Martin Bóna – Henrieta Žažová Church of St. Helena in Demandice-Hýbec The municipality of Hýbec in the Hont county is first mentioned in a document from 1276. The local noble family of Hébeczy originally owned it. The Deméndys, owners of the neighbouring Demandice village, acquired it during the reign of Louis I (1342 – 1382). Hýbec today, is one of the three municipalities of the Demandice village part called Osady. Above the Hýbec municipality, in a wooded hillock near a functional cemetery (139 metres above sea level) is the concealed Roman-Catholic Church of St. Helena, a solitary one-nave building with polygonal presbytery. The year of the church’s construction, in 1023, is engraved on a late-gothic pastoforion (tabernacle). The lawyer and county archivist Lajos Hőke, however, questioned the authenticity of the ANNO D İ 1023 inscription during the middle of the 19th century. The oldest known reliable report on the church in Hýbec comes from as late as February 9, 1526. After the Battle of Mohács (August 29, 1526) and the seizing of Buda and Esztergom in the 1540s, southern Slovakia became an immediate neighbour with the Ottoman Empire. The Church of St. Helena was abandoned, but it was repaired in the 1720s using the money of local landlord Samuel Blaskovich (around 1680 – 1737). According to István Majer, the Blaskovich family tomb is situated in front of the cross near the Hýbec church. In modern history Hýbec became a country estate and the church was turned into a chapel, which only held processions on Easter Monday and the day of St. Helena. The map of the first military planning from 1782 – 1784 details the Hýbec church as a ruin (Rudera einen alten Kirche). At the beginning of the 19th century, local landlord František Simonyi de Simony et Varsany (1761 – 1833) and his wife Mária Bellusi Baross initiated the renovation of the Church of St. Helena. In 1836, Pope Gregory XVI granted the Hýbec church the privilege of indulgences, which could be renewed every seven years. Eventually, the church became a popular pilgrim place on the day of St. Helena (August 18) and birth of the Virgin Mary (September 8). The exterior of the chapel was renovated in 1882. At the beginning of the 20th century, the church was again in a dismal condition. Despite that, the Hungarian monuments commission refused to allocate money from the state budget for its reparation in 1905. The pilgrimages have been forbidden since 1950 and the church was only used sporadically. Between 2000 and 2007, the Hýbec church underwent a renovation, which also included an architectural-historical and restoration research that brought new information about the building’s development.
Eva Borecká Killy Mansion in Častá The reconstruction works in Killy Mansion in Častá (Pezinok district) revealed fragments of glass items dating to the 16th and beginning of the 17th centuries, Hutterite (Haban) pottery from the 17th and 18th centuries and an early Renaissance wall painting on the house’s façade. The archive documents about the house are incomplete and offer little information on its previous owners. The owners of the mansion, who are mentioned in documents, worked for the owners of the Červený Kameň castle. The name Killy Mansion is derived from the Kelio family, who lived there for several generations since the 17th century. According to the land maps, the following owners, the Pálffys, who most probably rented the mansion to tradesmen, are identified from the middle of the 19th century. The property also included a neighbouring house with land. The current ground plan of the one-storeyed mansion was created in the past by adding a traditional longitudinal house, which contained a black kitchen in the centre, to an older stone building. Other extensions and adjustments added to the plan’s overall outline. The buildings were interconnected in the basement as well as aboveground, and covered with a high, steep saddle roof, reminiscent of the so-called German roof. The excavation works in the interior revealed glass fragments, unglazed pottery, pottery with brown and green glazing, Hutterite faience, a golden men’s ring with brick-brown semi-precious stone and clay pipe (so-called “štiavnička”). The products can be dated when compared with similar findings from the 16th to 18th centuries. Some items of the Hutterite pottery are marked with a date (the last one from 1760). The findings improve the knowledge of period decorative items as well as items of everyday usage, the level of workmanship and the dining habits of burghers, or landlords living in the town’s market square, outside the stone castle walls that offered protection from frequent plundering. The most recent discovery is the fresco on the corner of the Killy Mansion, dated to the beginning of the 16th century, which was hidden, until now under a newer stone wall.
