Revue Pamiatky a múzeá - Summary 4/2006
The Košice Dominican church
IVAN GOJDIČ – SILVIA PAULUSOVÁ – KRISTÍNA ZVEDELOVÁ
The monumental Dominican Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, with the baroque-classicist two-floor monastery that joins it from the north, dominates the northwestern part of the Košice historical centre. The results of recent research at the monastery site prove that the church from the end of the 13th and beginning of the 14th century made a significant contribution to the history of Central European architectural development. The single nave architectural structure with a polygonal presbytery and massive supporting columns on hips is covered with a low saddle roof. The high pyramid of the tower’s roof protrudes significantly and functionalist architecture of a modern club and cinema can be witnessed at the front of the nave from the west, partially covering the church’s northern façade. The interior is dominated with a neo-period-style main altar with closed choir board, behind which a new sacristy was built during church renovation in the 18th century and above it a chapel that joined onto the monastery corridor. Despite the presbytery being cut short, the interior, divided with baroque pillars in the nave and gothic ribs in the sanctuary, is the largest early-Gothic sacral room in Slovakia. The skilfully superior gothic stone-sculpture decoration in the church presbytery stirred the interest of art historians in the past. They believed that the Saxony-Meissen-Silesian influences from Krakow and Wroclaw connected to Spiš (V. Mencl), or the along-Danube branch tied to Wiener Neustadt (J. Bureš), for instance, could have had an impact on the Košice Dominican church architecture. Beyond dispute they date the beginning of the church’s construction to the last third of the 13th century (Š. Oriško). The oldest evidence refers to the church as Ecclesia beate Virginis. The church’s patrocinium of the Holy Virgin has remained until today. In 1698 major repair of the monastery began and in 1700 – 1741 the church acquired a baroque look. A hundred years later the interior received its last significant face-lift: new altars were installed and at the beginning of the 20th century new windowpanes embedded. In the 1950s it stopped serving the order and only after the monks’ return for the second time, at the end of the 20th century, could renovation of the Dominican area commence.
The entrance tower of Kežmarok
The Spiš town of Kežmarok has all the attributes of a medieval town: primarily, there is the gothic parish church with belfry, medieval school and town hall in the square and a network of streets with a line of burgher’s houses. Today’s make-up of the historical core is the result of planning in the late medieval and renaissance period. Extensive historic-archaeological research, which was part of the Kežmarok castle renovation that started in early 1920s and finished in 1985, returned to the theme of the town’s localization. The place was a crossroad of important trade roads leading from Poland to eastern Slovakia, which predetermined its setting. The town’s oldest core originated on an older Slav settlement in the territory of St. Michael’s and was dominated by the parish Church of St. Michael, today rising from the west of town above the train station. Under Michael’s mound on the right bank of the Poprad river, there used to be the settlement known locally as the Old Market. Northeast of the Old Market, the Kežmarok territory was enlarged by the addition of the Saxony settlement with its parish Church of St. Elisabeth. The area forming today’s parish Church of Holy Cross created the town’s basis, which received official town’s rights in 1269. Since 1368 the town had a contiguous fortification that became part of the castle’s wall. The first written evidence about the castle dates from 1463 with the construction of an irregular oval fortification along with a fortified courtyard and gothic palace. The construction works finished in 1465, when the Church of St. Elisabeth was pulled down along with the monastery. The castle palace architecture dates to the late gothic period, the start of the 16th century. Some details on the entrance tower, however, contain features of the previous movement. It can be assumed that the tower originated as a residential burgher or town house in the first quarter or, by the latest, in the first half of the 15th century. The research results prove residential towers, standing on free sites, were already in existence by the 13thcentury, though mainly in the 14th and 15th centuries, as was the case generally with castles, forts and burgher’s architecture across Slovakia. Gradually, they enlarged by adding housekeeping and residential rooms and headed towards public communication. By the second half of the 15th century they formed a solid street line.
The world’s nations as seen in the 16th
The library of the Slovak National Museum in Bratislava has in its stock a uniquely rare historical book, the Habitus praecipuorum populorum. Issued in 1577, it is the book’s contents that captivate attention as much as the beautiful, hand-coloured engravings. After scientific research proclaimed it a historical book document, it was revealed that the book is one of seven known copies of the initial edition that have been preserved in the resources of world libraries or museums. The Slovak National Museum in Bratislava, as one of the book’s owners, has joined the British Library in London, the Staatsbibliothek in Berlin, the Universitätsbibliothek in Heidelberg, the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek in Munich, the Universitätsbibliothek in Bayreuth and the Bibliothek der Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitäts in Munich.
