Renewed Old Town Hall in Bratislava
The area of the Old Town Hall in Bratislava had undergone countless constructional changes from the middle of the 14th century until 2011. Only a few of them, however, respected the older, preserved architectural details. The general monument restoration of the Old Town Hall and Apponyi Palace (connected to the Town Hall in the 19th century), which took place from 2006 to 2011, had therefore set a goal, to better specify the dating and to reconstruct the long forgotten connections.
The oldest buildings in the area of the Old Town Hall were originally built as burgher’s (private) houses. The residential house of reeve Jakub II dating from the middle of the 14th century has been preserved in external walls. In the 1960s, they allusively restored the windows in the courtyard and masonry decoration at the level of the second floor. The original tower from the middle of the 14th century, has been preserved intact throughout the entire five floors. These were later extended (16th – 18th century). The new discovery in 2010 of a walled gothic window in the southern façade of the tower, in the fifth floor above ground, was similar to the gothic windows detected earlier.
The so-called Pawer house in the area of the Old Town Hall built in 1422, is now comprehensible thanks to the reconstructed gothic façade. It used to be engaged between two existing older houses and did not have its own supportive external walls. It had an assembly hall for a wider city council (viri electi). The former passage between the large (today Main Square) and small (today Primate’s Square) markets, used to have a row of gothic sedilia in the northern wall. These have been revived by the current reconstruction, as have the two portals of doors with a stone lining, situated in the ground floor of the originally unattached burgher’s house (the so-called Ungerl house), which were probably walled in during the 18th century.
The hall of the city council above the ground passage of the Pawer house (eastern part was shortened by some 3 metres in 1911) was covered with a wooden construction in earlier times. Four window holes on the western façade testify to it. The current masonry vault comes from the second half of the 16th century and its decoration was painted in 1878.
The Town Hall’s cellars were originally entered solely through the courtyard portal. During the reconstruction in 2010, a flight of stairs was built from the corridor on the ground floor to the basement. South of the city council’s hall, on the first floor of the originally unattached Ungerl house, is a vaulted room of the former city archives. A box was discovered in its northern wall during the recent reconstruction, with dimensions 68 x 33,5 x 45 cm, which was built during the wall erection in the 14th century.
North of the city council’s hall is the so-called courtroom. It was pre 1966, when fragments of painted decoration in the style of green rooms were revealed on its southern wall. The current reconstruction restored the gothic painting in its entirety, up to the height of the later baroque stucco cornice. Also preserved is the three-piece renaissance-baroque cupboard at the northern wall of the room. A part of the original stone chessboard pavement from the 17th century has been preserved underneath, in situ. Together with other discovered fragments, it enabled the reconstruction of the entire stone pavement of the room. A surprise was the revelation of primitive art inscriptions on the wall behind the cupboard from 1872.
North of the so-called courtroom up to the southern enclosure wall of the medieval Town Hall’s tower was a square room called the Town Hall’s hall, which was built in the second half of the 16th century. Its ceiling was decorated with an ornamental wooden facing having an intarsia design of the city coat of arms in the centre. After reconstruction, the entire ceiling decoration from the 16th century was reinstalled in another room, in the Town Hall’s southern wing dating from 1912. The reason behind dismantling the renaissance ceiling were the discoveries of the remains from the original medieval Town Hall’s chapel from 1443, which was abolished in 1577. The gothic chapel was almost completely renewed in 2011, except the renaissance bay window (wrongly re-gothicized around 1900).
The current reconstruction has also modified the new building erected in 1911 – 1912 on the southern side of the area, which supported the large assembly hall of the council from 1867, on gothic foundations. Instead of the indicated (blind) arcades, which repeated the motif of renaissance arcades from the 16th century at the northern wing, real arcade glass windows were built, and behind them a spacious entrance hall of the Bratislava City Museum was now created.
Apart from the complex modification and modernisation of all rooms in the Old Town Hall, the reconstruction has also provided the possibility for creating a new exposition focussing on the history of Bratislava. It introduces the history of the city through the most significant events of its people from the earliest times to the end of the 1930s. The second half of the 20th century is shown in a movie at the end of the excursion on the first floor.
