The Basilica of Visitation of Virgin Mary on the Marian Mountain
Address: Bazilika Navštívenia Panny Márie na Mariánskej hore (The Basilica of Visitation of Virgin Mary on the Marian Mountain), Mariánska Hora 2, 054 01 Levoča E-mail: email@example.com Tel.: +421534512347 GPS: 49.045228, 20.600722 (Parking lot under the Marian Mountain) BUILDING, DESTROYING AND REBUILDING The Tartar invasion in 1241 did not bypass Levoča. The population was unable […]
Address: Bazilika Navštívenia Panny Márie na Mariánskej hore (The Basilica of Visitation of Virgin Mary on the Marian Mountain), Mariánska Hora 2, 054 01 Levoča
GPS: 49.045228, 20.600722 (Parking lot under the Marian Mountain)
BUILDING, DESTROYING AND REBUILDING
The Tartar invasion in 1241 did not bypass Levoča. The population was unable to stand against the bloodthirsty horde and therefore sought a safe place. They found it in a fort on what is known today as Marian Mountain. As a sign of thanksgiving for the rescue, the survivors built a small church, which is mentioned in a chronicle in 1247. The church building naturally became a pilgrimage site, but it was not sufficient in terms of capacity or structure. According to records, a major repair and partial reconstruction took place in 1311. The parish priest, Henrich of Levoča, contributed to it.
This was followed by another reconstruction in 1470, which increased the temple space. The original church was used for almost another two hundred years. The number of Pilgrims increased and there was the threat of the entire building collapsing. A reconstruction made no sense. Therefore, the first church was demolished, and in its place the foundation stone of a new temple was laid on the 13th of May 1766. The temple was completed the same year.
It was 1819, and the church again did not meet the needs. It was rebuilt from the ground up with the belief that it would serve for the next several centuries. This assumption was dashed on the second of July 1903. The Spiš canonist Ignác Zimmermann sanctified the foundation stone of the present church. The basilica in its present form began to serve believers on July 2, 1922. On that day, the ceremonial consecration of the temple took place with massive participation of the faithful.
ON THE WAY TO THE BASILICA
It is possible to come comfortably by car or by bus to a parking lot near Marian Mountain. Walking from the city can be a pleasant alternative, reaching a height of 760 meters above sea level. Along the way you can admire the Greek-Catholic chapel, Stations of the Cross, or visit the pilgrimage and retreat house. The spring and the statue of St. John of Nepomuk are also interesting.
THROUGH OBSTACLES TO FREEDOMAfter World War II, the state’s establishment restricted church meetings in the open for fear that pilgrimages might be seen as demonstrations. After 1968, believers assumed that regulations and bans on pilgrimages would be loosed. The political situation took a different course than expected, and believers found themselves under even greater pressure. There was a period of normalization. At the time of the pilgrimage, the water was shut off, trees were cut, which hindered access to Marian Mountain, and cars with crews of state security officers were dangerously speeding near the walking believers on the state roads.Even the numerous obstacles did not break the pilgrims, and on the 25th of January, 1984 they received great moral support. On that day, Pope John Paul II elevated the church on Marian Mountain in Levoča to a Basilica minor.The sacrament of Penance at the Marian Mountain in the summer of 1990 can be considered historical. The atmosphere of freedom during the pilgrimage attracted almost half a million believers. On July 3, 1995, in the presence of Pope John Paul II, over 650,000 pilgrims came to Marian Mountain.Marian Mountain has changed over time into the largest pilgrimage center in Slovakia, where many visitors come from all over Europe and overseas.YOU COULD ENJOYA visit to Levoča with its many monuments will surely become unforgettable. We also recommend visiting the equally attractive town of Kežmarok (28 km). Spiš Castle and Spišská Kapitula are another unforgettable stop, also called Spiš Vatican (19 km).