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Revue Pamiatky a múzeá – Summary 1/2007

Zdeněk Farkaš

Dzeravá skala – cave settlement in late Stone Age

The Dzeravá skala cave is located in the cadastre of the Plavecký Mikuláš
municipality (the Malacky district). At around 22-metres deep, the rock cavern
is a known archaeological site. Between 1912 and 1913, J. Hillebrand found
traces of a settlement there from early Palaeolithic times. In 1923, F. Horálek,
who co-worked with the doyen of Slovak archaeology Professor J. Eisner,
discovered remains of a fireplace, five stone hatchets and pieces of ceramics
from the Lengyel culture and in the main from the late Stone Age. It was F.
Proško from the Archeological institute ČSAV in Prague, who in 1950 picked up on
J. Hillebrand’s exploration. The largely disturbed Holocene layer produced
findings from the modern, medieval and younger bronze periods, mainly from the
Ludanic culture. However, only a fraction of these rich findings has been
preserved– the Slovak Museum of Nature Protection and Speleology houses three
partly reconstructed bowls, ceramic fragments, a clay spike, bone bodkins and a
veritable split stone industry. The grave of a child up to one year old and laid
down in a squat position was one of the discoveries of significance.

An inspection of the archaeological research directed to the late Stone Age
was carried out in the cave in 2002 and 2003. Nine fragments of copper items
were found, which were originally parts of jewellery or decorations. To prevent
further destruction of the Holocene cultural layers, caused by uninvited public
and terrain adjustments for filming adventure movies, the Slovak National Museum
– Archaeological Museum in Bratislava, in cooperation with the Town Museum in
Pezinok, underwent another rescue research in 2005, during which three separate
probes were opened. Two of them were evidence of a large devastation of the cave
sediments, reaching as far as the rocky bottom. The vital information led to the
search of the C/05 site that spreads over almost 22 square metres and where a
lot of splinter material and animal bones were discovered. The finding of 21
fractions of copper items, mainly decorations, items of jewellery or clothing
accessories came as a surprise. Especially appealing are the remains of massive
cast circle bracelets and part of a spiral wrist-decoration.


Biely Kameň Castle

The ruins of the Biely Kameň castle can be found in the Malé Karpaty mountain
range that overlooks the town of Svätý Jur. The name of Biely Kameň (White
Stone, or Weissenstein in German) first appears in the 15th century; a map from
the start of the 17th century calls it arx (castle, fortress, manor house).
There were two castles above Svätý Jur in the Middle Ages at consecutive times.
We do not know when they built the first one, whose primary function was to
guard. It stood to the north of today’s ruins of the Biely Kameň castle. The
archaeological research of Ľ. Kraskovská from the Slovak National Museum carried
out in 1957, 1958 and 1962 proved the existence of the pre-historic (Halstat)
settlement, as well as traces of material life in the 13th and 14th centuries.
It also proved the existence of (the castle’s) fortification from the 13th
century in a southern part of the locality. The current archaeological research
provided by the Malokarpatské musem in Pezinok since the summer of 2006 suggests
the existence of medieval sacral building.
Abraham I, the descendant of
Sebes I from the Hunt-Poznan family, built the second Svätý Jur castle (Biely
Kameň) before 1270. It served an old aristocracy of Slovak origin as an
administrative, economic and military centre of their estate. It was part of the
defensive castle system on the Hungarian Kingdom’s western border and at the
same time controlled important business routes from Bratislava to Trnava,
Stupava and Záhorie. The sophisticated equipment for a continuous supply of
drinking water points to the castle’s intensive life up to the 16th century. The
medieval water piping was carried through pipes made of baked clay, which ranged
from 7.7 to 13 cm in diameter and 55 to 58 cm in length. It was distanced circa
3,000 metres from the spring in the woods and led to a tank cut into rock. The
castle was probably built in two phases. The inner castle, with an early-gothic
irregular rectangular (45 x 30 m) outlook and two towers, was built in the last
third of the 13th century. The dungeon standing in the middle of a small
courtyard dominated the castle’s centre. The second construction phase at the
end of the 14th century gave rise to the lower, outer castle with its prismatic
entrance tower and guardroom, and two other towers, from which the so-called
water tower protected the mentioned water tank. Despite having developed a
fortified system, the castle was conquered in the 15th century. The thick
destruction layer containing ash also comprised fragments of ceramics and iron
construction, as well as a variety of military equipment, such as iron and stone
gun balls, reed spikes for crossbows, and many silver pfennigs of Friedrich