The team of the new exposition’s creators did not select the themes and events chronologically. The presentation respects the character of the historical premises and offers a complex view of the history of Bratislava. The oldest rooms of the Old Town Hall are as individual artefacts supplemented with indispensable exhibits (the former rooms of the city archive, the so-called hall of the wider city council, courtroom and chapel). Then follows the so-called subject area, where exhibits are installed inside showcases or on walls, accompanied by panels with texts and images (city administration, coronations and aristocrats, crafts and guilds, trade, industry and businesses, associations, Danube river, private life, education system, theatre and social life). The basement is reserved for the presentation of archaeological findings and history of justice. Sacral art is exhibited in the reconstructed rooms on the ground floor, where the Bratislava City Archives used to reside. Panels displaying the history of the Old Town Hall are installed in the Town Hall’s tower, along with the treasury showing a selection of the most interesting artefacts from the museum’s collections and the stylised workroom of Ovidius Faust, a significant personality of the museum’s history after whom the social room in the basement was named. An important part of the new exposition is the children’s studio, a separate room equipped with facilities and technology for hosting educational programmes not only for children but also for adults.
Epigraphic findings from Gerulata
The Roman locality of Gerulata, in today’s Bratislava-Rusovce, has recently been enriched with three findings, which are inconspicuous to look at but with a factual value exceeding the local significance. These three epigraphic findings include an inscription in stone (milestone), an impression of a legion on a silver coin and an army stamp of an equestrian unit on tegula (a Roman roof brick). They are reliable sources for understanding the era.
The milestones were 3-metre-high columns of a cylindrical shape, which marked the distances in Roman miles. The discovery of a milestone fragment from Gerulata, which marked the way from Carnuntum to Gerulata, enriched the recent knowledge about building milestones in Pannonia during the rein of military emperors. The corpus of the milestone was destroyed and only some letters in five rows have remained readable.
The silver denar coin, with the impression of the XIX legion, links to the merciless defeat the Roman army suffered from Germanic tribes in 9 AD in the Teutoburg Forest near Osnabrück in Lower Saxony. We assume that tradesmen brought this historically significant coin to Gerulata (today’s Hungarian Street in Rusovce).
The Roman bricks feature various imprints, most of them identifying army units or names of their commanders, under the patronage of which the brick factory operated. The presence of the Cannanefat units, which were moved to Gerulata in the second decade of the 2nd century, is documented in Germania, Pannonia and even Mauretania, on army diplomas, votive altars and gravestones. A brick with a stamp of this unit, however, had not been found until now. The Gerulata finding is the first and only.
Castrum doloris of Emperor Charles VI
After waiting long for its freedom, Bratislava, the capital and coronation city of the then Hungary, the seat of Hungarian concillium, Hungarian chamber and other central regional offices, definitely set on a journey of building up a representative baroque metropolis in the first third of the 18th century. Apart from the improving economic situation, the vicinity of imperial Vienna, castle’s residential functions and high concentration of spiritual and secular intellectual elites, which attracted well-known artists, also had a positive effect on the cultural development of the city. Baroque festivities, little researched until now, formed a strong part of the then residential life of baroque Bratislava as well.
Among the typical festivities were funeral ceremonies with over-elaborate scripts and rich settings. The article describes one of them, organised in the Cathedral of St. Martin on the occasion of the death of Emperor Charles VI, father of Maria Theresa. The emperor died on October 20, 1740 at the age of 56. Apart from the ceremonious funeral in Vienna, funeral ceremonies also took place in other significant towns of Habsburg monarchy. Until recently an unknown Latin description of the funeral ceremony was found in the oldest consistorial protocol of the Bratislava Chapter House, which is stored in the Slovak National Archives. Apart from the order of ceremonial church services, it also describes the unusual castrum doloris set up in the cathedral.
Castrum doloris was a typical manifestation of the so-called ephemeral or occasional architecture (stage setting) in baroque era. The typical materials included wood, paper, plaster and textile. Regarding the used perishable materials, it was assumed that after the ceremonies were over, such artistic works would be dismantled and demolished. Behind the design of castrum doloris for Emperor Charles VI was a significant court-artist, set designer, architect and designer of theatre requisites, Antonio Luigi Galli da Bibiena (1697 – 1774), who used to work at the imperial court in Vienna at the end of the 1730s and beginning of 1740s.
Based on the description in the protocol, Bibiena created an unusual artistic work of a majestic scale, which touched the cathedral’s vault and ran over a third of the nave’s width (16 m high, 7-8 m wide). Castrum doloris with a square basis was set up in the cathedral’s interior on December 5, 1740. The protocol in detail describes the form and illumination of castrum doloris, funeral decoration of the interior of St. Martin’s Cathedral, and the programme of the three-day ceremony. An interesting and at the same time uniquely documented moment is the use of this significant artwork during at least three other funeral ceremonies.