The book contains 219 coloured full-page woodcarvings 29cm high and 19.5cm wide. The pictorial part is completed with short inscriptions and witty commentaries on typical features of particular cultural and social categories. The work is a special ethnographic encyclopaedia of the 16th century, with clearly defined Central-European provenance. Based on the number of illustrations one can also assess the importance of individual nations and ethnicities. Also essential is the effort to capture social and societal categories – aristocrats, townsmen, farmers, state and local officers, single girls, married women and widows. The work can be also studied from the historical aspect of Central-European mentalities, clothing history, social psychology, sociology, fine art and book illustration. Apart from the known copies of the first, 1577 edition, we know of only one later edition from the 17th century (Ulm: Görlin, 1639). Modern editions result from the interest in the work during the 20th century – smaller in 1955 (Privatdruck für die Freunden des Verlages Hoppenstedt), and larger in 1969 (Unterscheidheim: Uhl). Jost Amman, one of the best Central-European illustrators and woodcarvers of the 1560s to 1590s, painted the pictures in book. The authorship and inspiration of the Habitus praecipuorum populorum is assigned to the publisher and engraver Hans Weigel Formschneider.
Slovak national clothes
National symbols, as an important tool of the Slovak emancipation process, which culminated in the 1860s, have been developing dynamically from the end of the 18th century until 1918. Unlike national costume, the sign, flag, tricolour and anthem were not questioned from the second half of the 19th century. The design of national clothing, however, has been mainly perceived ideologically and practical needs secondarily. The national costume’s designs are mainly a combination of the burgher’s clothes of the Hungarian monarchy and folk dress. In order to highlight their nationality, the Slovak national colours were applied. The reports on dresses worn at Slavic balls in Vienna and Pest, a Slavic Meeting in Prague in 1848 and other events prove this.
Attempts to define national clothing arose in times of increased political activity within Slovak society in the second half of the 19th century. The attendants of the Martin meeting in 1861, which provided the origin of the Slovak Nation’s Memorandum, realised the seriousness of the moment and therefore attempted to achieve the greatest publicity. They mainly used jewels and glasses to demonstrate “the Slovak” but attempts to push Slovak national costume through were noticeably apparent. Entitled the “Slovak national costume”, it was promoted in the Sokol (Falcon) magazine in 1862. The submitters drew inspiration for patterns and colouring from the folk clothing of the mainly lower Orava yeoman families. A separate chapter in national clothes’ design was dedicated to “Slovak shirts”. They were worn from the 1880s to 1940s and symbolised a gesture for Slovak nationalisation. The article visually illustrates Slovak national dress on period portraits of the leading national movement representative Ján Baltazár Jesenský-Gašparé (1825 – 1889).
Železník monument zone
Železník is an 814-metre hill in Revúca vrchnovina (upland), historically the largest deposit of iron ore in Slovakia. The limonite ore had been probably mined there already in Roman times; however, no direct evidence has been preserved to confirm it. The first written reports come from as late as 1435, when the mines were part of the smelting furnaces (hamors) of Muráň’s domains. In the 15th to 18th centuries there was an increase in the number of owners of mining fields. There were the owners of hamors in Muránska and Rimavská dolina, and the Koháry yeomen. Through relation ties, the mining fields of the Kohárys later became property of the Prince of Coburg. In 1780 the state increased its own mining allocation and in 1864 the Heinzelman society acquired its share. In 1881 the Rimamuráň-Shalgotarian society gained most of the mining property. The iron ore was smelted in Likier, where it was transported by a unique cableway for that time which was 13.9 kilometres long. In 1903 they stopped mining in Coburg’s mines and then after the First World War, the Rimamuráň-Shalgotarian society cancelled the smelting of ore in Likier and restricted the mining as well. In 1929 the Heinzelman firm stopped mining. Only state mines, connected to ore processing in the Tisovec high furnace, continued to mine. Even during the times of crisis, Železník managed to retain its 10-precent share on Slovak mining. After World War II, the state provided a large reconstruction of extracting and regulating facilities. The mining reached its peak in 1958 and in 1964 – 1966 gradually diminished. Parts of the mining colonies with residential, processing, administrative and cultural-societal buildings can still be found in Železník. The houses from the end of the 19th century are among the oldest workers’ agglomerations in Slovakia. They document the first attempts at standardized construction. Three of the most preserved colonies, Kríž, Ladislava and Štokovce, were announced as a monument zone in 1990, which documents the life and work of miners at the end of the 19th century.