Mária Čelková

The Church of St. Michael the Archangel in Vyhne

The municipality of Vyhne, at a distance of 10 km from Banská Štiavnica,
became famous for mining silver, gold and later iron ores, having its own
brewery and ferriferous healing springs. The first written evidence about the
locality comes from 1326. The mining and processing of the precious metals is
documented from the 14th to 18th century. It was during this time, that the
local spa was also thriving, hosting many significant personalities from
political and cultural life. The roman-catholic baroque-classicist Church of St.
Michael the Archangel, built on a mound above the municipality’s centre,
dominates Vyhne. Regarding the architecture of the church built in 1776, the
most valued documents are the three original project designs of 1774, 1775
and 1776 by three people – Jozef Pircker (Pircher), Martin Sturian and Matej
Lechner. It was the design of mason master Jozef Pircker, originally from Tirol
and from 1765 a townsman of Banská Štiavnica, responsible for several
constructions and reconstructions in the town and its surroundings, which was
finally realised. According to other archives, Pircker also supervised the
church construction.
The architecture of the Church of St. Michael the
Archangel in Vyhne relates to the period of rococo and baroque classicism of the
last quarter of the 18th century. It consists of a nave finished with presbytery
and pre-built belfry on the western front. The front part is structurally
divided with piedroits, corner rustic work and horizontal stripes in the tower’s
central part. The tower is finished with a three-level cupola. Adjacent to the
tower is a small round tower with spiral-staircase leading to the choir and
organ loft. The stone portal of the church entrance is simple, classicistic in
style and with a mining symbol and 1776 dating in the middle.
The main,
late-baroque altar is devoted to St. Michael the archangel, the favourite patron
of miners. The centre features a painting of St. Michael the archangel,
victorious over the Devil. Wooden sculptures of the apostles St. Peter and St.
Paul, the altar top with sanctuary and a pair of kneeling angels are at the
sides. Based on comparative research, we assume that the central painting is a
copy from the altar image at the Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary in
Banská Štiavnica (aka “German”) with the same name. It is the work of Anton
Schmidt from the first half of the 18th century. The plastic decoration of the
main as well as side altar of St. Anton from Padova, the ambo and baptistery was
made by an Austrian sculptor, probably Michael or Frantisek Rässner, Dionyz
Ignac Stanetti or his co-worker Juraj Peter Götz. The most significant church
relic is the side altar with the painting of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary
by Viennese painter Vincenz Fischer. It looks as though it was a study for the
main altar in the “German” church of Banská Štiavnica. Both altars were made
between 1805 and 1809 and the same themes point to a related benefactor.

Katarína Chmelinová

Gothic forms in early-baroque carving

The large sculpture of St. Martin with the Beggar,
an inseparable part of the permanent exposition of the Eastern-Slovak Museum in
Košice, is a well-known example of early baroque woodcarving in our territory.
As implied by the carving’s inscription, Simon Reiter made it in 1686. The work
used to be part of the unpreserved Martin’s altar at the St. Martin’s Cathedral
in Spišská Kapitula, from where it was removed along with other equipment during
the re-Gothicism process at the end of the 19th century. This is where the known
facts end. Any other efforts to better understand the work of Reiter have failed
so far. Nevertheless, the work is a great indication of early baroque trends in
woodcarving in this territory. Its style, for example, bears evidence of the
historicist tendencies prevailing in Spiš in the 17th century, especially, the
conscious return to the forms of late gothic style visible in the face types,
drapery patterns and figures’ isolation, as well as in the inclination to
naturalism. When looking at the horse rider cutting his coat, the link to late
medieval forms is so convincing that one might wonder, whether it was not an
older work that was re-worked and completed with the beggar’s figure.
normative art history had long refused to return to the artistic forms of the
previous periods, considering them to be expressions of lower quality provincial
art. Interest in studying this topic in Central Europe only increased in recent
decades. Slovak art history has also made the first steps towards interpreting
gothic reminiscences. Along with traditions that are fading away in our
territory, more interesting and more creative was the process of conscious
revitalisation. The Spišská Kapitula’s St. Martin with the Beggar by Simon
Reiter is a typical example of the gothic revival of the 17th century. Moreover,
Spišská Kapitula was the main centre for the revival of Catholicism in
northeastern Upper Hungary at that time. The work by Reiter, however, was not
the first of this type in our territory. Significantly smaller, but similar in
theme, was the early baroque carving of St. Martin on the side altar at the
Žehra Church. To reliably prove the artist’s connection requires more research
as well as a better understanding of the local work of the period.

