Facts about Slovakia

Central Europe


Parliamentary republic




49,035 sq km

CET / GMT+1.00


History of Nitra

Thanks to the archaeological excavations we know that the territory of today´s city was settled already in prehistoric times. The Celts, skilled blacksmiths and metallurgists, settled here in the 4th century B.C. First Slavs came to this region by the end of the 5th century and from the 7th century it was the centre of Samo´s Empire. When in the times of the Great Moravian Empire ruled the Prince Pribina, Nitra served as his main residence. You can find his statue even today in the middle of Pribina Square. In 830th was thanks to him consecrated the first Christian church in Slovak territory. The exact place of the church stays unknown, but we suppose that it was not on the place of today´s Castle.

In 833, Mojmír drove Pribina out, joined together Nitra principality with the Moravian principality and established the Great Moravian Empire. In 863, prince Rastislav asked Byzantine emperor to send a teacher who would bring the Gospel to the Slavic people. He sent to Great Moravia Sts. Constantine-Cyril and Methodius, who developed the first Slavic alphabet, which was called "glagolitic", and also translated the first liturgical texts into Old Slavonic. The Empire reached its greatest extent under the king Svätopluk.

After the fall of the Great Moravian Empire, Nitra fell under domination of old Magyar dynasty of Arpads. Valuable documents from 1111 called Zobor Documents are deposited in Bishop´s archive. In those times Benedictines took up the organisation of ecclesiastical life. Benedictine monastery situated on the slope of Zobor hill was the oldest monastery in Slovak territory and today is on that place the Sanatorium building aimed to cure pulmonary diseases. Until the 12th century Nitra was one of the most important cities of Slovakia. In 1248 was promoted to the status of free royal town by Bela IV. In the 14th century, Matthew Csák of Trenčín, who was ruling to the great part of the Slovak territory, conquered Nitra, and in 15th century it was conquered by Hussites. The medieval Nitra was divided into the Upper Town and Lower Town and four new independent parishes were created. 

Nitra was destroyed by many battles and in the 18th century started her renovation. Soon after finishing the reconstruction of Nitra Castle and the Cathedral, started to appear new buildings. In 1873 Nitra became the town with its municipality presided over by a mayor. Since 1880 it serves as Bishop´s seat and nowadays it is a modern regional capital.

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