St. Martin’s gothic church in Čerín: Slovakia travel

On the top of a hill overlooking the peaceful village of Cerin (Čerín) in Slovakia sits a quiet church with a gothic history.

 St. Martin in Čerín, Slovakia
St. Martin in Čerín, Slovakia (Photo: Brooke*)

Cerin is located 12 miles from the edge of Banska Bystrica (Banská Bystrica) in central Slovakia. (Google map directions from Banska Bystrica to Cerin).

We toured the perimeter of the church, and the entrance to St. Martin church was locked.

front entrance at St. Martin Church in Cerin, Slovakia

Satisfied with our visit, we turned to leave, but not before a couple climbed the hill and held a key up (while explaining in Slovak that they could give us a tour).

Meet our tour guides, Robert and Katalina!

Our church guides at St. Martin (Cerin, Slovakia)

While we spoke as much Slovak and they did English (little to none), we had an amazing tour and learned a surprising amount about the church and belltower.

belltower at St. Martin Church in Cerin, Slovakia

Robert asked if we were from America, and when he found out we were from Minnesota, he smiled and excitedly said “hockey”! In fact, my husband brought a little bit of Minnesotan hockey to Slovakia, as he’s playing for a nearby team.

In 2015, the church celebrated it’s 700th year anniversary. Katalina pointed out that the church was built in 1315. In comparison, the oldest continuously occupied settlement in the United States is St. Augustine, Florida, founded in 1565.

St. Martin Church (Cerin, Slovakia)

Watch your step going down from the balcony. The steps are about half the size of regular stairs. I’m guessing the church parishioners in the 14th century weren’t over six feet tall!

Catalina telling Matt to be careful!
Katalina telling my husband Matt to be careful!

The interior of the church still contains many original fresco murals.

Original frescos inside St. Martin church (Cerin, Slovakia)
Frescos inside St. Martin church (Cerin, Slovakia)

Impressively, several pieces, like the church stone christening water basin (shown in aerial view of church in earlier image), are originals.

Other pieces and art inside the church were added over the last several hundred years.

Folk-painted ceiling at St. Martin Church (Cerin, Slovakia)
The altar at St. Martin Church in Cerin, Slovakia
Ceiling of the saints (above the altar) at St. Martin Church in Cerin, Slovakia (@nativgypsies Instagram)

In recent years, the church and bell tower were renovated.

The gate was built by Robert’s own hands. Katalina planted the flowers on the steps leading up to the church.

The gate our guide Robert built at St. Martin Church in Cerin, Slovakia

This little guy was trying to get inside the pearly wood gate! Worry not; “All dogs go to Heaven”!

a dog we found exploring outside the gate at St. Martin church in Cerin

Katalina encouraged me to explore and climb throughout the church grounds. The bell tower ladder reminded me of climbing up a barn hayloft (which made me feel at home).

The ladder at the base of the St. Martin church belltower (Cerin, Slovakia)

Robert followed us right up the ladder and even rang the bell for us.

Bell (St. Martin Church in Cerin, Slovakia)

Slightly off the beaten path, Cerin is well worth the short drive out of Banska Bystrica. Step onto the grounds and back in time.

Do you know our guides?

If anyone knows Robert and Katalina, of Cerin, and can put me in contact with them, I would be most appreciative. I’d love to share this post with them and thank them for their tour.

from St. Martin church in Cerin, Slovakia (Instagram @nativgypsies)

If you’re in the area for the day, hike the Pol’ana forest to Waterfall Bystre. See my post on “Vodopád Bystré: Slovakia Travel”.

Brooke at Waterfall Bystre

And take a day trip to Bratislava (see my post “24 hours in Bratislava”).

St. Martin’s Cathedral (Bratislava, Slovakia) (@nativgypsies Instagram)

Enjoy your time in Slovakia! Join the Native Gypsies adventure on Instagram (@nativgypsies). Been to Slovakia? Tell us what other must-see Eastern European spots should be on the travel list.

*All prior photos by Brooke

Church of St. Martin in Čerín
Church of St. Martin in Čerín




About Brooke ↞ Farm girl with a gypsy heart. Life-long obsession for junking and all things vintage. Working on on being a wife & mama, our next travel adventure, enjoying the little moments, colorful salads and a healthy earth. ↠ Read About BrookeRead more posts by Brooke

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2 comments on “St. Martin’s gothic church in Čerín: Slovakia travel

  1. Lill Robinson
    March 1, 2016 at 10:41 pm

    thank you for sharing the tour of this lovely old church. The frescoes and folk painting were beautiful!

  2. Brooke
    March 2, 2016 at 11:02 am

    Glad you enjoyed them, Lill! There are many hidden historical treasures in Slovakia!!

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