Religious Tourism on the Example of Nation Pilgrim Places in Slovakia (Patronages of the Virgin Mary)


  • Viliam Judák Faculty of Roman Catholic Theology of Cyril and Methodius, Comenius University Bratislava, Šafárikovo námestie 6, 81458 Bratislava, Slovakia
  • Lucia Petrikovičová Faculty of Natural Sciences and Informatics, Department of Geography, Constantine The Philosopher University in Nitra, Geoinformatics and Regional Development, Tr. A. Hlinku 1, 94901 Nitra, Slovakia
  • Amantius Akimjak Faculty of Theology, Department of Social Works, Catholic University in Ružomberok. Hrabovská cesta 1A, 03401 Ružomberok, Slovakia



pilgrimage, pilgrimage route, religious tourism, wandering, basilica minor


Aim. Pilgrimage thus belongs to the oldest non-economic forms of migration and is a phenomenon that has intertwined throughout the history of religions. The aim of the article is to emphasize the important position of religious tourism as one of its forms. Based on the deep-rooted tradition of wandering in Slovakia, characterize important places of pilgrimage of national and perhaps partly international significance.

Method. Terrain reconnaissance together with analysis of archival and parish documents.

Results. Numerous Marian temples and chapels testify to the Marian veneration in Slovakia. Of the 5925 known patronages of churches and chapels (even those that have disappeared) in Slovakia, 1762 are dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Of these Marian patrons, 329 are consecrated by the Seven Sorrows of Our Virgin Mary. The result of field research is an analysis of six pilgrimage sites of national importance in Slovakia.

Conclusion. Slovakia is a strongly Christian country with a tradition of wandering, as evidenced by many local and regional pilgrimage sites. Pilgrimage sites are understood as contact points that God has marked, they are the intersections where the ways of God meet the ways of people. There are mostly Marian pilgrimage sites in Slovakia and six of them (Marianka, Staré Hory, Levoča, Šaštín, Nitra, Ľutina) are of national importance.


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Author Biographies

  • Viliam Judák, Faculty of Roman Catholic Theology of Cyril and Methodius, Comenius University Bratislava, Šafárikovo námestie 6, 81458 Bratislava, Slovakia

    In the years 1980–1985, he studied theology at CMBF in Bratislava. He was ordained a priest on 16th of July, 1985 in Nitra. He has been serving as a chaplain in Nitra and Drietoma, where he has also been a parish administrator until the 1990s. At this time he had been studying in CMBF in Bratislava, where he had got his PhD. in sacra theologian. On 1st of September, 1990 he was appointed a prefect of the Clerical Seminary of St. Gorazd in Nitra and on the 18th of October, 1991, an ecclesiastical judge. Since 1990 he has been teaching Church history at RKCMBF UK in Bratislava and the Theological Institute in Nitra. In 1991–2005 he had been teaching also at the Pedagogic University in Nitra, at the Department of Ethics and Catechetics (today Constantine the Philosopher University). On the 1st of July, 1993 he was awarded the title of Associate Professor of the Cyril and Methodius Theological Faculty UK in Bratislava. In 1995–1998 he was a vice–dean of this faculty. From 1st of July, 1996 to the 1st of July, 2001 he has been a rector of the Clerical Seminary of St. Gorazd in Nitra. In 1997, the Holy Father John Paul II appointed him “the Chaplain of His Holiness“ (Mons.). He was the head of the Department of Church History in 1997–2006. On 13th of December, 1997, the President of the Slovak Republic appointed him Professor in the field of “catholic theology“. In 2001 he was elected Dean of the Roman Catholic Cyril and Methodius Theological Faculty of the Comenius University in Bratislava. He performed this function until 2004. On 9th of June, 2005, he was appointed the Bishop of Nitra by Pope Benedict XVI, and he was consecrated bishop in Nitra on the 16th of July, 2005. From October 2006 to September 2015, he had been a vice–president of the Episcopal Conference of Slovakia (KBS). He is the head of the Committee for Clergy and the Council for History of KBS. As a historian, he has been searching the Christian Antiquity and Middle Ages regarding Slovak Church history. He is an author of several monographs in the field of Church history and spiritual literature.

  • Lucia Petrikovičová, Faculty of Natural Sciences and Informatics, Department of Geography, Constantine The Philosopher University in Nitra, Geoinformatics and Regional Development, Tr. A. Hlinku 1, 94901 Nitra, Slovakia

    The author deals with mapping and evaluation of landscape structure and its changes using historical maps and orthophoto images, application of remote sensing results and the use of GIS, the impact of tourism on the landscape, as well as a new form of tourism - religious geography. She presented the results of her scientific activity at international conferences and internships and they are published in proceedings, publications in the WOS and Scopus databases. She is part of scientific teams in solving several projects (VEGA, KEGA, APVV, HORIZONT 2020, etc.). The result of her project activity are several publication outputs, especially in the form of scientific articles published and presented at conferences abroad and in scientific journals. The research focused mainly on the landscape and its changes in the area with a dispersed type of settlement with regard to the historical landscape structure, and she is also focused on tourism and its impact on the landscape as well as the study of religious tourism. Part of her scientific research growth was the completion of several study and lecture stays in Poland, Germany, Czechia, China, etc. Thanks to which she established working relationships, the cooperation of which was also reflected in the solution of international projects and joint publications.

  • Amantius Akimjak, Faculty of Theology, Department of Social Works, Catholic University in Ružomberok. Hrabovská cesta 1A, 03401 Ružomberok, Slovakia

    Author gradueted at Comenius University in Bratislava (Slovakia), Faculty of Theology in Catholic Theology, then at Catholic University of John Paul II in Lublin (PL) in Musicology and Church Music and then at the Faculty of Arts in Philosophy of Culture and Arts. Habilitated at the Trnava University in Trnava (Slovakia) in the field of History of Culture and Art. He was appointed by President of the Slovak Republic as a professor of Church music. He is a member of the Diocesan and National Liturgical Commission and the Head of the Sacred Music Section, As well as a member in editorial and professional series of magazines.


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How to Cite

Judák, V., Petrikovičová, L., & Akimjak, A. (2022). Religious Tourism on the Example of Nation Pilgrim Places in Slovakia (Patronages of the Virgin Mary). Journal of Education Culture and Society, 13(2), 615-630.

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