Holy Spirit church – Žehra

Location: Košický kraj, okres Spišská Nová Ves, Žehra

GPS: N48°58'44'' E20°47'35''

The Spiš community of Žehra is known for its precious local Roman-Catholic Holy Spirit church (Kostol Ducha Svätého) that is, along with other monuments around the Spiš Castle, included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

The oldest part of the two-nave church with a square presbytery is a mixture of two styles preserved until the present time. It is a sensitively accomplished combination of the Romanesque and Early Gothic building elements.

The vaulting in the church nave built in 1433 is younger; the Baroque onion-shaped dome of the church tower molding its inimitable silhouette was finished in 1769. Unique medieval wall paintings that were created gradually, from the second half of the 13th century till the end of the 15th century, were preserved in the church interior.

The temple paintings in Žehra are remarkable for their artistic quality and unusual thematic diversity. They depict various Biblical stories and legends of the saints. The painting of what is referred to as the Tree of Life is especially impressing. It was revealed in 1954. The crucified Christ in the centre divides the history of salvage into the Old and the New Testament. The Old Testament is symbolized by a figure of a woman – Synagoga and the New Testament is represented by a figure of Ecclesia. The figures of Adam and Eva are placed on the sides of the painting.

Source: Vydavateľstvo Dajama, Rímskokatolický farský úrad Žehra