Vladimír Krupa History of the Piešťany Town Park The two-century-old Town Park, originally called Spa Park, dominates the spa town of Piešťany in western Slovakia. Piešťany, as we know it today, originated when a town of the same name merged with the Teplice spa (aka Thermae or Small Piešťany). Count George Erdődy (1754 – 1824) bought the town of Piešťany and the Piešťany spa from Emperor Charles III in 1720. The Erdődy family owned the town until 1848 and the spa until 1940, when it was nationalized. Joseph Erdődy managed the family property from 1789 to 1824. He was the first to initiate arrangements in the park, which he planted in a French style in the area behind the former František (Francis) villa and former spa headquarters. Between these two buildings was the main entrance to the park with a small square, where the Baroque Chapel of St. John of Nepomuk (built in 1760) used to stand. It also had a separate belfry with a single bell. A cemetery developed around the chapel before the last third of the 18th century. The park arrangements of Joseph Erdődy are captured in detail on the Frauenfeld’s plan from 1824. The so-called Manorial House stood at the park’s eastern end and faced the house of a spa inspector. This park’s area was also called the Old Park at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century, when the New Park was planted. Both parks form a united complex today, the Town Park, which is an immovable cultural monument. A park survey from January 1890 has been preserved, which was probably ordered by Francis Erdődy, the then owner of the spa, before he rented it to Alexander Winter. The survey was done by architect Anthony Pelka and surveyor Hugo Pelka, and captures the most significant buildings, such as the Spa Hotel and its adjacent pavilion, café, Park Villa, Arena summer theatre, inn and the Chapel of St. John of Nepomuk. Between 1893 and 1894, A. Winter ordered the building of a poly functional Spa Saloon at the edge of the park. It was used for organising cultural events (concerts, exhibitions), and as a restaurant, café, wine-room, confectionery, and later, as a casino. Spa guests were accommodated upstairs. A theatre stood nearby, and on the other side were tennis courts and an original music pavilion. A large planting in another part of today’s Town Park took place at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century. The so-called Main Alley of the New Park was built, which led from the Spa Saloon to the centre of the park, where a big fountain stands today.
Denis Pongrácz Painted coffins from Trstená The beginnings of the parish Church of St. Martin in Trstená are not yet historically clarified. It was probably built at the time, when Trstená acquired the town privileges (1371). The first written reference comes from 1397. After the arrival of the Thurzo family, in the second half of the 16th century, the parish became evangelical. Based on some sources, the evangelists rebuilt the church in the 17th century, while other authors think the church’s Baroque reconstruction did not start before 1738. The canonic visitations mention two crypts in the church. The church interior, however, almost certainly contains other graves as well, because during the construction modifications in the interior in 1996, the workers of the company, which laid the floor heating, found two other stone boards under the side altars. The older crypt could have originated at the end of the Middle Ages (around 1500?). It has a rectangular ground plan of 8.99 and 4.46 m. It contained 88 fully and partly preserved coffins and around 11 coffins that were partially burnt. The coffins were in a bad condition and were literally thrown one over the other, often in 3 – 4 layers. Many body remains were lying outside the cases. The coffins come from the middle of the 18th century to 1837. Members of local noble families of Stankovics, Kruzlics, Stas, Gasparides, Bocko, Koroda de Főlsó, Javorka-Javorek, Hattala, Stefanides and Vilcsek de Podwilk were buried in the crypt, as well as Trstená’s prominent inhabitants, such as the notary Wrchovina. The specific feature of the Trstená coffins, is their painted decoration with floral and votive motifs, often with recording the name and day of death of the deceased one. Also remarkable are the coloured – blue and green – children’s coffins. Textiles and footwear, in several cases, have been very well preserved. Most of the coffins come from the period of late Rococo and Empire. Experts selected a set of 27 best preserved coffins to include them on the list of the movable cultural monuments. As an integrated collection of rustic funeral art, they have a great documentational, artistic and ethnological value. Besides, they represent a collection that is unique in the territory of Slovakia.