Items of town administration in Skalica
Hungarian monarch Louis I of Anjou granted the town of Skalica privileges of the royal town on October 6, 1372. Among the most important was the right to independent self-administration, represented by a senate headed by a reeve. The senate managed the town administration and jurisdiction. A notary kept the written agenda, a treasurer looked after the town finances and a row of officers assured the functioning of town businesses.
The collections of the Záhorie Museum in Skalica have preserved several items connected to the town’s administration from various historical periods. From 1556 comes a description of the town rights, stored in a paper cover. It is a period translation of regulations for the office of the captain (“heythman”) and for keeping order in Skalica. From the first half of the 16th century, the elections of officials to the Skalica town council took place annually, on the holiday of St. George, and their process followed a strict order. After the senate and officers were elected, the parish Church of St. Michael displayed the regalia, privileges, books and protocols of the town and the reeve with the senate members took the ceremonious vows. The most important town regalia, which have been preserved up today, are the four reeve’s sceptres, two of which are from the 16th century. The Záhorie Museum also preserves a renaissance town strongbox from 1594, used for the protection, transport and storage of regalia.
The elected town officials were registered in memorandums from town council meetings, which were printed from around the end of the 18th century. One such registry from 1809 is also preserved in the Záhorie Museum. The metal baroque town coat of arms of an elliptical shape from around the 18th century, was used for the town’s presentation purposes. Skalica, like other Hungarian free royal towns, also had a patronal right, which is captured in a Latin document recording the names of Skalica town parish priests until 1821.
The largest group of the town items in the collections of the Záhorie Museum links to the brachial power, or defence of the town, and control over keeping order in the territory of the town and its subordinate villages. Among them is the sabre of the town captain from 1861, as well as the sabre from the second half of the 19th century, used as a ceremonial weapon of a town council’s dignitary. The town guards were the executors of the town’s order, traditionally equipped with a poleaxe, which can also be found within the museum’s collections. From the 19th century, at the latest, we also talk of the uniform of the Skalica town guards. A rare collection item is the printed death sentence for delinquent Ján Danielik from 1839, preserved in two copies. For minor misdemeanours there was a dereš (a flogging bench, where the convicts were beaten). The flogging bench was first used in Skalica in 1750; the one in the museum collections dates from 1780.
Monuments of St. Mary’s congregation in Trenčín
The congregation of St. Mary was founded in Trenčín at the Jesuit grammar school in 1655. The congregation was led by a prefect, probably one of the professors of the grammar school, and headed by a rector. This honorary function was offered to the significant noble family of Illésházy, members of which performed it until 1776. The members of the congregation were to lead an exemplary moral and Christian life, train in virtues, help each other, take care of the ill members and pray for the dead. They met at common prayers and had also prescribed private prayers.
From the period, when the Jesuits lived in Trenčín until the abolition of their order in 1773, no documents have been preserved about their St. Mary’s congregation. The congregation was renewed in 1855 thanks to Trenčín parish priest Louis Stárek, who also wrote the history of the congregation before the renovation and became its first rector. Based at the Piarist grammar school, a visitor’s book (an album) has been preserved from that period, in which all significant visitors to the congregation were recorded, along with the names of the congregation rectors, prefects and members. The title page as well as the following pages are artistic drawings. We tried to reveal the author of those unusual drawings. Two drawings are signed by fr. František Drahotúszky, at the right lower corner. Franciscus Xaver Drahotuszky (1814 – 1893) was the director (prefect) of the Pontifical orphanage in Žilina. He replaced Louis Stárek in this function after his departure to become parish priest in Trenčín. Drahotuszky, as a professor, also taught drawing at the orphanage school. He was a member of several Hungarian royal societies – historical, archaeological and artistic, as well as other associations and societies. He was also active as a writer, for example, he wrote studies about the history of abbacy at Skalka.
The Congregation of St. Mary at the Trenčín Piarist grammar school perished after the Piarists went to Hungary after World War One and the religious grammar school closed. It was renewed in the 1940s, when the Piarist grammar school in Trenčín was opened again thanks to the writer, priest and teacher Joseph Branecky.
