Church of St. Martin in Martinček
The Roman-Catholic, Gothic church of St. Martin in Martinček belongs among the oldest building monuments in Liptov.
It is situated in the town of Martinček, approximately 3 km away from the centre of Ružomberok, as the crow flies. It is situated on an elevated area at the periphery of the town, below the eastern peak of Mních Hill. You can get a nice view of the surroundings from the area in front of the church. To the south of the church, you can see another rare sacral monument – the All Saints Church in Ludrová – Kút.
The church was built in 1260 and it is very interesting. The most valuable part are the preserved wall paintings from the 13th century. They were discovered only recently, during restoration examination in 1999. Over the period of 2000 – 2002, the wall paintings were gradually revealed and restored in the whole interior of the church. These paintings belong among the oldest preserved wall paintings in the entire Slovakia. They show, for example, 12 apostle figures, old testament kings David and Solomon, Christ and Virgin Mary giving a blessing, St. Martin on a horse, cycle of the last judgement and many other scenes. In terms of style, the paintings have a strong Byzantine and Italian influence.
On the western wall behind the organ, younger wall inscriptions have been revealed from the 16th century with an illustration of a horseback rider. They have not yet been deciphered. The original preserved tower windows should not escape our attention either.
Based on the legends, the church was built by the Templars, who allegedly had their monastery on the nearby hill of Mních. Another well-known legend is the one about the murder of the great Templar visitator and teacher, John Gottfried de Herberstein from Styria, which allegedly happened here. However, the existing archaeological research on Mních Hill has not confirmed the presence of the Templars in this territory.
Originally, the church was used by the people of Lisková and Likavka, the town of Martinček was established only after the church had been built.
What captures one’s attention by the church are 35 wooden roof structures (the so called “dášky” [dashki ]), which were built by the inhabitants for storage of potatoes and vegetables, and which are still in use today. These roof structures cover up pits, which are up to 5 metres deep.
In 1914, they found 14 bronze swards and other objects from the Bronze Age in the cadastral area of the town.