is one of the most beautiful and interesting creations of its kind in Slovakia. It was built near the old synagogue in 1913 according to the design of the Berlin architect Richarda Scheibnera. It was built by the Fuchs a Neigreisz construction company of Trenčians.
It has a historic appearance, but at the same time it is a modern reinforced concrete building in the Byzantine and Moorish-Eastern style.
It had been used for neological purposes before the Second World War; during the war the synagogue was desecrated and all the interior furnishings were vandalised. The restoration took place between 1974 and 1984.
Only the dome with beautiful chandelier and colourful stained-glass windows with oriental floral motives were preserved in original form.
After the renovation the central hall under the dome has been used for exhibitions.
Opposite the synagogue, in a two-storey building, there has been a Jewish school since 1868. The synagogue can be visited during exhibitions only.
The Miloša Alexandra Bazovského Gallery focuses on 20th and 21st century Slovak fine art and directly on the works of Bazovský, who conveyed the essence of Slovak society and the basic life philosophy of its inhabitants in an emotional and compelling manner, using a range of artistic styles.
The Executioner's House
The Hangman's House is the only building of this type that has survived to this day, and it is unlikely that it has undergone any major reconstruction. It probably already existed in 1607.
In the 17th century it was the seat of the town jail, and also home to the town executioner.
You can now see the swords of the hangman of Trenčians, shackles, swords and rifles of the guards, their uniforms and other similar items.
The case of the dead baroness
Antonina de Andritzki was the daughter of the wealthy Baron Andritzki. She fell in love with a young Zeman, whose name has not survived. (Zeman - from the word zem - land; an inferior noble title of small landowners in the medieval kingdoms of Bohemia, Slovakia, Hungary and Poland).
The father did not like it at all, because he had great ambitions and did not want to give his daughter in marriage to a man with an inferior title.
In anger he uttered the fatal phrase: "I'd rather see you dead than married to that pauper". This immediately happened. Antonina fell to the ground breathless. The invited doctor pronounced her dead and the funeral was appointed for 1 July 1796. But the dead baroness had a surprisingly "lively" appearance: a blush on her cheeks and supple fingers. This aroused suspicion that she was not dead after all.
It was decided not to lock her in the crypt, but to put her in an open coffin on the crypt steps for the time being. When the situation did not change on the second day, the baroness was still walled up in the crypt, although her complexion was still ruddy and her fingers were supple.
Soon the churchwarden came to the crypt, wanting to write a name on a plaque. He heard a call for help from within and fainted with fear.
Monks who have found him, have not heard a sound from a crypt and have considered that either the watchman imagined, or it dreamed. They never looked into the matter again.
It is no longer possible to tell what is true or not in this gruesome story. But it would have been better if the baroness' crypt had not been opened.
Trencin is a city that will leave you with exceptional emotions.