Železník mining in Rožňava
The Gemer region is mainly known for its iron ore mining and Gustav Eisele is one of the leading personalities to have managed the economic and social activities of this locality, besides playing an important role during the establishment of the Mining Museum in Rožňava. There are several gems to be found in the Rožňava museum. Limonite ores from the Železník and Rákošská Baňa, in the mineralogical part of the mining exposition, are among them. Limonite was probably mined here since Roman, or even older times, when Celts occupied the land. Findings from the remains of a Roman smelting furnace discovered in 1896, prove the ancient mining.
The oldest documents relating to metallurgical production date from the 11th and 12th centuries. They mention the two field shaft-furnaces of Gemerský Sad – the only such original ones in Slovak museums, and hand cutting tools. In 1627 gunpowder was used for the first time in mines, only to be later substituted by the more effective dynamite. This speeded up mining development as well as mechanizing the drilling works at the end of the 19th century. The proof is in the drilling machine of the Marvin type from 1899, working on the Thomson–Houston electromagnetism system principle, and the Siemens–Schuckert machines from 1905, driven by electromotor. In 1914 Železník witnessed the start of pneumatic drilling as is documented by the high-speed rotary-impact drilling Flottman hammers in the museum. The development of mining transport technology is documented in the exhibited originals of methods of transportation. The mining carriage, hunt, was introduced to Gemer mines in 1486. In 1868 rails were laid down in the tunnels for iron wagons pushed by human means. Tools for resuscitation and to enable entry into respiration rooms, such as the Pulmotor Dräger from 1913, are documented by the mining rescue service. The model of the Tisovec high furnace, which was pulled down in 1964, dominates the final part of the exposition.
Bratislava photographer František
VLADIMÍR DIAN – VIERA OBUCHOVÁ
The publication of the work on Ondrejský cemetery (2004), where František Jánoška (Ferenc Janoska, 1891 – 1947) has his tombstone, helped to create a better understanding of the life and work of this famous Bratislava photographer. His son-in-law, Vladimír Dian, later provided other important documents about him. They include so far unpublished photographs of Mr. Jánoška, which he left to his relatives. Jánoška studied to become a photographer. In 1906 – 1909 he worked at the Béla Mindszent studio in Bratislava as a retoucher, assistant and lab technician. Until now it was unknown that after World War I broke out in 1914, Jánoška entered the Russian front. He was injured at the very beginning and was later taken into captivity, ending up at a Siberian labour camp in Schkotovo. The prisoners had to work in hard conditions on the construction of a railway. The family thought him dead until he returned home in 1920. Jánoška took pictures whilst in captivity as well. The first photographs preserved from that period are being published. Images from 1914 – 1920 capture his co-prisoners, the camp itself, as well as the local inhabitants and their dwellings. The photos have been preserved also thanks to the article’s author Vladimír Dian.
During 80 years of radio broadcasting in Slovakia, radio institutions have been found in various places, from the most bizarre to those suitably fitting the needs of radio work. Bratislava alone found radio residing in three buildings; the fourth serving its function up until today. When the Radio journal company worked on establishing a subsidy in Bratislava at the end of 1925, it chose the so-called Government Building, a secession house projected by Viennese military engineer Joseph Rittner for the local headquarters of the ck army in 1911 – 1912. After Czechoslovakia was founded in 1918, the building became the seat of the Ministry with full administrating power for all Slovakia. The Ministry had an eminent interest in broadcasting from Bratislava and so it offered the radio workers a space on the first floor of the building at Gondova street. The studio, from which Slovak radio started broadcasting on August 3, 1926, was to be found on the stage of the building’s social hall (today’s Moyzes Hall of the Slovak Philharmonic). The place, however, did not suit the acoustic requirements and besides, the radio had to occasionally free it for social or sporting events. What is more, the Ministry’s warm-hearted relations with the radio later fell away and so it asked Radiojournal to leave the hall. The firm’s management saw a solution in the construction of a new building. Radio institutions were administered by the Ministry of Post and Telegraph, which denounced radiophones. In the end, it allowed building a radio house in Bratislava on condition that part of it would serve the postal needs. The project, sitting on Jakubovo square, was designed by architects Alois Balán and Jiří Grossman. The construction works started in 1928 and on January 21, 1930, Radiojournal took over the workplace. The radio occupied the ground floor, first floor and basement of the four-story functionalist building. This unique space was only the second such in Europe to be specially designed for radio needs (Munich’s Funkhaus started to run in 1929). There were four studios in the building, which undoubtedly meant progress. However, it soon turned out that the administration undervalued radio’s needs and its development. The crisis of inadequate space broke fully again in 1939, when Slovak radio went independent. Now the Post freed the second floor and some offices on the first floor were turned to studios. During the Bratislava bombing in June 1944, the Anglo-American air force also hit the radio building. The radio management and the Ministry of Transport and Public Work decided to move the offices to a safer place – the school on Zochova street – in August 1944. Provisory studios, offices and technical rooms were built on the ground floor of the school in 1893 – 1894. The building, however, did not suit the purpose. The Slovak Radio management therefore hoped to acquire a new building. After dissolution of Slovak Radio in 1948, Czechoslovak Radio took over the idea. The politicians, however, come to a different decision. They relocated the finances reserved for constructing a radio building to erecting transmitters for obstructing anti-communist radio stations. The school building became insufficient for the growing radio broadcast, despite its 1953 renovation. The former social hall of the Governmental Building became the Concert Hall of Czechoslovak Radio. Music archive found place at the former Capuchin monastery, which the regime usurped after banning the order’s activity in the 1950s. The need for a new building became even more urgent.
