Church of St. Nicholas
The Cathedral of St Nicholas One of the first parishes in Prekmurje was established in Murska Sobota, and it is certainly older than the late Romanesque core of the Church of St Nicholas. The church was first mentioned in sources in 1297, when Murska Sobota was ruled by lord Štefan Haholt of Dolnja Lendava. The originally Romanesque building was reconstructed into a Gothic sacral premise in the second half of the 14th century; the new building featured architectural elements forming the arch under the presbytery and the bell tower, a biphora window in the eastern wall of the presbytery, brackets and keystones, as well as the ground-plan of the former Gothic nave. To the same period belong the first paintings in the presbytery, featuring a biblical scene of the Wise and Foolish Virgins on the interior wall of the triumphal arch, symbols of the Evangelists on the arch, and some other motifs revealing influences of the socalled Gömöry painting school. In the late 14th century, a stonemasonry workshop operated here, which produced the keystone in the arch of the presbytery with a stylized lion’s face and the painted Gothic tabernacle at the presbytery’s northern wall. The second array of paintings is marked by influences of Johannes Aquila’s workshop, which operated in the area in this period, and by the Gothic sculptural style introduced by the workshop. The church, which stood outside the town walls, was damaged by Turkish sieges and renovated in several stages. The low and narrow nave was arched in 1676, and later joined by side chapels. The paintings on the arch below the bell tower were conceived by the Baroque painter Matthias Schiffer, who also painted the patron saint St Nicholas, giving dowry to three poor virgins (from 1792, located in the axis of the high altar). Following several reconstructions, the church was thoroughly renovated in 1910–1912, based on designs by the architect Ladislav Takač. He preserved the core of the old church, but changed it into three-nave basilica with a cross nave and a vaulted dome above the intersection. From the core of the old bell tower rises a new impressive bell tower, and the façade is dominated by a composition of niches with the coat of arms of the Szapáry family, and a semicircular main entrance surrounded by a wreath of stylized flowers. In the spirit of the Secession, the flower motif is repeated in various ways. The chapel south of the bell tower was replaced by the tomb of the Counts of Szapáry, and the one north of it by the oratory, including a baptistery and sacristy, of the Count of Rakičan, Saint Julien-Walssee, The interior was completed with stained windows by Stane Kregar and Marjan Bizovičar, and after the latest renovation in 2003 by painted windows by Franc Mesarič in the presbytery.
Church of St. Nicholas
Gregorčičeva ulica 4, Murska Sobota, Slovenija