Zuzana Francová – Želmíra Grajciarová – Marta

Women of the Bratislava Arts Association

Art cultivation spread from aristocratic echelons to
ordinary society in the 19th century. Public exhibitions became exclusive social
events – just as in the English and French environments, where art was first
cultivated at the academies but after half a century also outside of them. The
idea of “art saloons” dispersing inside Austro-Hungary spread likewise into the
rather small area of Pressburg (today’s Bratislava). The aristocrats and
high-ranking townsmen (not artists, one could assume) took the initiative of
founding the arts association Pressburger Kunstverein- Pozsonyi Képzőművészeti
Egyesület (1885 – 1945). It was one of almost 4,000 associations found in the
territory of what was then Hungary, but first in Slovakia. Its main intention
was to enrich the town’s cultural life with exhibitions, and sell the works of
local, as well as Italian, Austrian and Hungarian artists. It also remembered to
support other talent. The Bratislava Arts Association originated at a time when
public appreciation was the domain of the men’s world. The women’s position was
clearly defined: education and earning money was considered inept. Not everybody
accepted those opinions; the real change though came only after the First World
War. Of the 319 members invited to the first general meeting, which took place
on May 17, 1885 at the town hall, 70 were women. Mainly countesses and
baronesses, potential art admirers rendered the event the mark of grandiosity.
Many of them would have been artists or painters, because knowing how to paint
was considered part of a good upbringing. Many women exhibited with the
association, but often we do not know whether they were members or not. In many
cases we only know the women’s names, addresses and the titles of works they
exhibited. The members of the Vienna association, the Genossenschaft der
bildenden Künstler Wiens, were also present at the Bratislava exhibitions.
Later, Budapest painters replaced them. The number of men massacred in the
post-war period gave women a greater opportunity; it opened the gates to the
world of education and public functions for them. The Viennese Academy of Fine
Arts began to officially accept women and girls for the winter semester of
1920/1921. Professional women were also welcomed in the reorganised Bratislava
Arts Association. Art historian, Dr Gizela Leweke, born Weyde, entered it in
1920. She was the only woman to hold several positions between 1926 and 1928:
she was the association’s secretary, deputy chairwoman and finally honorary

Zuzana Zvarová – Peter Horanský

Old winery school in Modra

The town of Modra lies at the foot of the southern
side of the Malé Karpaty. The first written evidence from 1256 refers to it as a
village (villa Modur). Modra received subordinate town privileges in 1361 and
the toll rights in the middle of the 15th century. In 1607 it became an
independent royal town and between 1610 and 1646 it built the town
fortification. During the 17th and 18th century Modra was burned down several
times (1631, 1647, 1730). In the 19th century the town’s significance waned in
favour of nearby Pezinok.
The solitary edifice of the former winery school
is situated within an area once called the Upper Suburb at 20 Horná Street. A
conservation research was carried out there at the start of 2006, before planned
reconstruction. It brought up some interesting findings. The inner courtyard of
the four-wing building is designed as an irregular rectangle and is only
accessible from the south, through a narrow vaulted passage. Three of the
building’s wings are two-floored; the southeastern wing being one-floored. From
the artistic-architectural viewpoint the most valuable is the northwestern wing.
It is built as a one-tract on both floors; the stems dividing it into a row of
additionally shelved rooms. In the middle of the courtyard façade is a portico
formed by a brick pedestal with Tuscan columns on both floors. Where it reaches
the second, aboveground floor, it becomes part of the balcony that gets
supported with an iron renaissance construction with a metal railing. A hall
with wainscot and a staircase dominates the wing’s interior. The southwestern
wing has a corner renaissance bay window at the level of the second floor. The
staircase in this wing leads into the garden. The baroque sculpture of the
Pieta, embedded in the portico with angular columns and a roof, decorates the
view from the front. The garden is divided into two, with a decorative park
arrangement and free landscape. Small architectural works from the 18th and 19th
century are dispersed throughout.
The oldest reference to the building,
which was defined as a mill in the archive sources, dates to 1780. During the
18th and the first half of the 19th century, it often changed owners. In the
end, Knight Arthur Polzer from Polcer, the chancellor of Emperor Charles I of
Habsburg, purchased the building and the lands in 1912. The Czechoslovak state
bought the building and lands in 1922 for the winery and fruit school, which
that year moved from Bratislava to Modra. It stayed there until 1954.