Katarína Beňová Rombauer’s portrait of Ferdinand V Painter Johann Rombauer (1782 – 1849), a native of Levoča, who was a globetrotter who lived in Petersburg, decided to settle in Prešov after his return from the Russian metropolis, where he lived until his death. The Šariš Gallery in Prešov, in cooperation with the Slovak National Gallery (SNG), initiated a research project that documented this artist’s personality, which culminated in exhibitions of his work in Bratislava (June 4 – August 29, 2010) and Prešov (September 21, 2010 – January 9, 2011), as well as a voluminous catalogue entitled Ján Rombauer (1782 – 1849) Levoča – Petersburg – Prešov. The inter-disciplinary research carried out by experts from Slovakia and Hungary focused on Rombauer not only as a painter, but also as a historic person, whose example enables the documentation of fine art created during the first half of the 19th century in Slovakia. In a surprisingly short time, after the exhibitions opened, new works of the painter appeared. The restoration works on collection items at Šariš Museum in Bardejov revealed Rombauer’s signature on the painting of the Portrait of Monarch Ferdinand V. The museum acquired this work in 1953, but its original locality is unknown. Johann Rombauer was one of the popular portrait artists living mainly in the Šariš and Spiš regions. Apart from the works ordered by Prešov and Šariš aristocracy, burghers and tradesmen, he also painted for the Prešov administration. The centre of the Šariš See required portraits of the monarch, who could not be present in Hungary in the long term, for representation purposes. Ferdinand V was crowned as the Hungarian king in Bratislava on September 28, 1830. Consequently he also received titles of Austrian emperor (1835), Czech king (1836) and king of Lombardy and Venice (1838). In 1848, he assigned the reign to his nephew Francis Joseph I. Based on graphic models, Rombauer made two versions of portraits of Ferdinand V. The Šariš See ordered the portrait in 1840 and originally placed it in the See residence. The portrait was discovered in the collection of the Slovak National Museum-Červený Kameň Museum, as the Portrait of Ferdinand V in hussar uniform with the signature Joh. Rombauer Anno 1840 pinxit. The second monarch’s portrait has recently been discovered during the restoration works on a painting in the collections of the Šariš Museum in Bardejov, where Rombauer’s signature was revealed during the cleaning process. The work was made three years earlier than the painting from Červený Kameň Museum. The monarch wears a brocade, richly embroidered coronation coat, with an unidentifiable country painted in the background. The painting from the Bardejov Museum shows composition parallels with the graphic drawings in the collection of the Hungarian National Museum, where the monarch is situated in an interior with the regalia of power and coronation coat.
Milan Togner Unknown drawing by J. J. Keller In several variants of the Baroque transcript in Slovak territory and fine-art literature, the name of Johann Julius Keller is associated with two works created in the first half of the 17th century. As painter Hans Keyller from Lipnik in Moravia, he created a set of coats-of-arms for the Thurzo family, which were ordered by the widow Elisabeth Czobor-Thurzo for the burial of Palatine George Thurzo at the Bytča castle. In the second case, as a painter from Vienna, he decorated the University Church in Trnava. He most probably painted the Trnava church’s altar with the theme of St. Stephen’s Martyrium, which is situated in the Chapel of St. Martyrs. The chapel’s original decoration apparently contained a hitherto unknown Keller’s drawing, which was preserved in a collection of old drawings by the Olomouc painter Anthony Martin Lublinsky (1636 – 1690), in a set of drawings adjusted for an original Baroque album. The drawing with the theme of the saint martyrs bears the full signature of Johannes Julij Kelleris delineavit Wienna Ao 1642 and probably entered the Lublinsky collection before 1690. The hitherto unknown drawing shows only an average, and to a certain extent, basic drawing level, and can thus be considered to be a sketch for the altar painting that has the theme of the saint martyrs in the Trnava University Church, which has by now been the only proof of J. J. Keller’s painting activity in the area. Regarding the theme, dating to 1642 and Viennese origin, the drawing could also be a contract sketch for another painting with the presumptive location in the Chapel of Saint Martyrs of the Trnava church. Unfortunately, the painted picture is not known; nevertheless, the composition arrangement of the more or less traditional scheme suggests that in this case we can talk of Keller’s own interpretation.
