The village of Nitrianska Blatnica in the Topoľčany district is situated in the southern foothills of the Krahulčí Hills, which are part of the distinctive Považský Inovec range. Across the village of Nitrianska Blatnica
Archaeological research shows that the first inhabitants of this region – wandering families of Slavic tribes – settled on the upper reaches of the Blatnica, Radošina, Hlavinka and other streams. The settlement related to the village of Nitrianska Blatnica is archaeologically documented in the locality referred to as Ďurko (Loco Durco). The area was once an important road connecting the Principality of Nitra with Považie and further with Moravia. There was a turn off the road as far as Marhát and it crossed a meadow called the Desert.
An important cultural monument in the village is the manor house. The Renaissance reconstruction of the originally medieval manor house was completed in 1578. In the 17th and 18th centuries, Baroque modifications were made to the manor house. The natural attractions of the village include a natural-landscape park from the late 18th and early 19th centuries, which was created as part of the manor house.
A monument of the Great Moravian period
The Rotunda of St. George, a national cultural monument, is located in the woods north of the village. The Rotunda is 5 km far from the village. The age of the rotunda has been determined to be between 790 and 870.
The Rotunda is the oldest standing sacral building in Slovakia and Central Europe. The rotunda had its twin in nearby Ducovo /Kostolec/. Around both of them were palisade courts belonging to the local ruling class. After the collapse of the settlement in the 13th century, the rotunda turned into a ruin. The ruins were repaired and revitalized 300 years later, in 1530. At the end of the 16th century a hermitage was added to the rotunda. The tradition of pilgrimages to St. George’s, which take place every April 24, is still alive here.
During archaeological research, about 150 skeletal graves were found near the rotunda, some with silver jewellery finds. Many artefacts attest to the mining and processing of iron ore. Between 2009 and 2016, a comprehensive restoration of the rotunda and hermitage was carried out, which yielded significant new discoveries – an original window opening in the south-west wall and fragments of wall paintings.
Tip for an experience
The village of Nitrianska Blatnica is a great starting point for hikers. A green trail leads from the cultural centre in the village towards the mountains.
Nitrianska Blatnica – Jurko crossroads – Trhovičná lúka (Gajda saddle) – Marhát observation tower – Marhát saddle – St. George’s rotunda – Jurko crossroads – Nitrianska Blatnica