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Upper Town


The historical part of Nitra, named Horné mesto is a very specific territory. It went through a personal historical development and even today it is very unique and has almost no similarities with other districts within Nitra. It has a similar atmosphere as the Kapitulská ulica in Bratislava or in Trnava, because it is the home and the work place of people that serve the Catholic church. It is disclosed from the city’s noise and night life. There is a similar tranquility and serenity here as it is, for instance, in the town Spišská Kapitula or as in Mariánska hora in the town Levoča.

For a long time, Horné mesto has developed in close contact with the church. Even during the years 1248 - 1288, when the district Dolné mesto divided from the bishop’s dependence and for a short term gained the privileges of being a free city, Horné mesto was owned by the bishop operating in Nitra. It was made of dwellings homed by vicars and church dignitaries of Nitra’s Roman Catholic diocese. Until the turn of the 15th and 16th century, it was urbanized with Nitra Castle with which it shared defensive walls which were built in the medieval times. The invasion of the Ottoman empire and the rebellions against them lasted almost for two centuries forced their separation by constructing mighty bastion forts. Horné mesto became a castle town guarded by a second ring of defensive walls, equally strong as the first one. From the southern part emerges the street Horný Palánok. The restless period of the 16th and 17th century changed the original medieval construction of Horné mesto. Many houses were destroyed during siege attacks or were burned down. Some of the houses were destroyed by the settlers themselves, so the enemies would not use them as shelters to hide against the artillery defense.

During the more peaceful 18th century, the separated development of Horné mesto continued. Its residents guarded their singularity and were keen on guarding their traditional privileged position. In 1848 it merged with other two districts: Dolné mesto and Podhradie. Even before that time, Horné mesto was enriched with the construction of marvelous church buildings, built in the elegant Baroque or Rococo design or in the style of Classical architecture. A part of it also became the Franciscan Monastery, which in 1783 became a parish church. The paving of streets in 1786 enhanced the noble look of Horné mesto. A destructive fire in 1793 put the construction development of Horné mesto into hiatus and the construction works continued at the beginning of the 19th century.

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