At the beginning of the 1960s the decision was reached to build a new site in Bratislava centre between Mýtna and Žilinská streets. The winning design by architects Štefan Ďurkovič, Barnabáš Kissling and Štefan Svetko proposed a complex of buildings with a central tower building in the shape of an upside-down pyramid. The first workers moved to the new offices at the end of 1984. On March 27, 1985 the broadcasting from Mýtna started. The Radio suggested building a permanent exposition on television, radio and Slovak electronic industry at the historical building on Jakubovo Square. However, it only succeeded in bringing the building onto the State List of Immovable Culture Monuments in 1985.
Recording the sound – From the history of
Neither the era of robust machines with magnetic sound recording produced by the Blattnerphone company (Great Britain, 1930), nor the first classical AEG K1 tape-recorder (Germany, 1935) made it to Slovak radio studios. The first sound recording in Slovakia was done in 1939 on wax disks, when the recording was cut into a surface with a sapphire spike using an electromagnetic pickup. After reproduction, the disk was rubbed off and prepared for another use. In 1941, Bratislava gained a transmission truck with equipment to record the Decelith brand records. Such records had an active gelatinous layer on a solid foundation and after recordings were hardened with special liquids, which resulted in less wear. The device was run by a spring that had to be wound often. The Pyral Company of France used a similar process when recording on a disk with an acetate coating applied on solid aluminium folia.
The first AEG Telefunken tape-recorders entered Slovak Radio in 1940. Two years later they started to use Dutch Philips-Miller apparatus. The sound recording was mechanical, the reproduction optical. They used the mechanism of film recording on a celluloid strip. The advantage was that if an interpretation or technical mistake occurred, the strip was cut with scissors and the corrected sequence pasted in the original recording. In the first half of the 1950s came the era of Sander & Janzen (S&J) tape-recorders from the German Democratic Republic, which lasted for about 20 years. In this historical context, one cannot omit the tape-recorder known as “wirephone”. It used an electric or mechanical drive on a spring operated by a knob. Meopta Přerov produced wirephones of the Paratus brand in Czechoslovakia in 1950.
The second half of the 1950s brought the era of playback. At the beginning of 1960s came the four-foot tape-recorder with filmstrip being the magnetic record carrier, which enabled quintuple playback.
Since 1968 four-channel Studer tape-recorders were added to SRK recording tables. This resulted in first music stereophonic recordings of various genres with the option of playbacks on quality apparatus. For recoding outside there were cars equipped with standard radio recording technique. Reporters used portable battery tape-recorders of Klangerät, Uran and Uher brands, and since 1970 the first Philips machines with compact cassette. Up today you can find tape-recorders of the Swiss firm Kudelski (Nagra 3, Nagra 4 stereo) being used. The classical studio strip entered Slovakia with the first AEG Telefunken tape-recorder. From 1968 the society switched to BASF and Agfa products, which had seen constant updates. The technology expansion in the 1970s and 1980s brought new models of Studer tape-recorders (A 80, A 80/4 and A 80/8). Hungarian STM 200B and STM 210 tape-recorders were used in the Slovak Radio until 1970. The polo-professional MG Revox A 77 and Revox A 700 tape-recorders found use in a special outside recording since the mid 1970s.
