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Revue Pamiatky a múzeá – Summary 1/2018

Monuments and museums
Cultural Heritage Review
No 1/2018

Milan Horňák
Burial ground of Avarian caganate in Bratislava-Podunajské Biskupice
The archaeological research in Slovakia, driven by extensive construction activities, has experienced an exceptional boom in recent years. It has helped to fill in the map of prehistoric and historical sites, and reveal a lot of new archaeological material and surprises from unexpected finds. One such finding was the uncovering and studying of 485 tombs at the Avarian caganate (khaganate) burial ground in Bratislava-Podunajské Biskupice in 2017, during the works that preceded the building of the Bratislava D4/R7 motorway bypass.
The burial ground is located on the outskirts of the city part Bratislava-Podunajské Biskupice. Its geomorphological character was created by the historical meandering of the no longer existing Humer river. This, probably a side flow of the Little Danube, flowed around a well-visible sand dune, on which a settlement had been concerted since the 2nd century AD. The burial ground spread over an area of approximately 60 x 80 m, in the northern part of the dune. The settlement, only partially researched, was located some 100 m south of the burial place. This helped to get a better understanding of the funeral habits in the 8th century AD.
The explored area of the necropolis, which was almost a regular rectangle, displayed a clear burying concept. The graves were dug at an average of 15 to 20 graves per 100 square meters. Based on the basic analysis of the grave accessories, we can see burials took place for 80 – 100 years. It is obvious that the graves were marked on the ground. This was also confirmed by the traces of post structures preserved above ground. The graves varied in their arrangement. An interesting feature of this period was digging the so-called alcoves, which were to deceive potential gravesite robbers looking for valuable items made of bronze, silver and gold. The fear of robbery was justified. Research found misplaced bones and items that clearly testified to the opening of the tomb and insensitive handling of the deceased person. However, this was rather rare and most of the graves remained untouched. The burial ceremony reflected the social and property status of the dead. The unearthed grave accessories, mainly vessels, animal bones, working tools and jewellery, also documented this.
The vessel findings were the most numerous. Frequent motifs on ceramic vessels were typical Slavic decorations – wavy lines. Vessels made of fine washed clay were also found at the burial ground, which could be associated with the ceramic production of the Avars.
The most attractive finds were undoubtedly jewellery and ornaments, found in both female and male graves. Decorative belt fittings made of iron or bronze, some adorned with floral or geometric motifs were typical accessories discovered in male graves. The most valuable were silver-plated, with elaborate motifs of mythical beings – griffins and forest animals, mainly deer. The exceptional fitting, which was originally gold-plated and depicted the mythical goddess Anahit, was a unique discovery.
The findings in female graves were nothing short of those in male graves. This is represented by a large collection of glass beads and bronze, so-called grape-shaped earrings decorated with granulation technique.
An exceptional find was the female tomb No 208 with an extremely rich inventory. It became known as the Princess of Biskupice. Around 80 glass beads were found there, two bronze bracelets and a pair of golden earrings. The second rare discovery was the gold-plated bronze agraffe adorned with coloured glass pieces in the shape of a rosette. The gold objects came from the Byzantine workshops, which highlighted their interpretative value.

Martin Vančo
Unique belt fitting from the burial ground in Bratislava-Podunajské Biskupice
The ironwork with the combination of anthropomorphic and zoomorphic motifs found in grave No 85, which depicts a woman sitting on an animal, is one of the most significant finds at the burial site of the Avarian caganate (khaganate). It helps to understand the art world and religious beliefs of the ethnicity, which buried its dead at the Podunajské Biskupice site.
A woman sits with her arms spread, astride a goosenecked-like animal that resembles the position in which griffins, the winged animals with lion’s body and eagle’s head, were usually depicted in Avarian art. She wears a distinctive necklace round her neck and a crown on her head. The animal is most likely a lion, based on the richly structured mane and open mouth. Adrien Pásztor found an almost identical motif of a woman sitting on an animal on the belt forging in grave No 81 at the Budakalászs-Dunapart burial site in 1991. Pásztor thinks that this is a rare, late-antique motif of the Escaping Maenad, which originally came from Byzantium.
Another important analogy is the set of Avarian ironworks from an unknown Austrian site, which was acquired by the British Museum in London in 1997. They seem to come from a disturbed grave and include two oval belt fittings decorated with female figures sitting on lions. The motif of an anthropomorphic female figure sitting on an animal was also used on the forgings discovered at the burial ground in Hevlín in southern Moravia, Austrian localities of Mistelbach and Petronell-Carnuntum, the Hungarian province of Mosonszentjanos and Czech site of Kosoř near Prague.
The author of the article tries to interpret the motif through ancient and Greek mythologies.
However, it is hard to imagine that the Avarian items depicted figures with no relation to their religious system. It is possible that the inhabitants living in the northern part of the Avarian caganate, geographically defined by the middle flow of the Danube, which was bordered by the Thaya (Dyje) river in the west and the city of Debrecen in the east, used them as amulets. The forgings discovered outside the Avarian caganate, which is the Czech Republic, were acquired as war booty during the Avarian battles at the turn of the 8th and 9th centuries.

