Revue Pamiatky a múzeá - Summary 4/2008
The citizen and his identity in the 20th century
The history of Slovakia and of the entire Central European region, particularly in the first half of the 20th century, indicates that it was possible both to be born and spend one’s life in one town, whilst at the same time undergoing a complex naturalization procedure. Personal archives of individuals and of families – diaries, correspondence, photo albums, personal documents and even personal testimonies (oral history) – make it possible to reconstruct in detail a “small history” within the troubled phases of great history. The author of the article shows how political events could play havoc with individual identity, citing the example of Anton (Antal) Kammerhofer born in 1903, a citizen of today’s city of Bratislava, formerly Pressburg or Pozsony.
A. Kammerhofer belonged to Bratislava’s middle class, which, after the establishment of Czecho-Slovakia, brought economic continuity and also established value orientation within the new state. This was manifested in the day-to-day way and quality of life (living standards, education, leisure time activities). He came from a merchant’s family, graduated from the schools of graphics (1923 – 1926), and worked as a typesetter in the book printing company Universum, later in the printing house Ľudotypia and from 1941 in Slovenská grafia.
Typographers were considered to be labour aristocracy and they were famed for their organisational abilities. The certificate of completion of primary school in 1914 serves as proof of original identity, where in addition to the Roman-Catholic religion, there is mention of the Hungarian and German languages which the child speaks. Between 1914 and 1919 he attended the Hungarian State Burgher’s Boys’ School. The data in the family book, launched on the occasion of marriage in September 1930, and the following registration of the birth of their son, confirm the family inclination towards Hungarian nationality. He was granted Czechoslovak citizenship in 1929, followed by his wife and son in 1934. The proclamation of the Slovak Republic was another cause of concern for A. Kammerhofer, who registered as a German national in the census of 1940. He acquired Slovak nationality in October 1942 on the basis of the law adjusting state citizenship between the Slovak Republic and the German Empire. By the end of the Second World War, Hungarians and Germans in Bratislava experienced difficult times – the constitutional decree of the President of theRepublic, No 33/1945 declared the abolition of Czechoslovak state citizenship for the citizens of German and Hungarian nationality. Confirmation of Slovak nationality for his wife in August 1948 saved the Kammerhofer family from definite displacement after the communist coup in February 1948. Kammerhofer got back his Czechoslovak state nationality in February 1950. His life in fact is a perfect example of the gradual disappearance of the specific multinational identity of the old Bratislava citizens in the first half of the 20th century.
Viera Obuchová – Jana
Bratislava’s Patrónka – from factory to social institution
The current construction boom in residential and administrative buildings in Bratislava was to have negative consequences, such as the abolition of industrial complexes, which after 1989 no longer served their original purpose. It has therefore been of the utmost importance to hasten the documentation and evaluation of the historically valuable parts of the factories from the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries and to suggest that they be declared cultural monuments.
An interesting historical factory complex in Bratislava is Patrónka (the ammunition factory) at Lamačská cesta (Lamač Road). The authors present it on the basis of previously unknown and unpublished archive sources and field surveys. The Roth brothers (Georg Roth et Comp.) founded Patrónka (Patronenfabrik, tölténygyár) in 1870 and built it as a branch company of their Viennese firm in 1871 – 1875. The factory was situated near the railway station at Červený most (Red Bridge) in the premises of the former 6th mill on the Vydrica watercourse. The famed Bratislava construction firm of the Feigler family built the oldest factories in the 1870s. The firm was uniquely efficient and versatile: it worked out projects as well as implemented them. Industrial buildings with a characteristic exterior formed a great part of its business.
