The Parish Church of St Margaret of Antioch at Zborov in Saris
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Vaclaw Mencl, the first researcher to take an interest in the church at Zborov (Hung. Zboro), accepted its origin as about 1330. This dating is also repeated by other scholars. According to Jan Svec-Babov, initially, nearby Smilno was the seat of the parish (probably from as early as the end of the 13th century) and a description of the Makovica estates, written in 1355 for the Eger Chapter, does not mention a church but only a chapel at Zborov. The oldest church at Zborov was wooden. The masonry church at Zborov was consecrated and dedicated to SS. Margaret of Antioch and Ladislaus on 5 December, 1655. At that time its nave was covered with a wooden ceiling. By then there already existed side chapels forming a quasi-transept, but it is not known what the eastern part looked like. ln 1662 Laszlo Rákóczy vaulted the nave and added a masonry tower and vestry. In the following year Elizabeth Rákóczy de Felszö-Várdas commissioned stucco decorations for the southern chapel, intending to make it a family mausoleum. Except for small alterations, the church has survived in this form to our times and its detailed description is given. It seems that the example of Zborov may be of great significance to an explanation of the problem of a return to the Gothic style in modern times. It is possible to indicate here a marked stylistic difference between the structures commissioned by closely related founders and erected almost simultaneously, but intended for different denominations. In all likelihood, the Post-Gothic Catholic church built after on a specific, extremely original pattern for which there exist no known analogies. An answer to the question concerning the donors' motives behind the choice of this church form seems all the more interesting as it may shed new light on the intentions of the founders of similar structures. Another element that sets the Zborov church apart from other Post-Gothic structures is its extraordinary spatial disposition. Its closest analogy can be found in the relics of the chancel part of the church of the Order of St John of Jerusalem at Piest'any, dated to about 1350. The appearance of the nave of the Piest'any church remains unidentified.
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