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Bishop´s Garden

Bishop´s Garden. By this name we call a part of the courtyard area, arranged as a park, which is located in the northern part of the street development of the Spiš Chapter, in the area between the canonical houses and the bishop’s residence. The floorplan of the Bishop’s Garden is in the form of an irregular rectangle with dimensions 129 x 71.5 m, with a longer axis in the north-south direction, perpendicular to the alley of the Spiš Chapter. The circuit of the Bishop´s Garden consists of walls from different historical periods. On the north side, there is the a part of the original fortification of the Spiš Chapter with bastion, through which an exterior entrance to the garden was built in the 18th century. On the west, the Bishop´s Garden is separated from private courtyard of the Bishop´s (originally provost) residence by the wall built in the 19th century. In the east part it is separated from the chapel and from the Canon n.7´s garden. The most interesting is the southern wall, which separates the area of Bishop´s Garden from the Spiš Chapter´s street. It was built in the middle of the 18th century and includes the Clock Tower from the year 1741 with the gate forming the main entrance to the Bishop´s Garden from the street of Spiš Chapter.

The research has shown that the land, on which the Bishop´s Garden is located, has formed part of the wider economic background of the provost residence. There was a farmstead with a farmyard, stables, barns and utility garden until the end of the 17th century. In 1741, the former Spiš provost Franciscus Barkóczy transformed it into a park and separated it from the rest of the Spiš Chapter by a wall with the entrance through the already mentioned Clock Tower. At the opposite end of the park, he transformed the original fortification bastion into an arbor with a northern entrance from the exterior of the Spiš Chapter. Other landscaping and planting modifications of the park took place at the beginning of the 19th century during the office of Bishop Joannes Révay. At that time, a classicist arbor – a solarium – was built on the original bastion, through which the park is entered. The beautiful part of the arbor are wallpaintings with the theme of an ideal view of the landscape and illusionary architecture.

The park – Bishop´s Garden – during its own history fulfilled an ornamental function, highlighted by terraced landscape and flower planting. It included an orchard.

Today´s appearance of the park is not reconstruction of any of its historical versions. It is a modern architectural solution of the garden, which combines an ornamental part with an orchard, while highlighting all the rarely preserved historical architectural components: walls, arbor, clock tower and partially preserved small garden architecture. It is a place for the a rest, meditation and prayer. A place, through which the Spiš Chapter and its inhabitants wishes to speak to all of you – our visitors, in silence and peace.

In 2019/2020 the revitalization of the Bishop´s Garden was realized with the restoration work of Clock Tower and the Arbor, which was co-financed by the INTERREG V-A Poland-Slovakia Programme.