Foundations of the Great Moravian Church
The Great Moravian period was an important era of Slovak history which also meant significant development in Devín. From the second half of the 9th century, Great Moravia was led by Prince Rastislav who had built a massive fortress here protected not only by the nature, but also by artificial fortification and advanced hillforts. The first written notice of Devín is dated back just to this period; a castle called “Dowina” is mentioned in a record in the Annals of Fulda of 864. It had to be an important seat of power with great strategic importance. On the south-eastern hill of the hillfort, some remains of foundations of a sacred building with a longitudinal nave and tri-apse closure are still preserved from the said period. The architectonic form and decoration of the church lets us assume that Prince Rastislav was expecting the Christian Mission lead by Cyril and Methodius to arrive in this area. The building had not survived too long after the end of Great Moravia; it ceased to exist in the first half of the 10th century. However, the sacred character of the site has been preserved since the function of the church was taken over by a smaller rotunda built a few meters nearby. Six graves with rich inventory were preserved to the south from the church – earrings, necklaces, rattles, knives, spurs, and flint and tinderboxes with sharpening steels were found here.