The factory development started at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century. In 1890 it had 740 employees, but by 1914 the number had reached 3,000, which reflected the war boom in armament production. After the foundation of the Czechoslovak Republic (1918) Patrónka separated from its mother firm and at the end of the 1920s became an affiliated branch of the ammunition manufactory in Brno. At that time it saw the largest expansion of both its production and territory. Between 1932 and 1935 the factory’s 16 outlets employed 500 workers, who daily produced a million cartridges largely intended for export, mainly to Belgium, England and Australia. The production was gradually dismantled and relocated inside the country, in Považská Bystrica. The Institute for the Physically Disabled bought the empty Patrónka area in 1937, gradually adjusting the various buildings to serve their purposes. By the end of the Second World War, when the institute was temporarily evacuated to a district outside Bratislava, the area played an infamous role as an assembly camp for Jews. In April 1945 the former Patrónka was bombed. In the summer of 1945 the Institute returned there and gradually renewed its activity. The adaptation of buildings continued to take place until the1970s. The Institute was to change its name to ROSA and today provides complex services to children, youths and adults with physical as well as combined disabilities.
Zuzana Zvarová – Veronika
The garden of the Koch sanatorium
The Koch sanatorium and garden at 27 Partizánska street in Bratislava was built in 1929 – 1930 on land originally serving as several private gardens. The sanatorium with its functional and operational design was based on the personal requirements of Doctor Karol Koch, who had been the associate professor and head of the Orthopaedic Clinic at Comenius University since 1933. Dušan Jurkovič, Jindřich Merganc and Otmar Klimeš designed the project; Jozef Mišák did the planting. The architectural concept of the garden design was assigned to J. Merganec. At that time, the Czech print media named the building the most modern sanatorium in the whole of Czechoslovakia. The garden, designed as a rehabilitation-relaxation evergreen area, also played a great part in that high evaluation. It was built simultaneously or shortly after the sanatorium and in the summer of 1932 it was fully completed.
The ground plan of the sanatorium’s four-storied building is designed in the shape of the letter ‘V’. It is situated at the bottom of a hilly terrain in such a way that the windows of the patients’ rooms look out into the garden. The designers were wary of the rooms not being overheated by the sun during hot summer days and the importance of the patients having a view from their beds into the sunlit greenery. The garden was designed as a safe site for the sanatorium patients, taking into respect the existing terrain configuration and also the plant material of the original gardens. Original rudiments of small garden architecture (pool, benches, fountains, sculptures) revived the whole area and the communications were so arranged that a patient could choose a circular walk based on his/her health condition.
The garden was divided into two parts – the sanatorium entrance area and the garden itself, which is separated from the entrance by a retaining wall behind the sanatorium (on the southern and western side). The “Sun bath”, a smaller meadow used for sunbathing, used to be a part of it. From the south, one would approach a pool, which had to be easily accessible and at the same time isolate patients from the surroundings. Paths built along contour lines, small sculptures and original fencing completed the area.
The garden of Koch’s sanatorium was to be a valuable park area from the 1930s. Its design, but above all its function as a garden for the patients of a private sanatorium, makes it today the only preserved garden of its type in Slovakia. It would be fully possible to renovate the whole of the garden as well as the individual architectural elements.
Kristína Zvedelová – Ivan Gojdič – Rastislav
Swimming pool Eva in Piešťany
After the foundation of the Czechoslovak Republic (1918), the ideas formulated by the Civil Educational Physical Training Movement Sokol (Falcon) were to reach Slovakia. This influenced the building of by then almost unknown swimming pools of various kinds and sizes. The most complex building of this kind was the combined beach thermal swimming pool Eva in Piešťany with open and covered pools, which at that time was referred to as the “beach”.
History of the Piešťany spa and its development in the 20th century is tightly connected with the Winter family. Jewish businessman Alexander Winter rented the spa in 1889 from the then owners, the noble family of Erdődy. Later, he founded the Alexander Winter and Sons Company. After the First World War, the spa remained in the hands of the Winter family, who prepared investment plans for building the spa’s infrastructure. A new, so-called Colonnade Bridge, built according to the project of architect Emil Belluš, was opened in 1933. Around that time, the Winters started to think about building a new beach pool. During planning, in 1934, they took into account the suitable climatic conditions of the locality, the efficiency of thermal springs and the concept of dividing the spa island into two functionally differentiated parts. The southern one was to serve medical procedures (mud and radioactive spas) while the northern one was designed as a relaxation area, mainly for the recreation of patients and their relatives. Bratislava architects Alexander Szőnyi and Franz Wimmer were assigned to do the project. Prague engineer Václav Kolátor, a former swimmer and expert in the building of covered and open pools, significantly influenced the swimming pool’s construction. He projected both pools for the Eva swimming pool, with the outdoor one also meant for swimming competitions.
