Church of St. Andrew in Ružomberok
The Roman-Catholic parish church of St. Andrew is the oldest sacral building in Ružomberok, its origins date back to the turn of the 13th and 14th centuries. Preserved from that period is the beam-shaped four-storey tower (the first thing one notices when looking at the church).
It is situated in the centre of the town, at A. Hlinka Square, right next to the town hall building. The church is located above the confluence of rivers Váh and Revúca.
As the square, as well as the church, are situated on a natural elevated terrace, the church with the balustrades below become a visually dominant element of the town, which can be found in almost every postcard of Ružomberok.
Inside the church, one can notice a massive Gothic baptistery from the 16th century, made of stone, and worth the attention are also the stained-glass windows in the south nave of the church. Those were created by an important Ružomberok’s native – master Ľudovít Fulla. They depict scenes from the lives of Jesus Christ and Virgin Mary. One of the stained-glass works is dedicated to the 1,100th anniversary of the consecration of the first Christian temple in our territory.
Also available for viewing in the church are the paintings by E. Massányi and A. Belopotocky. Worth greater attention is the painting of Adoration of Shepherds. The scene is dominated by the figure of Virgin Mary wearing a white scarf, a red dress and a blue cloak, in front of her, there is a child lying on hay on a pedestal and Mary is wrapping the child in a white blanket. There are other paintings as well, such as the Annunciation to Virgin Mary or the Sacrificing of Baby Jesus.
One of the greatest attractions of the church is its bell, Andrew. It is the oldest bell in Liptov, it was cast in 1506 by a bell founder from Banská Bystrica, A. Sladič. Its value is increased by its dated inscription and documented authorship.
The main altar of St. Andrew, the side altars of Virgin Mary and St. Anton Paduánsky, as well as the altar of St. Ján Nepomucký in the side chapel, were made by sculptor J. Kraus from Banská Štiavnica, the altar of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the south nave comes from the South Tyrolean workshop of F. Stuflesser.
The church was originally built in early Gothic style, later it was altered in Renaissance style and Baroque style. Originally, it was consecrated to St. Ladislav and it was hit by several fires. In 1662, the tower clock was made in Martin Roxer’s workshop in Ľupča. In the 17th century, it belonged to the Protestants for several years, definitive Catholic ownership dates from 1709. The 19th century additions to the church were the chapel of Saint Ján Nepomucký, the sacristy and the Chapel of the Holy Sepulcher. A smaller staircase tower was added to the robust Gothic tower. After that, the church looked more or less how it looks today. In 1905, Andrej Hlinka was appointed the pastor and he preached in the church until the end of his life in 1938. In 1940, the church was altered to commemorate Andrej Hlinka.
Below the south nave of the church, there is a Mausoleum of Andrej Hlinka, and near the church, in front of the town hall, you can see the Marian Column of the Immaculate from 1858.