Vladimír Draxler

Out of Bratislava radio buildings

The Košice branch of Radiojournal began its work on
April 17, 1927. It used to sit in an unsuitable part of the old post office
building and had only a radiotelegraphic transmitter at its disposal. In 1928,
when Košice received a phonic transmitter, the construction of a radio building
at Moyzes Street started. Broadcasting began on October 1, 1930. The Košice
radio started running at the same time as the Bratislava one, which housed the
oldest radio building in Europe after Munich’s Funkhaus. The new building in
Košice specifically served the needs of radio. There were two studios, a
technical lab and offices for the personnel that also covered the Hungarian and
Ruthenian (Rusyn), or Ukrainian, broadcasting.
In autumn of 1938 the
Radiojournal had to leave Košice as a result of Viennese arbitrage. It moved to
Prešov, where it first worked in a provisional setting (Hotel Savoy, local
theatre, old college). In 1944, when the works on radio rooms in a new
post-office complex had finished, the military authority told the branch to
evacuate to Banská Bystrica. After the occupation ended, the radio returned to
Košice. In 1948, the local building became the seat for the Eastern-Slovak
Studio of Czechoslovak, and eventually Slovak radio in 1993. Prešov, as a radio
site, was not in the running. Later, however, it accommodated Ukrainian
broadcasting in the villa on Vajanský Street, which started working on August
20, 1948. A new building was erected in 1986, where the employees of the newly
established national broadcast – the Roma and German, later Polish and Czech –
moved after 1989. On August 31, 2003, Prešov radio was cancelled.

Banská Bystrica showed interest in becoming a radio seat in the1930s. A
later administration activated the transmitter near Banská Bystrica in 1936. Its
proximity was to prove decisive in the moving of the Prešov branch to Banská
Bystrica in 1944. The participants of the Slovak National Uprising used the
evacuated technical equipment installed at the Evangelical society for their
broadcasting in August 1944. Along with the Warsaw uprising’s Blyskawica radio
and Yugoslavian resistance broadcasters, Banská Bystrica radio also played a
significant role in the European resistance during World War II. Czechoslovak
radio established a provisional studio there in 1957. The real Banská Bystrica
radio centre, which works up until the present, started its operation on August
29, 1962.

Martina Orosová

The unknown past of the Hodkovce manor house

The manor house in Hodkovce (part of the
Eastern-Slovak municipality of Žehra) is unknown to the public despite the fact
that there is a church with unique wall paintings in Žehra and that it is close
to the Spiš castle. The manor house is a one-floor, four-wing building,
constructed in the classicist style with late baroque arrangement. Two large
reconstructions gave it its basic form – one in the classicist-empire style and
the other in the neo-period. Count Emanuel Csáky was responsible for the first
one after 1780 and Count Koloman Csáky the second after 1860. In the eastern and
southern part of the manor house that faces the French park, the Csákys created
a private museum. In it, they arranged items collected by all generations of the
Spiš castle lords. Helena Csáky-Forbes was the last owner of the manor house,
yet before the Second World War broke out, she left for England.
The manor
house was lucky, during as well as after, wartime. Compared to similar places,
it was not harmed by armed conflicts or the consequences of post-war looting.
The vigorous disagreement of Dr Vladimír Wagner from the conservation department
at the Education Ministry and National Edification had saved it several times
from having had the army accommodated in its rooms and from other incongruous
interventions. Up to 1948 the manor house seemed to be outside of the interest
of the new state’s administration. During the confiscation process that year, it
was suggested that they build a state museum there. The Agriculture Ministry
received the manor house into its sphere and on July 18, 1949 it moved under the
auspices of the Agricultural Archive in Levoča. In the middle of 1950, the
house’s family museum collections and stylish furniture were still open to the
public. However, when the Commission for Work and Social Care took over the
manor house in 1951, it threatened to cancel the museum. After urgent meetings,
the Hodkovce manor house was pronounced as state cultural property on April 14,
1952. The national culture commission represented by Dr Oľga Wagnerová accepted
it under her administration on June 22, 1951. The work of the commission,
however, soon ended. Its agenda shifted to the Slovak Conservation Board and
despite its effort, it failed to prevent the collapse of the museum rooms when
in the early part of the 1950s came the urge to use the manor house in a
“social” way, which came as a result of its now dreadful state and the low
museum attendance. The Social Care Institute settled there in 1957. The relics
that had been saved from the Csáky collection and the original furnishings of
the manor house are dispersed in museum expositions right across eastern