The covered pool in the north dominates the building in its “U” shape. Ground service buildings joined it from the east and west. An open 50-metre pool was situated along the middle axis of the main building. The third – children’s circle pool used to be in the area’s north-eastern corner. To the west of the covered pool and entrance corridor was a restaurant, which consisted of two divided rooms – a closed one, connected to the covered pool and an open one, directed south to the outer pool. At the end of the western wing was a music pavilion and dance floor.
After the Piešťany spa was nationalised and the embankment around the river Váh built (1948), architect A. Szőnyi worked out plans for the enlargement of the area. However, they never got carried out and various reconstructions made after the 1960s were to leave a strong mark on the Eva swimming pool.
Nevertheless, the swimming pool is a significant representative of interwar architecture awaiting reconstruction of its original qualities while respecting the current technical norms and requirements of local as well as foreign visitors.
The oldest celestial globe in Slovakia
Collections in the Danube Museum in Komárno hide a celestial globe from the beginning of the 17th century, which has been under reconstruction since 2007. Translation of the Latin texts on cartouches identified Willem Janszoon Blaeu as the creator of the globe in 1603, in Amsterdam. The Komárno globe is considered to be the oldest famous globe in Slovakia.
The wooden stand and the ring with calendar of the globe have been preserved intact and are in their original condition. The globe with a diameter of 34 cm had been secured in wooden renaissance construction fashion with a brass ring with calendar, which, itself unfortunately has not been preserved. This later caused minor defects of graphic print in the area of the southern hemisphere.
The ball was of paper mass construction. In the centre is a wooden construction with metal clips to anchor the ring with calendar. The ball was wrapped in a thin layer of paper and plaster, perfectly smoothed and with paper segments glued to its surface. The wooden ring with calendar is unbroken, but the graphics glued onto it are damaged here and there. The Renaissance graphics (copperplate) consist of 14 segments: the individual parts, so called caps, represented the north and south poles. Mythological figures and various items and animals depicting star images are finely coloured by hand. Between the constellations of Eridanus, Phoenix and Cetus, in an oval frame, sits the portrait of Tycho de Brahe. The globe features 48 constellations according to Ptolemaeus (aka Ptolemy), four new constellations Antinous, Coma Berenices, Columba Noe and El Cruzero Hispanis, 51 stars and 10 star groups, as well as 12 new constellations of the southern hemisphere. Based on the dedication cartouche, Blaeu devoted this globe to Prince Moric of Orange, at that time governor of the Netherlands. The Komárno globe was created in Blaeu’s third edition of the celestial globe, in 1603. This globe was very popular and Blaeu’s Amsterdam workshop had it published for almost half of the century. In the second half of the 17th century, after selling its copper disc, various publishers continued its production.
In the second part of the article, the author elaborates on the circumstances which led W. J. Blaeu to create the first celestial globes (1596/97, 1602, 1603). In the third part, he offers their iconographic analysis, on the basis of which he assumes that Jacob de Gheyn II was the metal engraver of the globes’ copper discs and that the celestial globe of 1603, with a diameter of 32 centimetres, was created in like manner to the modification of the copper disc of the first celestial globe of W. J. Blaeu. He then confronts his results with two declarations by J. Warner (1971, 1982), according to which the metal engraver of the copper disc of Blaeu’s first globe was Jan Saenredam.
Haller’s coat of arms on a field gun
The SNM’s Archaeological Museum in Bratislava has recently bought the barrel of a field cannon from the first half of the 18th century. Despite any detailed information concerning its creator or owner, the cannon, decorated with the coat of arms of the noble Haller family, not only documents the development in weapons but also bears an original heraldic sign.