Marek Budaj
Denar coin of Charles the Great from the Avarian grave in Podunajské Biskupice
The coin of King Charles the Great was a surprising find in a female grave No 168. From the archaeological point of view, it is a unique finding, since it is the first known evidence of placing this particular coinage in a burial ground in the Avarian caganate. The coin was not put into the grave as a means of payment. At the bottom, it is forged so that it can be used as a pendant or medallion. Possibly, it was put in the grave as an obol of the dead.
The Denar coin of Charles the Great (768-814) was coined in the years of 771 to 793/794. It is not yet clear where the coins were minted. Some researchers think of the German Mainz and others of Dutch Domburg. The coin found in Podunajské Biskupice weighs 1.29 g and belongs to the first group of Denars, which are characterized by the inscription of the monarch on the aversion side in various shapes. The coin reads CAR-LVS in two rows. The reverse side reads MAD-CSG in three rows. It is a relatively unique coin – no similar one has been found in Slovakia. The Denar of Charles the Great documents the mutual contacts of our region with the Frankish Empire at the end of the 8th century. The coin probably entered our territory in 791 – 796, when the Frankish Empire fought a few battles with the Avarians. The Denars found in the Austrian Carnunt were interpreted in a similar way.
The area of Bratislava Gate was the place with the largest number of finds from the times of the Avarian caganate. Its western border was formed with the localities around Devínska Nová Ves and the eastern border enclosed by the burial ground in Podunajské Biskupice and sites in Bernolákovo and Most pri Bratislave. We know from the written sources that Slavs and Avars lived in this area. This symbiosis is also evident from the explored burial site, which unearthed items of Slavic pottery as well as typical Avarian belt production.

Karol Kantek – Eva Kowalská
Rogaška Slatina spa and its role in Slovak history
Today’s Slovenian spa Rogaška Slatina, which was the former Styrian spa Rohitsch-Sauerbrunn, had been popular amongst the European aristocracy yet before the 19th century. The spa was also visited by members of the highest religious, military and administration institutions in the monarchy, as well as outstanding artists, intellectuals, wealthy burghers, merchants, bankers and politicians. One could also meet the activists of national revival there. The Slovak guests included Ľudovít Štúr (see KANTEK, K. – KOWALSKÁ, E. Manor House in Ivanka pri Dunaji during the Times of Ľudovít Štúr, in Monuments and Museums, vol. 64, No. 3/2015, p. 56-65), who stayed there a few times. The circumstances and reasons for his visits during the summer of 1848 are the main subject of this article.
Ľudovít Štúr (1815 – 1856) was the leading personality of the Slovak national revival in the middle of the 19th century and one of the leading participants of the Slovak uprising against the Habsburg monarchy in 1848 and 1849. In his record of financial expenditures for the first, “September Expedition”, he briefly stated that in July and August 1848, four “national proceedings” were held at Roháč (the Slovak equivalent of the spa name). How can this sentence be interpreted?
The authors of the article focused their attention on the activities of two special spa guests: Serbian prince Mihailo Obrenović III and Ľudovít Štúr. In literature, Mihailo’s stay is almost always associated with his romance with Maria Berghaus, the daughter of the local spa-master (Bademerister). She gave birth to his only offspring, an illegitimate son Wilhelm, on the 8th of May 1849 in Sauerbrunn. The literature is quiet about the fact that the prince also worked in foreign diplomacy and politics. Obviously, this was required by a rapidly changing social situation.
When the Austrian Emperor left Vienna during the turmoil in May 1848, Miloš Obrenović assumed that the revolution could be quickly transmitted from the Austrians to the Turkish and inferior Slavic nations, with the consent from the Hungarian revolutionary government, could be liberated and united under the Serbian (Obrenović) leadership. Similar to the way German states or Garibaldi’s Italy was unified. Believing in this, Miloš financially supported his foreign adherents and entrusted Mihailo with important diplomatic tasks.
Political developments in Hungary led to a civil war. Preparations for the alleged military confrontation with the Hungarians, however, required money and weapons also for Slovak volunteers. This was the reason why Štúr met with Mihailo Obrenović in Rogaška Slatina. Mihailo could not give money to Štúr right at their first meeting, as he was financially dependent on his father, but he did support him later.