Ivana Fialová Belveder Hunting Castle in Šaštín-Stráže Francis I, the husband of Maria Theresa, became the owner of the Holíč and Šaštín estates in western Slovakia in the course of the 1730s and 1740s. As a modern economist, he used these estates for implementing economy theories into practice. He introduced many reforms and innovations, which turned the neglected and indebted properties into effectively functioning economic units. The lands of both estates hosted large hunts each September and the Holíč estate, with its castle, became a favourite summer residence of the imperial family. Very little, however, is known about the other, no longer existing building of the Belveder Hunting Castle, which served the needs of the Vienna court. It was located in the municipality of Stráže (today part of Šaštín-Stráže), which belonged to the Šaštín estate. It was built before 1736, when the estate was in the hands of the Czobor family. The historical documents from the 18th century mention the castle’s existence very sporadically, mainly recording the accounts of its repairs during certain years. However, some of the inventories of the castle’s furnishings have been preserved to help create at least a partial picture of its interior. There also are a few records that directly concern Belveder, or the buildings in its vicinity. The death of Emperor Francis I on the 26th June 1765 significantly influenced the fate of the Belveder Castle. Maria Theresa did not consider it necessary to keep the building any longer and in 1766 sent part of the mobiliari to the Halbturn Castle (Burgenland, Austria) and neighbouring Holíč. The castle and its garden was rented, but later deteriorated and during the first three decades of the 19th century was razed to the ground.
Barbora Matáková Jr. Laskár – the memory of a country Laskár lies in the Upper Nitra valley, around 5 km southwest of Prievidza. This, originally an independent village became part of the Nováky town in 1941. Laskár was founded at the end of the 12th century, when it separated from the settlement of Svätý Jakub (Saint Jacob). It is first mentioned in 1355, in connection with aristocrat Ján, the son of Laskár from Svätý Jakub. The document from 1419 records the name of Laskár as Lazkarfalva. The settlement of Svätý Jakub ceased to exist in the first quarter of the 16th century. The village of Laskár was part of the Prievidza castle estate, and yeoman families of Majthényi, Berényi, Erdődy and Tarnóczy. The document from 1546 first mentions the existence of a fortified construction Castellum Lazkar vocatum, which was rebuilt in the Renaissance style at the end of the 16th century. In 1788, the Laskár manor house was enclosed with two walls, between which was a water moat with drawbridge. The Chapel of St. Jacob was part of the fortified manor house. With the Baroque reconstruction in 1799, the manor house lost its appearance of a fortress. An arched bridge was built and a natural-landscape park grew around the manor house. The building was again modified at the end of the 19th century, when the family of Tarnóczy built up a family archive there. Near the manor house were the houses of a pandour, blacksmith and brewer, a manorial bakery, granary, distillery, brewery and smith’s forge. A wooden manorial mill and sawmill were also in the village. One tavern stood at the end of the village and two others on the roads to Nováky and Bojnice. The events of 1918 and 1948 brought radical changes to the life of Laskár, when the manor house met a similar fate, like many others in Slovakia. The noble family was moved out, and the manor house was nationalised by the Ministry of Home Affairs and turned into a military building. The onset of the Laskár’s end, however, came in the 1990s, when the Upper Nitra Mines Prievidza purchased the lands of the local people in order to begin an underground exploitation of coal and lignite. The planned undermining of Laskár was also the reason that the manor house was excluded from the Central Register of Cultural Monuments in 1988, where it was registered in 1965. The demolition of the manor house was subject to a construction-historical and archaeological research. The adjacent buildings were demolished in 1997 and garden allotments were created on their sites. The manor house was demolished in the summer of 1999. Today, these places bear noticeable remains of the natural-landscape park – with sycamores, that are almost 200 years old, which were planted during the manor house’s Baroque reconstruction. The only place preserving the memory of the municipality is the cemetery in Laskár, which is also unique with its stone grave crosses dating from the end of the 19th century. It is crucial to preserve it in its original place by identifying the cemetery’s area as a significant cultural-historical locality in the general ground plan and by defining the conditions of its preservation.
