Marianka is a well-known pilgrimage site located on the south-western edge of the Small Carpathians at the point where they come into contact with the southern edge of the Záhorie lowlands six kilometres south-east of Stupava. The town is first mentioned in 1367 under the name Vallis Mariae.
Marianka is a well-known pilgrimage site located on the south-western edge of the Small Carpathians at the point where they come into contact with the southern edge of the Záhorie lowlands six kilometres south-east of Stupava. The town is first mentioned in 1367 under the name Vallis Mariae. King Louis I of Hungary (Louis the Great) donated a monastery he founded to the Order of St. Paul that year. The Slovak name of Marianka has been used since the 15th century. The monastery was the seat of the General of the Order of St. Paul and the centre of the Order of Saint Paul in Hungary in the 16th and 17th centuries. The town with its church and monastery from the 14th century gradually became the most visited pilgrimage site in Slovakia. Faithful from Lower Austria were very familiar with the town under its German name of Marienthal.
The most important religious building in Marianka is the Roman Catholic Church of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary. The church was constructed in 1377 in a Gothic style and was expanded in the 17th century with Baroque additions following in the 18th century. In 1877, J. Lippert was responsible for the Gothic changes to the presbytery, while the nave retained its Baroque stucco-decorated vaults with motifs of the Order of St. Paul (two lions next to palms). This decoration, divided into smaller pictorial compositions from the life of St. Paul the Hermit and St. Anthony the Hermit by J. I. Mildorf, cover the original Gothic vaults.
The altar contains a statue of a sitting Madonna from the end of the 14th century, which, according to legend, was carved by one of the hermits from pear wood. Given the fact that few Romanesque landmarks have been preserved in Slovakia, Marianka’s Madonna with its Romanesque style is definitively one of the precious works from this period. The interior of the church includes a Baroque pulpit, Renaissance baptismal and Baroque organ in addition to the five Baroque side altars. A late Baroque statue of St. John Nepomuk stands in front of the church. The Order of St. Paul monastery is nearby the church and is currently a place for spiritual restoration, training, meetings and seminars.
Pilgrims making their way to Marianka are primarily focused on the spring of miracles. The road to the spring travels by six chapels (Virgin Mary of Tálenská, the Presentation of Jesus, the Annunciation, the Visitation of the Virgin Mary, the Circumcision of Christ and an unnamed chapel) constructed from 1710 to 1729. A crossroad comprised of fourteen chapels is located on the slope near the road to the spring. A Baroque chapel dating to 1696 is located above the spring itself. Noteworthy works of art are the state statues of St. Paul the Hermit and St. Anthony the Hermit by Georg Raphael Donner from 1736.