Baroness Margita Czóbel – painter from Strážky
The Slovak National Gallery (SNG) prepared a special exhibition in 2011, which has had an important historical background for this institution. Thanks to the self-sacrifice of baroness Margita (Margareth) Czóbel (1891 – 1972), the last inhabitant of the Strážky chateau, she managed to retrieve an artistic message from her predecessors living in this specific place in Spiš region but mainly from her uncle, painter Ladislav (László) Mednyánszky (1852 – 1919). The collection of works, which she took care of in the rooms of the deteriorated chateau until her death, subsequently entered the SNG collection. She not only protected it during the Second World War but also during “normalisation” (in the 1970s and 1980s, when Communists confiscated property) The selection of paintings from the family gallery, including those by Ladislav Mednyánszky is nowadays presented in the permanent exposition in Strážky.
Margita Czóbel was the daughter of writer, philosopher and intellectual Stephen Czóbel (1847 – 1932), from Anarcs (village in Hungary), and Mednyánszky’s sister Margareth, also known as Miri (1859 – 1937). The family settled in Strážky, where they further enhanced the family residency. As well as his writing activity and interest in politics, Stephen Czóbel also enlarged the family library, to which his daughter continued.
The baroness painted and illustrated, she was an educated woman. In 1915 – 1916, she and her sister Marianna studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Budapest, in the studio of painter István Bosznay (1868 – 1944). Presumably because of World War One and family circumstances, when her younger brother Stephen was lost in the war, both sisters returned to Strážky to support their parents. Thanks to the help of Mednyánszky’s friend Dezső Malonyaya, Margita would exhibit at the National Salon (Nemzeti Szalon) in Budapest in 1916 and later in 1922. Her first independent exhibition, where she displayed 46 works, took place in May 1916. It was also accompanied with a catalogue, according to which some works, mainly drawings and illustrations, could be identified. The Slovak National Gallery manages the largest Slovak collection of works by Mednyánszky and his niece, baroness Czóbel.
Housing architecture in Martin in 1918 – 1945
The origin of the first Czechoslovak Republic (1918) brought along big social changes and influenced the development of the town urbanism and architecture. The town of Martin, between 1918 and 1945, called Turčiansky Svätý Martin, was one of the candidates for the Slovak capital. Under the leadership of mayor Igor Thurzo, the town generously supported the development by providing council estates and the state helped the citizens by granting a state support. The state, town and cooperative flats were being built on a large scale.
The town urbanism was mainly influenced by the massive growth of housing construction as a result of parallel industrial development. It gave origin to residential complexes and neighbourhoods, differentiated according to their future occupiers. The tenement houses were separately occupied by state and bank officials, war veterans, artists, and later, by significant writers in the so-called house of Matica slovenská (Slovak Foundation). Villa suburbs and colonies of family houses, designed for specific ranks and occupations of the inhabitants, grew next to the residential buildings.
New neighbourhoods and streets founded after 1918 started to be filled with buildings corresponding with the contemporary architectural trends. The conditions of a small town were not in favour of new expressive experimental works, also lacking, was the support of radical architectural manifestations. The town is therefore more characterised with a balanced architecture of moderate modern style and quality regional designs. The work balancing on the verge of tradition and modern style suited the deeply rooted conservatism of Martin. In almost all local residential constructions one can still distinguish the construction companies that built them. They are unified in the use of construction materials, identical surface treatments and little details. The participation of reputable architects, such as Milan Michal Harminc, Dušan Jurkovič, Eugen Barta, Artur Szalatnai, Fridrich Weinwurm, Ignác Vécsei and M. M. Scheer, on the design of Martin flats, points to the importance attributed to the solution of the housing question. Thanks to their efforts and equal contribution from the local designers, the town has acquired an immensely varied and sophisticated residential zone. Martin, with its values and production of residential and villa architecture in an above-standard proportion and unusually well preserved condition, documents an interesting period of architectural development.
Original movables of the Philosophical faculty of Comenius University
The Faculty of Philosophy of Comenius University celebrates the 90th anniversary of its origin. Regarding this fact, it is interesting that the interior of its residence at Gondova Street in Bratislava, where it has been since 1958, still contains quite a number of pieces offurniture from the 1920s and 1930s. The original inventory has been solitarily preserved on the first to third floors of the building at Gondova Street and fourth and fifth floors of the Comenius building at Šafárikovo Square. The latter is now being used by the Faculty of Philosophy. The Comenius University Archives keep the written and photographic material, that relates to the original furniture equipment of classrooms and auditoriums, as well as the individual departments and offices of the faculty pedagogues.
A building commission was created in the first years of faculty activity, which was later replaced with the function of a building officer. He was also in charge of the internal equipment and furnishings of the rooms, which meant a gradual purchase of office and school furniture available in the market at that time. An interesting fact is that the seminary head offices, workrooms and studies were, apart from the traditional office movables and representation furniture consisting of seating units, often furnished with bed and bathroom. The reason behind that, was that the commuting members of the academic staff needed somewhere to sleep, therefore the beds and the accessory equipment was among the first furniture pieces on the order list.
