Jesuit church of St. Francis Xavier in Skalica
The history of the Jesuit church dates back to 1693, when the foundation stone was laid not only for the church but also for the school and college. The construction took almost thirty years. The church is dedicated to Francis Xavier, a patron of the order of the Jesuits and the patron saint against the plague. The Jesuits founded a secondary school in Skalica that was later promoted to a college due to a large number of the religious and students. The church was struck by fire in 1724. Fifty years later, the Jesuits left the town and the Pauline Fathers took over the church for a short period of time.
Interior of the church
In the past, there were eight altars in the church. However, only the main altar with the painting depicting Francis Xavier was preserved, together with the statues of St. Peter and St. Paul. With its size of 3,5 x 6,5 metres, the painting of the patron is one of the largest paintings in Slovakia. It dates back to mid-18th century and the author is unknown. Like many works of art, this painting has deteriorated over time. Between 1995 and 1996 it was restored by two women - Rosanna Báthoryová and Dagmar Morávková; six years ago, Mr. Milan Flajžín restored the frame of the painting. The church dilapidated quickly and many parts of the interior were taken to other churches. Only the above-mentioned main altar and the fresco in the Virgin Mary's side chapel were preserved.
In 2011, the church underwent a comprehensive reconstruction, which was also the most extensive reconstruction in the history of Skalica. Both the exterior and the interior of the church were renovated. On 27 November 2011, a ceremonial opening of the reconstructed church took place. This day marks the start of a new phase of the church as a cultural centre in Skalica. Since then, it has served as a cultural and educational sight, with concerts of organ music and other genres being held here from time to time, as well as exhibitions, school graduations, cultural events, and even weddings. The church has a unique acoustic; indeed the best in Central Europe. The church even received the award “Cultural Monument of the Year 2011” from the Ministry of Culture of the Slovak Republic for the comprehensive renovation and restoration of the furniture of the Jesuit Church in Skalica. The church belongs to the property of the town and does not serve religious purposes.