Convent of Clare Nuns, Kopernica
Ľubomír Závodný, Damián Berec
1998

The Convent of Clare Nuns is the first of its kind in Slovakia since Joseph's reforms in the 18th century dissolved this form of orders. After a long-lasting search, the nuns found a suitable location in Kopernica, a small village in the Kremnica hills. The new convent was created as the extension of an original gothic church from the 14th century in a slightly rising southern slope. The chapel of a circular ground plan is the core of the concept of the new building. The line of the closure (a boundary between lay persons and nuns) divides the ground plan into the public part and the convent. The building of the convent encircles the non-public part of the chapel and is based upon the Benedictines' concept consisting of a church, a dormitory, a cross-corridor, and a Garden of Eden. The one-storey building with a saddle roof creates the yard in a slight slope. Its ground plan determines the Garden of Eden encircled by the arcades of the cross-corridor (cloister). In the back of the garden, there is the entrance to the adjacent farm of the convent. A small bell tower with one bell is a construction feature of the inner staircase's arch. The console-shaped self-carrying arm of the staircase resembles the proverbial stairway to heaven. As the only artistic gesture of this moderate and purposeful architecture, the staircase hovers almost weightlessly.


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