The faculty interior has eventually become a varied mixture of furniture, and some of the original movables, purchased in the 1920 and 1930s, have gradually, perished. The furniture units and individual parts, ordered together with other furniture pieces, are usually no longer preserved in compact sets, and those, which survived, can be almost exclusively found only in the offices of the pedagogues. The original furniture can rarely be seen in the classrooms.
The author of the article describes the typology of the individual types of furniture and based on the archival documents, maps the suppliers of the equipment from the 1920s and 1930s, among which are several companies from Slovakia, such as Thonet-Mundus in Veľké Uherce and Tatra, furniture factory, in Turčiansky Sv. Martin.
Rail workers colony in Nová Žilina
The colony of railroad workers in Žilina was built 128 years ago as a basic residential infrastructure for the employees of the terminal station of Považská railway (originally K. k. priv. Österreichisch-ungarische Staatseisenbahn-Gesellschaft– StEG, later MÁV) running from Bratislava to Žilina. The rail workers called the transport-residential area of the terminal station on the Bratislava – Žilina route, Nová Žilina (New Žilina, Új Zsolna).
The first four double-storied houses, each with eight flats were erected in 1883 and around that time four other houses were built opposite to them in a mirror image. The buildings of the public steam bath (four bath tubs) with two flats and a 9-apartment house for the station workers, in close vicinity to the station park were of the same age. The third row of houses near Bratislava Road was built in the following phase. The flats in the central, higher and wider parts of the houses were probably designed for administrative workers as they were of a higher standard – each had a larder, it’s own water-supply and therefore it’s own sanitary facility, though without a bathroom yet. There were 12 flats on three floors and the two central, southern flats also had a loggia. These 12 tenement houses had 110 flats with 367 inhabitants and were the oldest buildings of the colony built in the period railway style.
After the origin of the Czechoslovak Republic in 1918, with the change of the railway owner (Czechoslovak Railways) also changed the colony. Approximately in the middle of the 1920s, another block of flats was built, which was named “Czech Courtyard”. The three-storied tenement house had 9 flats in each of the two entrances, complete with water-supply, toilet, ante-room and larder. Three of them were 3-room flats with a bathroom (!). The number of flats in the colony had thus increased to the definite number of 128. The cellars were accessible from the outside through the so-called English courtyards. A common laundrette with a drum for boiling the laundry was in the basement. The house façade was simple (only the horizontal cornices remained) and the upper arches of the ground floor’s triple windows softened its austerity.
The end of the rail workers’ colony, as well as the Czech Courtyard came after 1939, when the Czech employees, the “aristocracy” of the rail, who worked as officers and engine drivers, had to leave. The following economic and political development after 1945 did not help the colony either – it turned the inhabitants into proletarians and the modernisation of railways, along with the availability of living in the blocks of flats in the 1960s – 1970s only speeded up the erosion of the entire territory. The colony’s fall was capped with the construction of the road overpass in the 1970s. Four houses of the old colony were knocked down because of that, which devalued the original neighbourhood area. The decaying cheap flats became the town property in the 1960s (lisenas and ashlar work was removed from the facades during renovation) and since then a Roma ghetto has been established there. The colony has no degree of state protection, even though its remains are among the oldest authentic construction monuments of the beginning of the industrial era in Slovakia.
Newest discoveries from Celtic Bratislava
The archaeologists of the Slovak National Museum-Archaeological Museum came to a significant discovery in the close vicinity of the Bratislava Castle area in 2011, which confirms the existence of Celtic oppidum at the castle hill. On a floor of a deep-etched construction from the 10th – 12th century, they uncovered a decorated clay slab – the first such finding in Slovak territory.
Even though only part of the construction has been researched so far, based on the length of one of its sides (5.5 m), it was quite spacious in comparison with the contemporary dwellings. Its floor used to run approximately a meter underneath the original surface (of backfilling). In order to prevent moisture leaking in, it was coated with a loam layer. The only preserved remain of the interior equipment is the clay slab of 100 cm x 100 cm placed in the central part of the construction, which probably served as a fireplace. The inhabitants probably left the construction voluntarily, covering the lower part shortly after its destruction with compact clay, which contained only a minimum of archaeological findings. The life in that place however, continued after the construction ceased to exist. The proof of this is the upper layer of the structure’s backfilling, which was rich in findings, along with the hole sunk into its lower part. It contained ceramics that testified to the decline of ceramic production in the final phase of the Celtic settlement, as well as more precious items – two small silver coins with a diameter of 9 mm. They were probably coined directly at the oppidum territory, regarding the discovery of clay discs used for measuring coin metal, which have been known from several areas of the Bratislava centre and lately discovered only 120 m west of the construction with a decorated fireplace. A bronze key and fragments of buckles used on clothes are also the evidence of the high culture of living. A rare finding in the Celtic area is the bone disc, probably a die.
