We succesfully finish another great summer season at Katarinka. The start of summer was marked with an amazing Open Doors Day. Our biggest public event attracted more than 1400 visitors, who came to the Church and Monastery of St Catherine to enjoy the pleasant atmosphere and unique program prepared by our volunteers, as there is special occasion we wanted to celebrate - we are celebrating the 25th anniversary of our voluntary project this year. With the aim of marking this extraodrinary milestone, we offered the tourists and visitors many ineresting activities connected to the history of our project and also some trivia and also facts about our day-to-day voluntary work. We believe everyone has had a n amayzing time and enjoyed the celebrations.
During July and August, we welcomed new young volunteers participated in the two-week volunteer camps, which are the highlights of our season. We managed to organize four summer workshops and each of them awas attended by 35 – 40 volunteers. The volunteer camps are typical for their simple lifestyle – we stay in the heart of nature and for two weeks live without electricity, cell phones or any other technical devices. The volunteers actively take part in voluntary work with the goal of preserving the ruins of the Church and Monastery of St Catherine – this includes conservation and reconstruction of the old ruins and also archeological research on the site. This summer, we were able to finalise the reconstruction of an old crypt and also finish works on the most damaged parts of the monastery. Apart from voluntary work, the participants could enjoy historically themed adventurous activities, fun, joy and a lot of laughter – we had a very positive feedback, therefore we hope to see many of the young faces of our summer volunteers also in next summer season, as they were eager to join our project and help in our longterm activities.
This year we keep our tradition of participating in the Slovak nation-wide public event „Night of castles and ruins“. The initiative is set up by the NGO Save the Castles – an organisation, that associates 28 organizations from Slovakia which are responsible for the reconstruction and rescue of ruins of castles and sacral buildings.The main goal of the mentioned event is to present the national and cultural monuments and bring them to public attention. The event, which regularly involves many castles and ruins from all over Slovakia, took place on August 17, 2019.
As usual, Katarinka also opened to public on this night and prepared an extraordinary program - it started with a holy mass celebrated at the sunset and was followed by short break and small refreshment offered by the volunteers from Katarinka. There was also possibility to enjoy the ruins which were lighted especially for the occasion. The highlight of the evening was the concert of the Chamber Orchestra ZOE, which was performed under the stars. As a surprise at the end of the event, we opened the newly reconstructed crypt for public for the first time, so the visitors could go inside and see the interior of it. We hope that everyone, who visited Katarinka this summer – as tourist, volunteer or organizer of an event – enjoyed its pleasant atmosphere to the fullest.