Marián Samuel – Danka Majerčíková – Martin Furman
Former medieval church in Radoľa-Koscelisko
This article presents the results of archaeological researches of a no longer existing medieval church in Radoľa-Koscelisko. The church in Radoľa was the oldest sacral building in the Kysuce territory. The pope’s tithes from 1332 – 1337 only mention Radoľa parish in this hilly region of north-western Slovakia. However, it is not known to what patron the church was consecrated. There are no other medieval written sources and the church was possibly destroyed by the Hussite armies in 1429 or “bratríci” (later Hussite soldiers) in 1431. After the church was demolished, the burials continued to take place in its ruins for some time. Then, in the first half of the 17th century, the area was used as agricultural land and the church remains were used for building a nearby renaissance manor house.
The church was built on a land protruding over the conflux of the Kysuca river and the local stream. The ridge, around 60 metres from its edge, bears the remains of a wall that bordered an area of around 40 ares. Three archaeological researches took place at the locality so far, the rescue in 1956 (A. Petrovský-Šichman), investigative in 1988 – 1990 (M. Ďurišová), and revision-investigative in 2012 – 2013 (M. Samuel – D. Majerčíková – M. Furman).
The researches uncovered the remains of the church with a rectangular nave, quadratic sanctuary, square sacristy and a quadratic charnel house on northern side. The churches with this layout were mainly found in Slovakia from mid 13th century to the end of the 14th century, and sporadically in the 15th and 16th centuries. The entrance to the church was from the west. The fragment of the stone portal has an early-gothic character. Remains of two masonry constructions can be found inside: a part of the side altar with a pair of stone steps and a quadratic ambon near the northern wall of the sanctuary. The remains of the main altar in the church sanctuary were not preserved. Neither the presence of the choir gallery was confirmed. The findings of the vault ribs point to the fact that at least one room, maybe the sanctuary, was vaulted.
The significant layer of burnt clay and charcoal, along with the finding of a cross-bow arrow shows a violent end to the church. Altogether, 42 graves were uncovered, 14 in the interior. The cemetery next to the church revealed burials under gravestones. The most significant findings include the 14th century bone sculpture of a female saint found in the church’s remains, two star-shaped dress buckles and a bronze label ring. Based on the results of the researches and available sources, we can roughly date the construction of the masonry church from the mid 13th century to the beginning of the 14th century. An important fact is the confirmation of burials in the area before the construction of the stone church, which suggest an existence of an older wooden construction. Its remains, however, were not detected in the area searched.
Zuzana Čovanová Janošíková
Memories of the Horváth-Stansith de Gradecz family in Church of St. Anne in Strážky
The municipality of Strážky (Spiš region) was owned by the family of Warkocz (Warkoch) since the end of the 15th century. Polish nobleman Hieronymus Laski acquired it in 1536. The Warkoczs built a late-medieval mansion house in Strážky around 1500 and also sponsored the reconstruction and furnishing of the local Church of St. Anne. The church is the oldest masonry building in the municipality. Its beginning dates to the middle of the 14th century at the latest. Until the end of the first third of the 16th century, the church was decorated and furnished in the late gothic style with several renaissance elements.
Ferdinand I granted the Strážky municipality and other donations to Croatian nobleman Mark Horváth-Stansith de Gradecz in 1556. The Horváth-Stansiths were forced to leave their original estates in the southern part of then Hungary due to the Turkish occupation. Like other Croatian noblemen they were given new properties in today’s Slovakia. The literature most frequently mentions Mark’s son Gregor, out of other descendants, who founded a school for young noblemen (secondary grammar school), library and archives in the family estate of Strážky. Compared to his father, Gregor did not choose a military career. He studied in Wittenberg, at Strasbourg academy. After his studies he visited France, England and Italy. He became a teacher at the school he founded. He was the Spiš deputy administrator from 1590 to 1592. We know little about his art orders, which relate to the preserved relics at Strážky.
At the end of the 16th century, with the initiative of Gregor Horváth-Stansith and his second wife Eufrozina Szember, the Church of St. Anne received new renaissance furniture. This included a wooden painted gallery with floral and figural cassettes from 1588. It was recorded in the Registry of Monuments in Slovakia in the 1960s, but can no longer be found in the church.
The author of the article researched that the original decoration of the gallery was removed in 1986 – 1987 and transported to the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava for restoration. The university, however, returned it unwrapped back to Strážky after the events of November 17, 1899. The explanation was there was no money for the restoration.