Michaela Haviarová – Kristína Zvedelová
Church of St. Peter and Paul in Cífer-Pác
The research of the Church of St. Peter and Paul in Cífer-Pác, near Trnava in western Slovakia, brought new, unexpected information at the end of 2010. This supports the theory, which says that the church is the follower of St. Peter’s Church that ceased to exist sometime between 1429 and 1440. This initial construction phase dates to the first half of the 13th century.
Soon after the first phase, the construction was extended westward by 412 cm and eastward up to the point where the nave currently joins the semicircular ending of the sanctuary. At the same time, the construction was elevated and the southern part, probably right at the entrance, received a small anteroom. It is difficult to accurately identify and date another gothic construction, because of the massive reconstruction in the 18th and 19th century. We assume that in this period, a sacristy was added to the northern wall of the sanctuary, which had been in this place until the reconstruction in 1898.
The crucial construction phase of the monument’s entire area took place in 1764. The one-nave building was re-extended westward (by 750 cm), which created a protruding tower with a square ground plan in the central axis of the western façade. At the same time, the church was extended and re-roofed. New window holes were broken through that were later enlarged. The current matroneum was built in the western part of the nave, and the access was through a spiral staircase. The tower was entered from the exterior via a simple rectangular entrance situated in its southern wall and joined with an exterior staircase.
Quite an extensive church renovation took place in 1898. The northern-placed church sacristy was taken down and a new one, with a straight ceiling was established at the ground floor. The southern anteroom was also demolished and the entrance was modified. A new extension was added during the reconstruction, situated between the western wall of the church nave and southern wall of the tower, which covered the staircase leading towards the tower entrance. Maybe the original shallow foundations of the church were responsible for the static problems, which resulted in large cracks on the nave’s sidewalls. Therefore, six concrete support columns were added in 1922. The construction modifications on the church in 1983 were again related to the static and moisture problems of the building. Today, the church coatings are in bad condition and one can see large cracks again.
Revived art in the Old Castle
The Slovak Mining Museum in Banská Štiavnica obtained the means for the project of the Integrated Protection of the European Cultural Heritage in 2008 – 2011 from the EEA Financial Mechanism and Norwegian Financial Mechanism. The money was also directed to the reconstruction of rare art-historical collection items. The project ended on April 28, 2011 with a workshop and ceremonial opening of the permanent expositions and exhibitions. The project was greatly honoured by the visit of a Norwegian royal couple, which took place in Banská Štiavnica and museum on October 28, 2010.
The project supported several activities. Apart from the restoration of significant collection items, an expertise workplace was founded at the gallery’s ground floor for restoration of old prints, engravings, leathers and papers. Air-conditioners were added in the museum’s expositions and gallery’s depositaries, and a security camera system was installed in the Berggericht and Kammerhof buildings. Smaller construction works took place at Berggericht and northern tower of the Old Castle’s fortification. The four-year project was carried out by the Slovak Mining Museum in Banská Štiavnica.
Out of 46 restored collection items, 36 were stone Romanesque, gothic and renaissance baptisteries, late-gothic tombstones and renaissance epitaphs, sculpture fragments, burgher’s houses portals, a wooden late-gothic sculpture of St. Barbara from 1506, two panel paintings from the end of the 17th and first half of the 18th century, four baroque altar paintings from the 18th century and three official emperor’s portraits of the Habsburgs from the first half of the 19th century. All restored collection items were badly damaged and required quick interventions. Simultaneously, the research and restoration brought about several discoveries, in regard to the iconography and author’s attributions. The aim of the project was to return the rare collections, which map the importance of the town of Banská Štiavnica in the 13th to 19th centuries, to their original look and create a permanent historical exposition in the ground floor of the Old Castle’s courtyard where the former depositories used to be. The production of a quality guidebook through the collections and exposition was part of the project’s presentation. It informs about the high level of artistic work in the most significant Slovak mining town as well as about several artistic personalities.