Marianka is the oldest Marian pilgrimage place in the Slovakia. According to legend, a hermit who lived here carved a statue of the Virgin Mary in 1030 and hid it in a hollow tree trunk as a result of war turmoil. In 1300, a blind beggar with the help of a voice from the sky is said to have found a well. The voice promised that he would be able to see again, if he would wash his eyes with the spring water. As he washed his eyes as told he saw again, and his eyes immediately fell on a statue of the Virgin lying by the spring. He erected a wooden column on which he placed the statue, whereupon pilgrimages to the statue of Mary and the miraculous spring began.
Place of Pilgrimage and Monks
In1367, the foundation stone of the pilgrimage church of the Nativity of Mary was laid by the Hungarian King Ludwig I. The place was given to the Pauline Order, who built a monastery next to the church. Over time, the church and monastery were expanded. In 1786, the monastery was repealed by Emperor Joseph II. For many years, the monastery was used as a hunting lodge by various noble families. Only in 1927 monks returned to Marianka. After interruptions during the Second World War and communist rule they once again operate church and monastery.
The Gothic church in Marianka of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary was baroqueized towards the end of the 17th century, which was mainly the responsibility of Prince Esterházy. Next to the church is the former Pauline monastery, which was enlarged in 1593, and the St. Anna chapel from the beginning of the 18th century. From the church, a path with six 18th century chapels leads to the Sacred Fountain, a Baroque domed building from the end of the 17th century.
It is located on the western slope of the Little Carpathians, about 6 km north of the Slovak capital Bratislava.
For more information please visit here.
Here is a list with more places you can visit for free in Slovakia!