Recently, the original panels of the gallery were discovered inside the belfry near the Church of St. Anne in Strážky. Some parts were still wrapped in paper, others unwrapped and dirty. Despite the fact that the original gallery comes from the 16th century, it is not included yet on the Central Register of Cultural Monuments.
Lenka Ďurčeková – Peter Megyeši
Emblems on the façade of Klobušický Palace in Prešov
One of the most significant architectural monuments in the town of Prešov is the residence of the Klobušický barons – a representative late-baroque palace in the southern part of the square (today Regional Court). It was built in the middle of the 18th century on five medieval plots that Baron Francis Klobusiczky (? – 1717) bought at the end of the last century. The veduta of Prešov’s cartographer Gaspar Caspar from 1768 documents the historical look of the palace known as Castrum Inclytae Familiae Klobusiczky.
From the art-historical viewpoint, the literature mainly focusses on the rich stucco decoration of the street façade. The world’s exhibition in Paris in 1900 displayed its copy as one of the most beautiful baroque constructions in the pavilion of then Hungary. Apart from the Klobusiczky family coat of arms, the relief decoration also depicts the scene of Annunciation of the Virgin Mary, divided into two medallions. Below the principal cornice are seven cartouches. They portray groups of putti dancing, playing musical instruments and entertaining. The iconographies of five medallions, situated under the window parapets in the lower horizontal strip of the decoration, have not been identified until now.
Since the stucco inscription lines of the emblems no longer contain text (motto), the identification focused on their pictorial images and matching them with corresponding graphic artworks. The emblems come from the book Idea de un Príncipe político christiano representada en cien empresas, by Spanish writer and diplomat Diego de Saavedra Fajardo (1584 – 1648). It was first published in 1640 by Nicolas Heinrich in Munich. The book soon became a bestseller and in the course of the 17th century saw 64 editions all over Europe. It represents the “mirror” of good government and is one of the traditional didactical books for princes. The tractate contains 101 emblems with extensive commentaries, which combine practical advice and moral reflections on ruling and education of monarchs, with instructions from political ethics and philosophy.
The Saavedra’s book was first issued in the then Hungary in the 18th century. Johann Gerard Mauss published it in Pest in 1748 and 1759. The authors of this article worked with the 1748 edition when identifying the emblems on the palace’s façade. They compared them with the works of that book’s artist Johann Sadeler (1588 – 1665). They identified the following pictured mottos: FIDE ET DIFFIDE (Trust and distrust!), MAIORA MINORIBUS CONSONANT (Large and small colonies in harmony), FORMOSA SUPERNE (Beautiful above), NON MAIESTATE SECURUS (Safety is not in majesty alone) and FORTIOR SPOLIIS (Braver than the catch).
The façade of the Klobušický Palace in Prešov represents a unique example of applying Saavedra’s emblems in the territory of the former Hungary. Their application on the building could have been motivated by the visit of Emperor Joseph II in Prešov in summer 1770, during which he granted an audience to settled top commanders of Polish confederates – the antagonists of pro-Russian monarch Stanislaw August.
Historical memory in memorial books
Memorial books or Stammbuchs represent a specific segment of written cultural heritage. They are small, inconspicuous books full of random notes, autographs, pictures and symbols. The historians group memorial books among the so-called ego-documents, or sources that help us understand the everyday life and mentality of a modern person and social aspects of his or her life.
The Central Library of the Slovak Academy of Sciences (ÚK SAV) has 15 memorial books from various times and places in its collections. They form a representative sample that can help illustrate the typical attributes of these unique memorials.
In German literature, a memorial book is called Stammbuch. In Latin and older texts it has several names, such as liber amicorum, album amicorum, thesaurus amicorum and gazophylacium. Its main function was to collect dedications and signatures to remember the youth, studies, experience and last but not least they documented contact with significant personalities of the era.
The first memorial books were found in the 1540s in Wittenberg. The first typical memorial book is believed to be the album of Claude de Senarclens from 1545. The second oldest album is from 1548 and belonged to Christoph von Teuffenbach. Their owners have ranged from students, noblemen and bourgeoisie to professors. They could be in the form of emblematic memorials in printed books, pre-printed or books with blank pages.