The oldest documents about the Hallers come from the end of the 12th and the beginning of the 13th centuries from Nuremberg in Germany. The description of the coat of arms of the family of Haller v. Hallerkeö (Hallerstein) was published in Siebmacher’s collection of the Hungarian nobility’s coat of arms in 1528. The Hallers have used such a coat of arms since 1528 and practically unchanged it has been published until today. The first of the Haller family to enter the Hungarian monarchy was Ruprecht von Haller († 1504). The descendants of the count’s branch of the Haller v. Hallerkeö (Hallerstein since March 28, 1528) family had lived in Transylvania in the 19th century. Štefan Heller (!) v. Hallerstein acquired the title of Baron on April 1, 1699. The sons of Štefan v. Haller – Gabriel, Ján and Ladislav – acquired the title of Count in Transylvania on January 15, 1713. A certificate issued in Vienna on June 18, 1753 for Pavol v. Haller, his brother Juraj and the children of the deceased brother František documents the Transylvanian Count title. Count František Haller was the Ban of Croatia between 1842 and 1845. Ruprecht Haller was the Buda bourgeois and founder of the family branch living in Hungary and Transylvania.
Monographs on Hungarian counties from the beginning of the 20th century document the Hallers’ presence in several municipalities of the Novohrad and Zemplín counties, which today lie within the territory of Slovakia and Hungary. Several Hallers chose a military career; in the troubled times of the 16th to the 18th centuries they participated in the battles for the throne during anti-Hungarian revolutions. One of them, Samuel Haller III († 1777), acquired the rank of general (1741) and formed a foot regiment. Foot soldiers at that time also used light artillery in battles. War historians think of the year of 1741 as a breaking point. Several new regiments were founded during the war for Austrian heritage, among them that of the Haller’s and Maria Theresa herself was to name their captains and staff officers. The regiment also existed in the second half of the 19th century, when it was called the 31st foot regiment. Only two portraits relating to the Hallers family can be found in Slovak museums (excluding the cannon in SNM), whilst a third portrait is in the Hungarian National Gallery in Budapest.
Dušan Hovorka – Zdeněk Farkaš
Stone tools in the collections of the SNM-Archaeological Museum
During the hundreds of thousands of years of the Early (Palaeolithic) Stone Age, people made tools of hard raw materials that specifically suited their purpose. A significant milestone in the history of mankind was the Late Stone Age, when new climatic conditions, aligned with the natural environment, enabled the transition from a hunting-picking way of life to productive farming, which was mainly based on the growing of highly nutritional agricultural crops and the breeding of livestock. This revolutionary transformation in human history also brought with it a number of momentous changes in the way of living, which led to the invention of many specialised, by then unknown tools.
Tools for processing wood, from the cutting down of trees through to their further rough processing for various construction purposes and thence to fine joinery and carving works, were needed from forest clearing and the establishment of fields, to the building of more enduring wooden constructed municipalities along with wooden interior furnishings, not least because of the surrounding natural conditions. In an era which knew nothing of metals, stone proved yet again to be the best material.
Harder rock, containing one or two tough minerals, was needed for this purpose. Green spinel, rich in aluminium, was one of them. It was to be found contained in stone artefacts at several Neolitithic/Eneolithic locations, in the western part of the Trnava hills and the Záhorie region. The stone “saws” were in the shape of a plate, which cut a line into the processed material in the shape of the letter “V”. Roughly processed semi-finished products, also found in archaeological excavations, were later adjusted to the shape of a future hatchet. Sandstone grindstone was used for the purpose of sharpening the tool’s final shape and in particular the blade.
Among the oldest ground stone tools familiar to all from this culture of linear ceramics, were the flat hatchets and wedges, whose length significantly exceeded their width. These were often considered as “ungular”, since the cross section of the body resembled a shoemaking hoof. They were virtually all-purpose tools for wood processing. The ungular wedges also helped create the first so-called threshing axes. The high body of the tool was drilled from the side to facilitate the insertion of a wooden handle through the hole. This technological innovation increased the stability of the tool’s attached parts as well as its overall weight, which was particularly desirable when cutting down trees.
The Slovak National Museum-Archaeological Museum in Bratislava currently houses a large collection of ground stone industry from throughout the length and breadth of Slovak territory. It enables the carrying out of detailed typological analysis as well the search for potential sources of their primary materials. Unfortunately, until today, it has been impossible to track down the original mining and workshop areas of production. It therefore remains a permanent task for the archaeological and geological terrain research team.