Maroš Semančík
Monument renovation of Kežmarok castle at the beginning of the 20th century
When the castle of Kežmarok became the property of the town in 1703, it was the start of its decline. The castle had been home to important noble families of Zápoľský and Thököly for a long time. The devastating fires in 1741 and 1787 completely damaged the southern, northern and eastern wings. Utility buildings were built in their places, and the castle’s premises were used for housekeeping purposes. After another fire in 1865, cheap wooden shingles were used instead of ceramic tiles to repair the destroyed roofs. The extensive fire on the 17th of March 1901 helped to speed up the decision of the competent state and town authorities about its renovation.
The renaissance castle of Kežmarok was important for its historical architecture, but chiefly for becoming the symbol of national emancipatory forces of the Hungarian Kingdom (or Hungarians) against the Habsburg monarchy. The financing of the castle’s restoration came from the developed institutionalized mechanisms of the monuments funds. The town representatives visited the relevant ministries and the Landscape Monument Board in Budapest and succeeded in obtaining a loan of SK20,000 to be paid back by the Board.
The Board had immediately sent its worker, Otto Sztehló, a renowned architect and renovator, to investigate the fire damage. Sztehló called for an immediate installation of new roofs for the chapel and the castle’s northeast tract in their original, late-medieval look from burnt, so-called Gothic tiles. On May 5, they started the restoration of the damaged roofs and the projects were to be approved afterwards. This revealed the importance of the overall silhouette for the monuments, especially their roof shapes. Kežmarok architect and builder, György Kornél Schwarz, quickly designed the castle’s roofs in a neo-gothic, romantic spirit. The designs were sent to the Monuments Board for approval and Otto Sztehló had subsequently revised them. This resulted in a mixture of late-medieval and renaissance forms, which highlighted the gradual development of the castle and at the same time helped to restore its look before the fire in 1865. By the end of 1901, all of the destroyed roofs were renovated.
Historicism was the last significant period style in the history of Kežmarok Castle, only part of which has been preserved to this day. The negative perception of this style and the way it affected historical buildings during reconstruction and restoration activities in the 20th century led to the style’s deformation within the general reconstruction of the Kežmarský castle in 1962-1985. However, the historical monument restoration of Kežmarský castle in the early 20th century manifested a good period of thinking and added another historical layer worth of protection alongside the earlier eras of the castle development.

Adriana Priatková – Eleonóra Blašková
Dance schools in the inter-war Košice
Since the first half of the 19th century, the balls and dances have been a pleasant and useful way of introducing a young person into social life. The renowned dance masters and their schools played an irreplaceable role in this process. In Košice, the dance instructors taught dancing in their own schools. They needed a trade license, which was issued based on their diploma from a dance academy, or upon completing a professional course and subsequent final examinations.
In the 1920s, there were several modern dance schools there. The most popular was the Imre Révész dance school, which ran from 1874 to 1918. In the dance halls of the house on 91 Main Street (Hlavná ulica) and the so-called Vitéz’s house, he taught ballroom dances and also prepared choreography for theatre performances. From 1909 he was joined by his son, Arpád Révész, a graduate of the Paris Dance Academy, and later also by Jenő Révész, who in 1927 opened a dance school in his own premises of the adjusted house on 91 Main Street.
Imre Duleczky moved to Košice in 1918 and in 1922 – 1924 opened a dance school at the Schalkház Hotel. After completing his education at the courses he took in Germany, France and Switzerland, he gave lessons in the hall of the Catholic Journeymen Society and in the casino building on 76 Main Street. After purchasing and reconstructing the house on Hunyady’s (now Timonova) Street in 1929, the Duleczky couple acquired a suitable place for organizing the dance lessons.
According to the documents in the Košice City Archives, in 1924, a significant Kemenczky family invested in the construction of a house with a dance school on Tinódyho (now Biela) Street. The Czech construction company Frič – Novák built the project. Alois Novák was one of the most successful Košice builders during the times of the first Czechoslovak Republic. However, the difficulty in obtaining the permit and the lengthy problems with the poor construction led the Kemenczky family to the decision to build another, much larger poly-functional house with shops, apartments and a private dance school on the neighbouring site.
The director of one of the most modern equipped dance schools in Slovakia was Erzsébet Kemenczky, married Konečná (Konetschny), a graduate of the Parisian Dance Academy. She commissioned a young, 30-year-old Košice architect Ľudovít Oelschläger (Lajos Őry) with a project of a building that would have a department store at the ground floor, dance school hall running through first and second floors with necessary facilities, and a comfortably equipped accommodation part on the second and third floors.
The beautiful art deco dance hall, 6.5 metres tall, with well-crafted details, an elegant balcony and a stage for musicians was a favourite place for lessons and dance entertainment in Košice in the 1930s, organised by Dancing-Jazz Konečný.