The oldest preserved Stammbuch in the collections of ÚK SAV has an unknown owner, but its records help us to rank him/her among the then social elite. It contains a record of the Hungarian King Maximilian from 1569 and other autographs of significant personalities from 1570 – 1575 (e.g. Batthyány, Fugger, Lobkowicz and Kolowrat). Worthy of mention is the memorial book of Slovak baroque writer, translator, publisher and evangelical priest Daniel Krman, Jr. (1663 – 1740), which contains dedications from writers George (Juraj) Láni (1646 – 1701), John (Ján) Simonides (1648 – 1708) and Tobias (Tobiáš) Masník (1640 – 1697). An album of baroque poet Andrew (Andrej) Pilárik is also interesting.
Life story of painter Anna Zmeskal (1813 – 1880)
Even though Anna Zmeskal (Zmeškalová, 1803 – 1880) is not the name you often come across in literature, she is the eldest in a group of female painters that worked in today’s Slovakia in the 19th century: Bohdana Klemensová (1849 – 1922), “painting princess” Natália Oldenburgová born Friesenhof (1854 – 1937), Rita Boemmová (1868 – 1948), Želmíra Duchajová-Švehrová (1880 – 1955), and others.
Anna Zmeskal came from a renowned yeoman family in the Orava region. She lived and worked in the Central-European region, which included today’s Slovakia, Hungary and Austria. Because of her mother’s illness, she was brought up by her aunt, Karolina Zerdahelyiová. This helped the girl with artistic aspirations to travel and learn about art in various cities, mainly Budapest and Vienna. Her first studio was in the family house of the Zerdahelyi family in Nitrianska Streda. Since 1850 she lived in Vienna, in the artistic colony near Belvedere, where she owned an apartment combined with a studio. Her neighbour was the renowned Austrian painter, representative of historical painting (“Historienmalerei”) and portraitist Carl Rahl (1812 – 1865), who also had his own painting school with eighty students. In such an environment soaked with art, Anna Zmeskal could not escape the influences either from her neighbour and his eminent students or other artists living nearby. We lack direct proof but by comparing paintings we can trace Rahl’s influence on Anna.
The painter lived in Vienna until 1878, when she decided to go back to her family due to her poor health and lack of money. She moved to Leštiny in the Orava region, which this yeoman family owned for centuries. As a painter she only worked on oil paintings, which at the time was a technique predominantly used by men. She preferred portrait painting to landscapes. She started in Biedermeier style and gradually worked her way to realistic trends, while absorbing the Vienna influences. So far, we only recognise twelve oil paintings from her work. These include female portraits, Leštiny landscape painting in Biedermeier style and three historically valuable images of the artist’s interiors. There are also three copies of other painter’s works, which she made for financial reasons. The paintings are kept in the collections of the Slovak National Gallery (SNG) in Bratislava, the Gallery of P. M. Bohúň in Liptovský Mikuláš, the Orava Museum in Dolný Kubín and private ownership.
Karol Kantek – Eva Kowalská
Serbian story of the manor house in Ivanka pri Dunaji
The authors wrote about the Ivanka pri Dunaji manor house in the previous issue of Monuments and Museums (No 3/2015, pgs. 52 – 58), describing the story when Ľudovít Štúr came to secretly visit its owner, Serbian Earl Mihailo (Michael) Obrenović on December 17, 1855. Regarding the modern Serbian history, the manor house is mainly interesting with the story of Earl Mihailo and his wife, princess Julia, born Hunyady de Kéthely, who both lived the happiest years of their life there.
After the grand wedding on July 20, 1853, the princely couple lived in Vienna. They later moved to the manor house in Ivanka pri Dunaji in the then Hungary, which was near Bratislava and not far from Vienna. They bought this quiet country residence from its original owners, the Grassalkovichs, with the money they got from Mihailo’s father, Miloš. The marriage was at first happy, but without children. The problems came with the political development in the Serbian princedom. On December 14, 1858 Mihailo received a note from the Saint Andrew’s meeting that his father was re-elected to the Serbian throne on December 11. Miloš Obrenović entrusted Mihailo to manage military operations and foreign politics.
When Miloš died after two years of being in power, Mihailo sat on the throne for the second time. He focused on the cultural and economical development of Serbia, launched reforms in education, science and army. Diplomatic negotiations helped him to free the Serbian towns of Belgrade, Smederevo, Kladovo, Šabac, Užice and Soko from Turkish armies. His private life, however, suffered. The couple divorced in 1862. Mihailo Obrenović was assassinated on June 10, 1868. Julia came to his funeral in Belgrade and returned to this town on April 1, 1870 to attend inheritance proceedings. The Obrenović family granted a lifelong yearly allowance to Julia, a house in Vienna, as well as ownership of the manor house in Ivanka pri Dunaji. She had lived as a widow for eleven years and then married her old Belgian friend, Duke Karl Maria Joseph d’Arenberg. She died in Vienna at the age of 88.