Miloš Dudáš

Wooden churches – nomination to the World
Cultural and Natural Heritage List

In July of 2006, the Slovak Republic submitted
another nomination project for inscription to UNESCO’s World Heritage List. This
time it was a collection of wooden churches of the Slovak part of the Carpathian
mountain range. It was to be added to the already enlisted localities of Banská
Štiavnica, Vlkolínec, Spiš and Bardejov. The wooden churches personify the
spiritual culture of the folk creators using their natural feelings for the
material and practical experience. It is the wood, as a construction material,
which characterises the Carpathian region. The imaginary line dividing the
political and religious influence of the western-Roman (Latin) and eastern-Roman
(Byzantine) cultures, each with a different understanding of liturgy, leads
right through the Central Carpathians. The area therefore features various
rustic cult works. The contextual as well as formal differences in understanding
Christianity became significantly reflected in the local architecture. Moreover,
the region was a home to a heterogenic ethnicity with distinctive religious,
cultural and social manners. This formed the basis for those who worked on the
nomination project. They tried to select the most characteristic examples of the
wooden sacral constructions in Slovakia that would display their diversity. The
criteria included the authenticity of the basic historical construction,
art-crafted and artistic decoration of its original interior, and also the
authenticity of the adjacent surroundings. Logically, they also considered the
current construction-technical status and the use of the material. Only the “in
situ” constructions, those still serving the liturgical needs of the local
Christian community, were taken into account. In the end, eight wooden churches
and cathedrals from three Christian confessions – the Church of St. Francis of
Assisi in Hervatov and the Church of All Saints in Tvrdošín (the Roman-catholic
church), articular churches in Kežmarok, Leštiny and Hronsek (the Evangelical
church of the Augsburg confession) and the churches (cerkvi) of St. Nicholas in
Bodružal, St. Michael the Archangel in Ladomírová and St. Nicholas the Bishop in
Ruská Bystrá (the Greek-catholic church) – were nominated to the List.

Daniela Zacharová

Baroque painting of the Trinity monastery in

The Trinitarians – the Religion of the Holy Trinity,
originally built the Jesuit monastery that sits in the historical centre of
Trnava’s Conservation Zone, which was between 1710 and 1782. After the religion
was annulled in 1784, the monastery buildings fell into the hands of the royal
secondary grammar school. In 1807, the Benedictines took over the church and the
school. Later, in 1852 the buildings returned to the Jesuits. After abolishing
the monasteries in 1950, the place was administered by the State District
Archive of Trnava. Since 2002 it has been back in the hands of the Society of
The monastery, which is a national cultural monument, comprises of
several wings forming a large block determined by the Štefánikova and
Františkánska streets. The article in this magazine focuses on the wing facing
Štefánikova street, which underwent a restoration research between December 2005
and February 2006. From the stereotypical findings, the larger room on the
ground floor caught interest. Underneath a thick layer of coating, in the middle
of the vault, appeared a colourful painting – a closer probe found the Holy
Trinity in a round mirror. Other examinations proved that it is an original
baroque painting in the secco style, preserved almost over the entire room – ie.
in the vault and walls up to 1.5 metres from the floor. With regards to the
exceptional nature of the discovery, the owner decided to completely reconstruct
it, with the financial support of the town of Trnava.
The strongest part of
the interior is of a variety of pastel colourfulness. The expressive areas serve
as a basis for floral and figural motifs, and characteristic themes related to
Trinitarianism – especially the Sacred Trinity, the religion’s founders and a
variety of expressions concerning their own particular sorts of activities. It
is the only room with such a profuse decoration within the monument itself. It
probably served as a socially superior, but unknown function. There is no
analogy in the region to this painting, dated to the first half of the 18th
century. Nevertheless, it is obvious that it is a result of combining the period
taste and the possibilities with a reference to the short duration of the
religion of the Trinity in the town as well as inside the place itself.