Vladimír Majtan
Rosenfeld Palace in Žilina
In the autumn of 2016, the renovated city palace of the financier and philanthropist Ignác Rosenfeld (1850 – 1923) was opened in Žilina. He built this representative residence in 1907 on a strategic place in the middle of the city’s roads intersections. At the same time it was the seat of his bank. He entrusted the well-known local architect and builder Mikuláš Rauter, also known as Nicoletto, with building the project.
The Rosenfeld Palace is a synthesis of the decorative styles of the fading historicism and emerging art nouveau. The grand scale of the building is highlighted by the central part with a stone portal and balcony, and two corner projections that form up the cour d’honneur (three-sided ceremonial courtyard, ed. note). The light-grey façade, with alternating smooth and structured coating, has a rich stucco decoration with mascarons and floral motifs. The large, intricately shaped windows with wooden roller blinds and a mansard roof with decorative metalwork and sculptural elements give a special character to the palace. The interior is decorated with marble columns, a splendid staircase and etched glass windows. The relatively austere rooms of the eastern and western palace wings, with a simple painting decoration were used for the bank. The piano nobile (principal floor, ed. note) was the Rosenfelds’ apartment. The ceilings of the individual halls painted in then fashionable pastel colours were decorated in stucco style. The bathrooms were preserved with original ceramic tiles and decorative paving. The architect designed the outdoor relaxation zone as a large roofed patio, flush with the residential floor in the eastern tract. The original palace furniture was not preserved. Only fragments, such as the wooden inlaid wall cladding in two main salons and a unique set of lights, testify to its quality.
The Rosenfeld Palace was declared a national cultural monument in 2009, when it was already in a state of emergency repair. It had to wait for its reconstruction until 2015, when the city was able to obtain funds from the EU’s Regional Operational Programme and Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area (the so-called Norwegian funds). After a difficult reconstruction, the palace became a representative and cultural place of the Žilina city.

Marek Gilányi
Unknown coat of arms of Bishop Jozef Čársky?
The collections of the Bratislava City Gallery include not only sculpture works, but also several sketches from the Bratislava native Alojz (Alois) Rigele (1879 – 1940). Some of them can be seen online at, as part of the Slovak National Gallery’s project Digital Gallery. These drawings also include works with heraldic themes.
This article focuses on the drawing of the Proposals for County’s Emblems from 1923. It depicts six round medallions, five of which can be identified. Below each medallion is a Hungarian name of a city. These are the coats of arms of the following bishops: Augustine Fischer-Colbrie (1863 – 1925), text below the medallion reads: Kassa; inscription on the top ribbon: EPISC. CASSOVIENSIS; bishop’s slogan on the lower ribbon: EVANGELIZARE PAVPERIBVS MISIT ME; Ján Vojtaššák (1877 – 1965), text below the medallion reads: Szepes; inscription on the top ribbon: EPISC. SCEPUSIENSIS, bishop’s slogan on the lower ribbon: ANGELIS MANDAVIT DE TE; Karol Kmeťko (1875 – 1948), text below the medallion reads: Nyitra; inscription on the top ribbon: EPISC. NITRIENSIS, bishop’s slogan: CHARITAS OMNIA VINCIT; Marián Blaha (1869 – 1943) text below the medallion reads: (Be) szterczebánya, inscription on the top ribbon: (EPISC) NEOSOLIENSIS, bishop’s slogan: (MITES) POSSIDEBUNT TERRAM and Prešov eparchy, text below the medallion reads: Eperjes, inscription on the top ribbon: EPISCOPATVS FRAGOPOLIENSIS (or Episcopatus Presoviensis // Eperies // fragopoliensis).
The most interesting coat of arms is in the middle of the lower part of Rigele’s drawing. This is the design for Rožňava Apostolic Administrator Jozef Čársky (1886 – 1962), text below the medallion reads: Rozsnyó, inscription on the top ribbon: EPISC. THAGORAENSIS ET ADM. AP. ROSNAV. (or EPISCOPVS AP ADM. ROSNAVIENSIS), the bishop’s slogan on the lower ribbon VENI QVAERERE ET SALVVM FACERE QVOD PERIERAT. It seems that the drawing in the Bratislava City Gallery is probably the only preserved picture of Bishop Jozef Čársky’s coat of arms from the time of his half-year work in Rožňava. The approximate date of the drawing is May – June 1925.
Another drawing from the gallery, entitled Proposal for Commendation – or Stamp, depicts the coat of arms of Pavol Jantausch (1863 – 1925), who was consecrated together with Jozef Čársky. The text below the medallion reads: Nagy Szombat, inscription on the top ribbon: EPISC. T. PRIENENSIS AP. ADM. TYRNAVIENSIS, bishop’s slogan on lower ribbon: PRO VERITATE CVM CARITATE. All of these bishop’s coats of arms, designed by Rigele, were originally on one sheet, as both papers fit perfectly with each other.