Mihailo and Julia Obrenović left permanent traces in Ivanka. After the fire in 1856, Earl Mihailo repaired the damaged Church of St. John the Baptist and renovated both the exterior and interior of the manor house. After his death, Julia changed the music pavilion to a monastery and later children’s home. Regarding the patronal right, she took care of the church’s equipment, and helped to manage the parish and school. Under the church’s floor she adjusted the room for the tomb of the Hunyady de Kéthely family. Her parents are buried there along with her four brothers and their wives.
Sanatorium in Vyšné Hágy
During the time, when the specific architecture of tuberculosis sanatoriums had been forming in the inter-war Europe, the Czechoslovak state created a project of unseen dimensions – a unique functionalistic Masaryk sanatorium for treating tuberculosis in Vyšné Hágy in the High Tatras. The establishing of these kind of medical institutions in the mountainous Tatras region was initiated by the Masaryk’s League against Tuberculosis. This charitable organisation originated in 1919 as a reaction to the increased number of TB deaths caused by the poor social situation mainly in the east of Slovakia. Despite a great effort, the disease was not eliminated. In 1926 the state decided to buy plots in Vyšné Hágy and build a modern sanatorium there, which would be open to all groups of Slovak citizens.
The medical complex that originated in 1934 – 1938 had no analogy in a Central-European context. It excelled in the capacity number to accommodate 500 patients, as well as the size of the area, its monumental building, technical sophistication, self-sustainability, most modern medical equipment and last but not least with architecture of European qualities. Adjusted to our conditions, it was on par with a Finish sanatorium in Paimio (1929 – 1933) by Alvar Aalto that had a capacity of 184 patients and is included in the World’s Cultural Heritage of UNESCO.
The complex was built on an undeveloped area in the mountains above the municipality of Vyšné Hágy. This location was chosen for the climatic benefits as well as the required isolation of this contagious disease. The Masaryk sanatorium was designed as a self-sustainable complex with its own water management, boiler house, electricity and large storage facilities, almost like a smaller town. The constructions that remained preserved in the area include the main medical building, three houses for employees, director’s villa, gate-house with a flat and petrol pump, boiler house, garages, tunnel for a shuttle train, laundrette, infection pavilion, workshops, autopsy room with a chapel and water tank. The flowers for patio decoration were grown in the greenhouse. Also present was a farmyard for raising animals.
The medical building of colossal dimensions can be perceived as a town in a town. It was equipped with functional air conditioning, sophisticated system of heating and broadcasting. It had a cinema, a canteen over two floors, reading rooms, library, club rooms, shops, post office, hair salon, bakery, confectionery, butchery and telephone exchange. The Vyšné Hágy sanatorium was designed by Prague’s architect František Albert Libra (1891 – 1958) in cooperation with the architect of Latvian origin Jiří Kan (1985 – 1944). It was completed in 1938. It is almost an ideal modernist gesamkunstwerk.
The sanatorium has functioned as a specialised medical facility with top equipment until today. Regarding its large scope, it has only been renovated partially.
Church of Saint Trinity in Malacky: gothic or renaissance?
The literature does not agree on the date of the origin of the Saint Trinity Church in Malacky. The different opinions on dating range from gothic to baroque. Based on some authors, the church should be dated to the gothic period because of its polygonal presbytery. There are also dates to 1604 as well as 1638. One of the latest dates is close to the middle of the 18th century – 1741. The authors, however, do not provide the sources they based these dates on.
The less known sources, such as the memorandum of the conscription commission of Bratislava Chapter from 1548, could help to specify the dating of the Church of St. Trinity in Malacky. This record clearly states that at that time there was no church in Malacky. Another source that helps to specify the dating of the church is the canonical visitation of Bratislava parish priest George Drashkovich from autumn 1634, which says that the “Malacky church is new, built less than 60 years ago by the heretics”. This record provides a very valuable and trustworthy information about the construction of the St. Trinity Church and there is not reason to doubt it.