The inheritance of the tsar’s chamberlain
Professor Jozef Habowský was born in Coburg. After studying in Germany and Canada, he began work at Windsor University in Ontario and came to Slovakia in May 2003 to search his family roots. His parents came from the Spiš region: father Jozef Habovský from Hranovnica and mother Júlia, born Pekarčíková, from the nearby Spišské Bystré(at that time Kubachy). Jozef Habovský was born in Hranovnica in 1894. There he met Bulgaria’s Tsar Ferdinand Coburg and joined his services as a 15-year-old. He became the tsar’s chamberlain.
The Coburg family was a branch of the Saxony count family of Vettin and ruled the Saxe-Coburg and Gotha principality. One of its members, Ferdinand Juraj, in 1827 married Maria Antonia, who was the only daughter of Anton Kohary, the then owner of the Čabraď, Muráň and Sitno estates, as well as the iron businesses in the Horehronie region. In this way, the family acquired in Slovakia not only properties but also vast hunting grounds. At the end of the 19th century, Filip Coburg, the older brother of Bulgaria’s Tsar Ferdinand, took over the iron businesses. Ferdinand rented a villa, built by bishop Smrecsányi at Hranovnica mountain lake in 1896. He also owned the Manor House at Pusté Pole (in today’s cadastre of the Telgárt municipality), which Ferdinand Coburg built in 1839. In 1909 he built another manor house above the municipalities of Spišské Bystré a Kravany.
Bulgaria’s tsar often visited his manor houses and the adjacent hunting grounds. He chose servants from the local neighbourhood, who worked in his manor houses. Among them was Jozef Habovský, who married Júlia Pekarčíková in 1919. Their two daughters Zuzana and Marta were born in Hranovnica, in 1920 and 1926, respectively, and son Jozef was born in Coburg in 1928. He was to work for the Bulgarian tsar until his death in 1948. After that, he stayed in Coburg, where he worked for the local Museum of Natural Sciences.
His son Jozef came to Hranovnica, because after the death of his two sisters, he was the last descendant of the family. Since neither he nor his wife Joyce had any children, he had to think of what to do with his father’s heritage. The municipality of Hranovnica purchased the former blueprint workshop of Elemír Montško from Podtatranské Museum in November 2002, with the intention of turning it into a blueprint museum. The willingness of Jozef Habowský to dedicate his father’s inheritance to the future museum, helped to make the local museum larger and also to include the history and nature of the municipality, as well as to introduce its notable citizens.
The southern extramural settlement of Bratislava castle
The southern area under Bratislava castle has long since been of great significance for the development of the city itself. The southern slope of the castle hill reaches to the left bank of the Danube, where there used to be an important river crossing. Locals had used the convenient location since the Late Stone Age, with traces of settlement being known from the Late Bronze Age. Celts intensively settled there and maybe Romans used it as well, when the Danube formed their border. Since the arrival of Slavs, this location has been continually and intensively inhabited. The southern slope has been covered with smaller basement buildings, often cut into the rocky bed of the castle hill, since the 14th century. In the 16th and 17th centuries, this area was rebuilt in renaissance style. In the 18th century, it formed an important part of the city also inhabited by the wealthy bourgeois, so-called Teresienstadt.
When in 1968 part of Bratislava - Old Town was demolished, due to the construction of the New Bridge, the destruction was to also affect the southern slope of the castle hill. In the Vydrica district of the city, which was destroyed, there were several architecturally precious objects. Bushes quickly grew over this abandoned part of the city, which was to become a refuge for asocial inhabitants, who devastated it even more. A new construction is now being planned for the area under the castle. The Regional Monument Board in Bratislava therefore allowed an archaeological research to take place in the locality, which was carried out by the Slovak Archaeological and Historical Institute – SAHI between June 1 and May 30, 2008.
