Svätý Jur, a picturesque town located in western Slovakia, is definitely worth a visit for several reasons. Firstly, the town is rich in historical and cultural attractions that offer a glimpse into its fascinating past. Visitors can explore the well-preserved medieval town center, with its charming streets, historic buildings, and the iconic Church of St. George. While it may not have as many tourist attractions as larger cities, it offers a pleasant atmosphere, historical sites, picturesque wineries and beautiful natural surroundings.
The town is adorned with churches
adobe buildings in the sky
glorious in their full splendour
let us approach them and surrender.
The old one stands on the hill
where the people go to the Neštich
The church is built celestially
its beauty can be seen from afar
The great bell on the belfry
tolls sonorously every day
The clear sound carries through the town
through the streets to the fields.
Goerg Peucker: Ode to St. Georg, 1697
LIST OF tourist attractions in Svätý Jur:
1. St. George’s Church (Kostol svätého Juraja): This early gothic church from the 13th century is the centerpiece of Svätý Jur with a separate wooden bell tower. The interior of the church is dominated by an early-Renaissance stone altar, unique to Slovakia, coming from the workshop of the famous Anton Pilgram.
2. Town Hall (Radnica) – Zichy Mansion: The town hall in Svätý Jur is an attractive neo-gothic building with a coat of arms of St. George, located in the heart of the town. In addition to the municipal administration, the premises of the Zichy Mansion also house the National History Museum.
3. Evangelical church: It was built by rebuilding the Segner’s burgher house in 1783. There was a rectory, a school and a prayer room. In the church there is an altar painting “Christ on the Cross” from van Dyck’s painting school. The bell tower was built in 1968.
4. Piarist monastery and church: The Piarist Order has a strong educational tradition, and the complex often served as an educational institution, emphasizing the importance of schooling and religious education. The Piarist monastery from 1720 also sheltered for some time Rudolf Vrba and Alfréd Wetzler after their successful escape from the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. Piarist Church of the Holy Trinity was originally built as a protestant church in 1654.
5. Krone: Pension restaurant and café: Nicolas Jelšič’s aristocratic 16th-century curia with a beautiful Renaissance decoration on the facade – sgraffito. In the 18th century it belonged to Baron Podmanický, later to the Zichy family. Today you can try delicious food, delectable cakes, and aromatic coffee and local wines.
6. Plaque Column with statue of the Holy Trinity. It dates from 1831 and commemorates the end of the terrible cholera epidemic. It lasted 57 days and 182 people died.
7. Armbruster Mansion House: The aristocratic Renaissance mansion of the 16th century was home of the Armbruster family, whose members worked for the Hungarian royal offices. The pressing room with a winepress dating from 1790 and the original wooden barrels are preserved in the two-storey cellars.
8. Jewish Synagogue: The currently rebuilt synagogue is associated with the name of a famous rabbi Chatam Sofer who led the Bratislava religious community from here during the Napoleonic wars. Since 1786 there have been Jewish women’s baths, and since 1790 the building has served as a school and a tabernacle.
9. Pálffy Manor House: Originally a fortified Renaissance manor house was built by Štefan Illesházy and Katarína Pállfyová in 1609. The Upper Gate, which no longer exists, was built near the castle and was the access road to Biely Kamen Castle. Renovated Pálffy Manor House is a must-visit attraction for history, architecture, and wine enthusiasts.
10. Renaissance house: The exceptionally preserved architectural building with its enclosed over 500-year-old courtyard. The house is an excellent example of a typical vineyard dwelling. Under one roof you will find several establishments. Čokokafé, Apartment under the Mulberry Tree and Michal Bažalík’s Winery.11.
11. Whitestone Castle (Hrad Biely Kameň): The ruins of the Biely Kamen castle are located half an hour from the church along the yellow trail. The castle was built in the second half of the 13th century and was probably destroyed by the Turks in 1663. A nature trail leads from the castle to the hill fort of Neštich.
10. Slavic Hillfort Neštich: Huge Slavic settlement from the time of Great Moravia with massive ramparts inhabited from the Hallstatt period until the 13th century. Access is possible from the town of Svätý Jur along the blue-marked trail, from the Hradisko crossroads then to the right along the unmarked trail.
Apart from its historical and cultural significance Svätý Jur is also known for its connection to wine. The region has a long tradition of viticulture, with evidence of grape cultivation and wine production dating back to the 13th century. The favorable climate, fertile soil, and hilly terrain of Svätý Jur create ideal conditions for growing grapes and producing high-quality wines.
The town centre is famous for its historic cellars, which are among the most beautiful in the Small Carpathian region. Many of these cellars are still in use today and can be explored. Wine tasting is a popular activity at local wineries. You can sample different wines, including traditional Slovak varietals such as Grüner Veltliner, Müller Thurgau, Riesling, Welschriesling, Blaufränkisch and Saint Laurent. Local wineries are open after 5pm therefore it’s advisable to check with the individual wineries for their opening hours, tours, and tasting options, as they may vary.
Svätý Jur hosts also plenty wine festivals and events that showcase the local wine culture. These festivals are a great opportunity to visit hidden wine cellars, taste a wide variety of wines, and experience local food, music and culture.
There is also a vineyard open-air museum only 15 minutes walk from the city centre. The picturesque surroundings of the outlook tower with vineyards stretching out into the distance, make it a perfect setting for wine and nature enthusiasts to indulge in the beautiful scenery.
Another reason to visit Svätý Jur is its beautiful natural surroundings. The town is located in the picturesque Small Carpathian Mountains, offering breathtaking views and opportunities for outdoor activities. Hiking and biking trails crisscross the area, allowing visitors to explore the stunning landscapes and enjoy the fresh air. The nearby vineyards also add to the scenic beauty, creating a unique blend of nature and culture.
Yes, there is an educational trail in Svätý Jur. The trail is called the Jur Trail and it offers visitors a unique opportunity to learn about the rich natural and cultural heritage of the area. The trail is well-marked and consists of several information boards placed along the route. These boards provide interesting facts about the local flora and fauna, as well as the history and traditions of Svätý Jur.
It is a great way to explore the town and its surroundings while gaining knowledge about the region’s biodiversity and cultural significance. The Jur Trail starts near the town centre and takes you through various landscapes, including vineyards, forests, and meadows.
Lastly, Svätý Jur’s location makes it an ideal base for exploring the wider region. The town is conveniently located just 15 minute train ride from Bratislava, the capital city of Slovakia. This proximity allows visitors to easily combine a visit to Svätý Jur with a trip to Bratislava, where they can explore its historical sites, vibrant nightlife, and diverse culinary scene. Svätý Jur’s strategic location also makes it a gateway to the Small Carpathian Mountains, where visitors can discover other charming towns and natural wonders.
Whether you’re an avid history buff, a wine connoisseur, or simply seeking natural serenity, Svätý Jur beckons you to book a tour and discover the heart and soul of this remarkable Little Carpathian town.