All Saints Church in Ludrová - Kút
The Roman-Catholic, Gothic church of All Saints in Ludrová – Kút is one of the most valuable sacral monuments in Slovakia. It was built in the 13th century and it is considered to be the oldest church in Liptov.
It is situated by the road between Ružomberok and Liptovská Štiavnica, approximately 3 km away from the centre of Ružomberok. The road from Ružomberok is rising and it reaches its peak by the church. It is interesting that the church is not situated in the town, but outside of the urban area, and it is surrounded by fields. As it stands on a hill, the place offers a nice view of Ružomberok’s surroundings. The view includes, for example, Sidorovo, Čebrať or Choč. In the north view, next to a factory smokestack, you can see another rare Gothic church in Martinček.
The church has outer wall fortification from the 17th century, which creates the impression of a fortress. Also supporting the impression of a fortress is the roofed entrance gate.
The most precious part of the church are its medieval wall paintings. On the northern wall of the original nave, there is a figural triptych with figures of Virgin Mary the Guardian, the Suffering Christ and Saint John the Baptist (or Christ the Good Shepherd), created around 1400. The sanctuary of the church is decorated with a unique Christological cycle, which was made around 1420. In total, visitors can see 34 scenes from the life of Jesus Christ. It is the most extensive cycle of frescoes from the life of Jesus Christ in Slovakia. Among other things, it also includes a rarely depicted scene of the Hanging of Judas. Another interesting painting is that of the Last Supper, which the author mixed with the foot washing scene, and therefore Jesus Christ appears twice in one picture. The arch of the sanctuary is decorated with depictions of the Last Judgement and the Coronation of Virgin Mary. The wall paintings were declared a national cultural monument.
The oldest elements of the decoration in the church are the consecration crosses from the turn of the 13th and 14th centuries. Each cross belongs to one of the 12 apostles.
On the southern wall, one might notice a sundial.
Another unique feature are the grooves in the southern portal. Based on a legend, the grooves remained after the swords of the noblemen, who were greeting God by slashing their swords. It is said that the biggest groove was made by Polish king Ján Sobieski on his way back home after the victorious battle with the Turks near Vienna in 1683.
Other legends say that the master of the Templar Order, Johann Gottfried von Herberstein, is buried in the church. However, the existing research has not confirmed the presence of the Templars in this territory. There are several other legends associated with the church, which talk about apparition of spirits or saints.
The church was built in the 13th century, but it was gradually expanded throughout the 15th and 16th centuries. An interesting fact is that the church belonged to the Protestants for several years in the 17th century.
Several well-known movies were shot near the church as well as directly in the church, such as “Legend of Flying Cyprian” or “A Thousand-Year-Old Bee”.
In the fortified area around the church, visitors will certainly notice the massive 400-year-old linden tree.
At present, the church does no longer serve for performance of religious services, but it is in the administration of the Liptov Museum in Ružomberok and it is open to general public during its opening hours. Occasionally, it is the venue of historical-themed cultural events.