Peter Nagy Archaeology of the Church of All Saints in Dechtice The origin of the All Saints Church in Dechtice (Trnava district) can be dated to 1172, based on the record from a canonic visitation that took place in 1782. It is a unique building, which (though it sounds like a nonsense) can be described as a square rotunda. A church with such a ground plan was not to be found anywhere else in Slovakia or the then Hungary. The only similar construction is in the village of Hidegség, on the bank of the Neusiedl Lake in modern day Hungary. The church is situated above the village, in the middle of a cemetery. It consists of a square-circular nave, which is finished with an elongated semi-circular apse. The Dechtice church has always had a slanted saddle roof, as the preserved gable wall on the eastern side suggests. Today, we can still admire the original entrance on the southern side, with a Romanesque portal, where a stone pointed arch was inserted in the gothic period. A tower with a new entrance from the western side and matroneum, which disarranged the nave’s circular ground plan, were added in the Baroque period. Architecturally significant is the construction material used. Despite the fact, that the locality has plenty of suitable construction stone, the whole church was built from bricks. Brick making in the Middle Ages was financially demanding as well as time consuming; apart from the raw material it also required an experienced brick-maker. The brick material could create a unique decoration; in Dechtice they used layers of bricks, which originally protruded from the profile by several centimetres. These relief elements were removed in the latter years, which made the wall level. Fortunately, the rare wall paintings with the scenes from the life of Christ have been partially preserved in the church interior. It is possible that the white walls still hide rare medieval paintings and that there are other decorations behind the smooth outer façade, which could only be revealed by potential restoration research. An archaeological research that took place in the All Saints Church in July 2010 revealed the construction of the church foundations and a unique cornice built of two rows of specially shaped bricks. Another unique finding was discovered during an interior probe under the original Romanesque entrance. Three layers of brick floors have been preserved there, of which the lowest one was made using Romanesque bricks, that were identical with the construction material of the church. It is the first medieval discovery of this type of paving in Slovakia.
Zuzana Zvarová – Miroslav Matejka – Tomáš Janura Fifth Canonry House in Nitra A chapter in the Roman-Catholic church grouped priests-canons, who followed certain rules – a canon, according to the monastery example. The priests-canons jointly served the holy mass and helped the bishop with the administration of the diocese. The canonic life was different from the monastic one. The canons could own a private property and the canonic houses were separately run households. They were fenced and consisted of the house of a canon and the house of servants. A canon could not sell his house, sign it away or exchange it. The Upper Town of Nitra was divided between the Nitra’s residential chapter and bishopric. The chapter’s property could momentarily appear in the hands of the canons, who kept houses – canonries, and had to live and keep the chapter’s residency. The number of priests-canons varied; there were probably twelve in the Middle Ages, ten after 1500, twelve in the second half of the 16th century, thirteen in 1629, nine at the end of the 17th century and only six in 1789. Each newly appointed canon was officially assigned a canonry house. The canon usually lived there until his death. The so-called Fifth Canonry House on the Square of John Paul II, No 2 and 4, in Nitra was researched in 2010. The research confirmed that it had undergone a complicated construction development and what is really important is that the archival-historical sources primarily described this specific canonry house. The house is situated in the centre of the castle hill; in the place of the present access to the Nitra Castle from the north of the Pribina Square. It consists of two buildings: a newer southern building No 2 and older northern building No 4. The two oldest construction phases out of the overall number of 12, which concern the development of No 4, are dated to the 15th and end of the 16th centuries. The building was extended in the 17th century, enlarged to the south in the 18th century and to the west in 1757. The building No 2 was built in the southern part of the area during the first half of the 19th century. It had two wings, the street one served as a lodging, dooryard and communication place. The most significant construction adjustment was the reconstruction from the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries and the utility arrangements following the damage to the building caused by the bombing of the castle hill in 1945. The building of the Baroque canonry house with masonry wall, green area and courtyard, accurately documents the development of architecture specifically in Nitra’s Upper Town, as well as, in general terms, across Slovakia.