The researched locality with an area of 3,000 m2 (apart from the already researched Water Tower) was divided into four exploration areas. The research mainly uncovered findings from the Late Iron Age that belonged to the Celts. Their oppidum from the 1st century BC is documented by an extra concentration of pottery kilns as well as mass findings of coins. Small fractions of ceramics, among them pieces of terra sigillata from the Roman period were found there, suggesting a Roman settlement. Slavs also used the river crossing under the castle hill in the 9th century. Exploration area No 1 uncovered the oldest Slavic layer from the first half of the 9th century, or maybe even the end of the 8th century. It contained remains of a large (10 m by 8 m) wooden construction, which probably burnt down. Iron hrivnas, maybe axes, which could be used as a means of payment, were found in the layer above. Upper layers contained smaller residential and production objects, and several scattered skeletons. An interesting finding is the vessel of probably Chazar origin, which is characteristic for the period of the arrival of the Magyars (Hungarians) to the Carpathian Basin.
Jozef Labuda – Martin Miňo
The town hall chapel in Banská Štiavnica
Banská Štiavnica lies in the middle part of central-Slovak mining town territory, and that fact was to predestine its significant position in the former Hungarian kingdom. Its significance sprang from rich deposits of rare and non-ferrous metals, mainly silver and copper, which could also be found in the region of the town. In the 12th – 13th centuries, Hungarian silver, largely coming from Banská Štiavnica, was already being exported to Western Europe.
In the Late Middle Ages, monarchs granted towns sufficient liberties and rights to guarantee them adequate freedom in their self-administration. The town house or town hall became the town’s symbol. The medieval town hall was a multi-purpose construction. Apart from council meetings, it also held courts and celebrations. Inside were a town gunroom, archive, prison and flat for the town’s employee. It kept the correct measures and the town scale and there were rooms assigned as shop and taproom. The town hall in principle was to sit on the main square in close contact with the most important sacral building in the town. Banská Štiavnica is a rare example, where the sacral building is an integral part of the town hall. This could be a German influence, where town hall chapels appear in profusion since in the 14th –15th century.
Banská Štiavnica town hall was built in the 15th century, as a one-storied construction with unclear disposition. The town hall Chapel of St. Anna, which was the subject of archaeological research, was only known about from written sources. The research proved its existence and at the same time specified its localization. The chapel was added at the end of the 15th century to the older core of the town hall from the north. A spinning staircase led from the town hall to the chapel, which then continued up to the emporia. The staircase was made of stone typical of Banská Štiavnica around 1500. The second entrance to the chapel was from the street. It has remained preserved in the northern wall and is bricked in.
The chapel had several stone decorations, torsos of which have been preserved in the ruins. Chapel windows were covered with circle targets from blown glass; the discovered fragments are clear, eventually greenish. Three findings relate to the chapel’s function – a wooden prayer desk, book fragment and measure fragment (etalon of a measure of length). The Chapel of St. Anna ceased to exist in the 18th century, during the town hall’s reconstruction.
Miroslav Čovan – Zuzana
Canonical House No 2 in Spišská Kapitula
Canonical House No 2 is located next to the Lower Gate in the northern part of Spišská Kapitula’s built-up area. Based on the preserved architectural elements, it is considered to be one of the oldest parts of the church settlement, dating to the second half of the 15th century. Two renaissance phases from the end of the 16th and middle of the 17th century have had a huge influence on the appearance of the building right until today. They predestined today’s three-tract disposition and ground plan in the letter “L”.
The year of 1593, which is mentioned in the List of Monuments in Slovakia (1968) on one of the portals that probably perished, could be considered to be the year marking the end of the first renaissance reconstruction, the most important construction modification in the building’s history. The latest research also proves it. This phase gave origin to the window bay on the southern façade, sgraffiti decoration on the south-eastern corner (perished sgraffiti on the bay’s corner) and sundial.
The second, late-renaissance phase of the Canonical House reconstruction, initiated by an important individual in Spiš church history, Canon Martin Szolcsanyi (1619 – 1679), saw the installation of a relief panel with chronogram from 1657 onto the house. Apart from the inscription, the authors also analysed the epigraphic symbolism of the panel, which comes from the personal seal of M. Szolcsanyi. They also managed to decode the Latin inscription painted on the sundial in two rows, which was thought unreadable. Similarly, on the inscriptional panel, the word “sun” (sol) is repeated in the text of the sundial. It points to a noticeable intention to create a link between the name of the donator of the construction, which finished in 1667, and the sun symbol.
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