Serving art and church – Live and work of
Valér A. Zavarský
V. A. Zavarský (1905 – 1993) combined the work of priest and pedagogue with art historian, artist and practical conservationist. He well understood the importance of sacral art in the past as well as its current need. After leaving grammar school he decided to enter holy orders and despite his great interest in fine art and architecture, after he finished studying philosophy in Belgium and theology in Innsbruck, he went to study German in Bratislava, following the order’s decision. He added aesthetics and art history subjects to his study, which he capped with a doctorate in art history in 1940. His study trips to Paris (1929) and Munich (1936) formed his professional development.
As an art historian, Zavarský assisted Professor Eugen Dostál in Art History Seminary at Slovak University in Bratislava between 1942 and 1947. In 1943 he published his only book, The Roman Churches of Slovakia. In 1948 he spent some time teaching at the newly established Department of Architecture and Construction at Slovak Technical University in Bratislava. As an expert on religious art, he led the Artistic-technical Department at the Central Catholic Office (1946 – 1948) and after having finished its work, he moved to the Slovak Church Association (1949 – 1950). The need to repair church monuments destroyed by war, brought many work opportunities. Zavarský was an architect and artist, but also a conservationist. The communist takeover in February 1948 and the closure of monasteries in 1950 violently stopped his activities. After internment, he and others alike were sentenced and imprisoned. In 1960, when he returned from jail, he did religious art activities only sporadically. After the liturgical reform of the 2nd Vatican Council (1962 – 1965) and partial relief from the ideological pressure in 1968, Zavarský returned to his work as a church art expert by a taking a job in the Liturgical Commission. During the 1970s and 1980s, he secretly lectured in art and architecture.
The altar of St Nicholas from Spišská
The Roman-Catholic Parish Church of St. Juraj (George) in Spišská Sobota, is the most significant object and the oldest preserved building in the town. Particularly rare is its interior, where five late-gothic wooden wing altars have been preserved. Apart from the main altar of St. George by Master Pavol from Levoča, there is the Virgin Mary altar in top pole in the presbytery. The altar of St. Anton the Hermit stands south of the presbytery, next to the main altar. The St. Anna’s altar is at the head of the northern nave and the St. Nicholas altar stands in its original place, at the head of the southern nave beside the triumphal arch.
The wing side altar of St. Nicholas represents a quality work of medieval art, the so-called Gesamtkunstwerk. The altar unit has an architectural character; the main figures in the altar case and others in the extension are the work of a carver, table paintings on the wings and the dividing board were made by a painter, a carpenter did the construction, and gilding and decoration point to a variety of artistic crafts. The altar architecture has a rich sculpture decoration; the painting ornamentation is expressively applied on two-side painted altar wings.
From an iconographical viewpoint the altar belongs to the group of Spiš Nicholas’ cycles, usually dated to the first decade of the 16th century. In spite of its qualities, it was not explored more systematically. Sporadic remarks come from Merklas, Myszkovszký, Divald, Wiese, Csánky, Radocsay, Homolka, Glatz and others, whose opinions on the work’s author and its dating diverge. János Végh was the last to evaluate the altar’s table paintings and he believes that the altars of St. Nicholas in Spišská Sobota, Veľká Lomnica and Veľký Slavkov are directly connected to the Master of legendary St. Anton.
The Regional Restoration Studio in Levoča restored the altar last year.
The wonder of nature – Biodiversity of the
Everything masquerading under the term “biodiversity” can be discovered at the new exhibition, Nature’s Miracle – Biodiversity of the Earth, running at the Natural Science Museum of the Slovak National Museum in Bratislava. The exhibition presents precious scientific evidence, as well a variety of forms, shapes and colours of nature…
The display, which opened at the end of February 2006, is spread over 490 square metres. Ján Kautman and Jana Uhlířová are the exhibition’s scriptwriters and curators; Štefan Rutzký is behind the architectural design and Pavol Choma did the paintings. The new exhibition, focussing on the variety of life on Earth, draws on the Biological Diversity Convention, which Slovakia acceded to in 1994. It is the result of one of the tasks, sponsored by Slovakia’s Culture Ministry, which the team of Natural Science Museum’s professionals has been handling since 2002. It is also the first phase of the generous idea of renewing the museum’s contact with the public. The second phase, highlighting the diversity of the Western Carpathian region, should soon replace the old natural expositions on the museum’s second floor. The trend towards a non-traditional approach to present natural themes should continue. It also counts on the use of more interactive features and multimedia techniques.
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