Peter Buday Močenok manor house in archive sources In order to get to know the architecture of the 19th century, one needs to study archive sources. This is also inevitable because there are almost no authentic records regarding the construction development of the representative examples of recent history. Only in exceptional cases – rather by a happy coincidence than an aimed effort – we find monuments that can be explored in almost every detail thanks to their archives. The story of the former bishop’s manor house in Močenok is also told as a mosaic of secondary documents, such as official records, correspondence and newspaper coverage. The former residency of Nitra’s bishops in Močenok is unique because not only is it preserved as a monument; it also has completed documentation, mainly concerning the fundamental construction phase of the building in the 1840s. The manor house escaped the tragic fate that most of the Slovak noble residencies met, because the former (Communist) regime gathered priests and nuns (the “enemies” of the state) in there. It has thus survived without significant changes, as a unique example of the classicistic gesamtkunstwerk from around the middle of the 19th century. The six decades between 1848 and 1911, which mark the completion of the manor house and the transfer of the bishop’s office to the renovated castle palace in Nitra, could be seen as a blooming era of the Močenok estate’s residence. The building has a symmetrical ground plan in the shape of the letter H and is situated in a large park in the historical centre of the municipality, where the late-Baroque Church of St. Clement also stands. The manor house was most probably built on the site of an older building, which stood there until the second half of the 18th century, at the latest. The inventories recorded by John Zelenay, the economy director of the bishopric, suggest that it was quite a large, luxuriously furnished residence. Its unusual beauty is described not only in period records, but also in the hitherto unexplored voluminous archive material kept in Ivanka pri Nitre, which contains documents from 1840 to 1848, 1876 and 1900 to 1901. With regards to the documents referring to the interior description of the “summer house”, of particular interest, is the exceptional collection of chandeliers, which were probably made in Vienna.
Ľudmila Husovská – Naďa Hrašková – Adriana Reťkovská The Burgher’s house opposite the Kremnica walls The central-Slovak mining town of Kremnica had not only an urban centre enclosed by walls in the Middle Ages, but also a built-up area along the roads leading to the individual gates of the town fortification. Dolná (Lower) Street, lined on sides by a continuous row of Burgher’s houses gradually built from the end of the 14th century, leads to the barbican and the up-to-day preserved Lower Gate. The storeyed Burgher’s house No. 2/67 at the north-western corner of Dolná Street is a national cultural monument. Despite its significance, it has not yet undergone detailed architectural-historical, artistic-historical and archaeological research. The house has been almost continuously repaired since the 1980s. No expert documentation has been done during these interventions, only a geodetic survey of the house in 1980 that served as a preparation for research and consecutive works, which took place in 2007 – 2008. The development of the house is based on the historical data mainly concerning the urban landscaping in this part of the town, reconstructions following the fires of the town and Dolná Street and town images on vedutas from the 18th century. The researchers also drew on the cadastral map from 1858 and historical cards and photo-documentation from the first half of the 20th century. The first construction phase dated from before 1599. The basement was the oldest part of the house and determined a two-tract ground-floor house typical for Kremnica inside the fortified part of the town as well as at Dolná Street. The second construction phase concerned the period from after the fire in 1599 to the 17th century, when the house was extended and vaulted by renaissance vaults. The third construction phase dated after 1742 and after other fires in the town. It is clear that the individually standing houses were joined together in the 18th century, creating a corner storeyed house drawn in the veduta from 1742. We assume that the fire in 1716 influenced the reconstruction of the building, when a corner with niche and sculpture of St. Florian, the patron saint of fire-fighters, was built there as a sign of fire protection. The fourth construction phase of the house, which only brought along smaller adjustments, dated from after the fire in 1787 until the first half of the 19th century, or 1858. The fifth construction phase, mainly documented by the precise drawing of the building on the cadastral map, took place from 1858 to the beginning of the 20th century. The house received today’s appearance with a drawn-in addition of a garage with workshop and open passage through the gate. The sixth construction phase, dated between 1918 and 2007, mainly recorded negative interventions into the building.
Eva Spaleková The Holy Sepulchre in the Church of St. George in Spišská Sobota The regional restoration atelier of Slovakia’s Monuments Board in Levoča (ORA) last year restored quite a significant and unique monument in Slovakia – the Holy Sepulchre in the Church of St. George in Spišská Sobota. Following restoration of the late-gothic altar, baroque pulpit, cancellus, oratory parapet and the church’s sculptural and painting decorations, this was another progressive step regarding preservation of the mobiliari in this sacral interior which is of both artistic and historical significance.