Churches, European Heritage Label, Jelšava Circuit

Chyžné, Church of the Annunciantion of the Virgin Mary

One of the most charming medieval churches in the Gemer region is preserved in the village of Chyžné, near Jelšava. Its tall east-oriented brick gable and massive fortifications around the church dominates its surroundings. The church was built in the second half of the 13th century as a one-nave edifice with a quadratic chancel and an annexed sacristy. Later, a detached belltower, a traditional wooden construction from the 18th century, and a groundfloor building of a former school were added. The church chancel is vaulted by a cross ribbed vault, and the nave has a flat painted ceiling. The walls and vaults of the chancel, including the so-called Triumphal Arch, are covered with frescos dating back to the 70s-80s of the 14th century.

In an honorable place on the eastern wall, above the narrow gothic window, the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary is depicted in accordance with the patronage of the church. The upper part of the northern wall is filled with depictions of the Birth of Christ. The Adoration of the Biblical Magi can be seen on the southern wall. Beneath the main scenes of the Marian cycle, there is a series of standing figures of the twelve Apostles with books in their hands. In the window reveal, there are two saints, Helena and Barbara. The southern window was later expanded, so only on its left side a painting of saint Catherine was preserved. A picture of a Man of Sorrows covered with wounds, erected in a sarcophagus, is depicted above the early Gothic stone portal leading to the sacristy, in a square frame. We can find a painted consecration cross in a circle, as a memory of the consecration of the church, under the eastern window. A decorative drapery is painted in the bottom part of the wall. Four parts of the chancel vault are decorated with depictions of figures holding books, as symbols of the Evangelists. The composition is completed by four angels. The decoration of the vault is completed with a sophisticated decoration in the form of an ornamental edging with a floral design and heads of young figures (angels?), which also cover the vault ribs themselves. The parable of the Ten Virgins is depicted on the Triumphal Arch. On its internal part, there are five prophets.

A rare Gothic winged altarpiece from 1508 with a central sculpture of the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary with painted shutters can be seen in the interior of the church. This altar comes from the workshop of famous Master Paul of Levoča, while the statues of the angel and of Mary are undoubtedly the work of Master Paul himself. The altar paintings thematically adhere to the Marian consecration of the church. The open shutters depict the following scenes: the Visitation, the Nativity, the Adoration of the Magi and the figure of St. George (a reference to the donors, the Bubek Family). The scenes of the Crucifixion and the Descent from the Cross are visible when the shutters are closed. We chose the altar of Master Paul as the logo of the church.

The church is furnished with a baroque pulpit from the first half of the 18th century with the statues of the Evangelists and Christ the Good Shepherd and the statue of Saint Michael on the abat-voix. The wooden matroneum is decorated with floral ornaments and the wooden ceiling is from 1745 as well. A Renaissance epitaph with a baroque painting of St. Joseph is in the middle of the matroneum‘s parapet. A small organ from 1854 is completed by baroque statues of the saints Helena and Barbara, which were part of an older baroque organ.

A late-baroque Lutheran Church from 1785-1786 is also located in Chyžné. Slovak writer Samo Tomášik was a pastor of this church.


Architecture: gothic Construction: second half of 13th century
Church: Roman Catholic Church Patrocinium: the Annunciantion of the Virgin Mary
Circuit: Jelšava Circuit


Contact person: Magdaléna Šebóková, sacristan
Telephone number: +421 907 109 659