Based on this documentation, we can date the church to the second half of the 16th century – according to Drashkovich it was probably finished in the 1570s (maybe 1574). We can thus confirm the renaissance dating of the church as well as the fact stated by the visitor Drashkovich that it was built by the protestants, whom he derogatively called heretics. (In the 16th century, Malacky was owned by the Evangelist Gaspar Serédy. He loaned it to the protestant Salm family, who then loaned it to the Fuggers for a short time. Ferdinand I gave it to the Balass people, again protestants). The last Balass people converted to Catholicism after 1618. The evangelical parishes of their dominion were thus transformed to Catholic, they were re-Catholicised.
The archival research also brings information on younger construction history of the church. The visitation protocol from 1701 tells us that the church had a cemetery enclosed by a wall, which it did not have in 1634. He had three altars of Saint Trinity, St. Joseph and Seven Sorrows of the Virgin Mary. There was a wooden desk for the priest and an organ gallery, both nicely painted (gratiose picta) and a tower with three bells. The oldest parish register of Malacky contains an inventory of the church from 1640, written in Slovak.
Battles of Dargov mountain pass and liberation of Košice
Last May we commemorated 70 years since the end of the Second World War. The liberation of Slovakia mainly relates to the long-lasting and bloody battles of Dukla pass, which claimed thousands of lives of the soldiers of the Red Army, Wehrmacht and 1st Czechoslovak Army Unit in Soviet Union.
The exhibition Battles of Dargov Mountain Pass and Liberation of Košice held by the Eastern-Slovak Museum Košice from January 19 until May 8, 2015, narrated the story of the Dargov battle that took place between December 1944 and January 1945. The creators of the exhibition, Martin Jarinkovič and Martin Konečný, decided to not only present the military operations in Slanské vrchy hills following the latest terrain research but also to illustrate the overall political and economic situation in eastern Slovakia and Košice in 1938 – 1945. This period started with the announcement of Slovakia’s autonomy, followed by Vienna arbitrage in autumn 1938 and ended with the declaration of the Košice governmental programme in April 1945.
Invaluable source of information, photographs and maps were the war chronicles of the German divisions that fought in Slanské Hills. These chronicles were full of images and also helped to identify the specific types of weapons and German military techniques used during the defence of the Slanské Hills and Košice surrounding areas. The Soviet propaganda leaflets, written in German for the 101st German shooting division that defended the Dargov pass in 1944, were another rare artefact of the Dargov battle.
Also on display were weapons, uniforms and equipment of the Wehrmacht and Red Army soldiers, as well as accolades, badges, photographs, period periodicals and military posters that were loaned to the museum from private collections and clubs of military history.
Great Moravia and beginnings of Christianity at Bratislava Castle
The Great-Moravian period is one of the most attractive themes of our history. The economical power and military expansiveness of the Great Moravia helped the local elite prosper. This has resulted in a surprising abundance of materialistic legacy, chiefly the unique jewels that represent a exceptional potential for a display.
On the occasion of the 1150th anniversary of the arrival of the Byzantine missionaries, an exhibition was organised, entitled Great Moravia and the Beginnings of Christianity. After its successful presentation in Brno and Prague, it went on display in Bratislava (August 7 – November 1, 2015). The exhibition is the work of the Moravian Land Museum and Archaeological Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences in Brno, which cooperated with almost thirty other collection institutions in the Czech Republic as well as Slovakia and one private person – collector and benefactor J. Jánošík.
The decision to install the Bratislava exhibition in the architecturally attractive basement of Bratislava Castle was a good choice. The well selected contrast between the dark (exhibition room) and light (exhibits, reconstructions and texts) made the artefacts stand out and underlined their artistic workmanship. More than 90 % of the selected items were originals – findings from the movement of nations, which meant from the times before the Slavic history of Central Europe originated until the arrival of Slavs (ceramics of the so-called Prague’s type) and turn of the 8th/9th centuries that established the foundations of the Great-Moravian statehood (art-craft production, handcrafted and agricultural tools). The organisers managed to assemble the essential written, but mainly material testimonies of the Great Moravian period. They balanced the disproportion between the material culture and literature works. Individual exhibition cubicles documented the elite, education and culture, military, Christianity, jewellery making, crafts, agriculture as well as a burial ritual. The original Slavic religion was mentioned as well. Dominant and most attractive for the visitors were the jewels made of precious metals. The exhibition was accompanied by a publication with expert studies and catalogue. This will offer a dignified testimony of this highly professional and quality project for the future.