Lucia Duchoňová
Furniture for bishop Jantausch from the workshop of Vojtech Novotný
In the end of 2016, the Western-Slovak Museum in Trnava opened up the memorial room of the Roman-Catholic priest Mons. Pavol Jantausch (1870 – 1947) to the public. From 1925 until his death, Jantausch held the post of bishop and apostolic administrator of the Trnava Apostolic Administration. His bishopric slogan Pro veritate cum caritate (With Love For Truth) is also the title of the exposition.
During the time Jantausch worked in Trnava, the bishop’s residency started cooperating with the artistic woodcarver Vojtech Novotný (1884-1958) from Piešťany. The bishop asked him to construct the furniture for the newly built Monastery of Pius IX in Vrbové and its chapel. Novotný’s workshop also carved the confessional booths for the Cathedral of St. Martin in Spišská Kapitula and restored the furniture for the monastery in Hronský Beňadik. In 1939 he also made the representative furniture for the Grassalkovich (Presidential) Palace in Bratislava.
In 1936 Pavol Jantausch asked Novotný to make him furniture in the style of a “Slovak room” for his office at the Archbishop’s Office in Trnava. The room consisted of a study, bathroom, bedroom and praying area. From 2015, this furniture set can be found in the collections of the Western-Slovak Museum. František Gregor from Košice donated it to the museum, after he inherited them from his mother, Maria Gregorová, the niece of Pavol Jantausch. Gregor gradually restored the pieces and therefore they are in very good condition. The folk floral motifs dominate the decoration. The woodcarver probably took the inspiration from the region’s costume embroideries. The interior of Jantausch study in the museum also displays the devotional paintings of the Virgin Mary of Trnava and the historical book fund. The installation also includes liturgical textiles, which date to the 1940s and suitably complement the exposition focussed on the ecclesial history of Trnava.

Rastislav Luz
Lost epigraphic monuments of St. George’s Church in Svätý Jur
The preserved inscriptions of the St. George’s Church in Svätý Jur have been the subject of several writers. In the newest documentation for the forthcoming edition of Corpus inscriptionum Slovaciae, František Gahér focused on the epigraphic monuments of western Slovakia. Altogether 16 of them come from the Church of St. George in Svätý Jur. These, however, only included those present in the church at the time of compiling the list in 2013.
The author of this article points out the importance of archival research when recording epigraphic evidence. By studying the written and photographic sources, the number of known inscriptions can be increased by a considerable amount – in the case of this church, by half. Although inscriptions were recorded, this secondary way cannot be explored in all aspects (font type and size, material, etc.). Nevertheless, their existence helps to complete the knowledge on the history of written culture.
Only fragments have been preserved from the original gothic decoration of St. George’s Church. The wall paintings were coated in 1582 (as says the inscription on the side nave’s wall). Academic painter Maximilián Duchek uncovered them and restored in 1920. Since then, no one has touched them, which caused an almost complete disappearance of the oldest one – the frescoes with St. Erasmus with a cross above his head, which was photographed in 1937 for the Prague’s exhibition Old Art in Slovakia. Today, a barely visible gothic minuscule from around 1400 to 1420 refers to it.
Also remarkable was the German inscription on the 1460 bell, which was melted during the First World War. Magazine Archaeologiai értesítő first published the transcript of the inscription, which was later revised several times based on the examination of the graphic characters. It is one of the oldest non-Latin inscriptions in our territory.
Four sepulchral monuments were preserved in the parish Church of St. George, but the archives talk about others. These include, for example, the destroyed tombstones of Jozef Stützel and members of the Armbruster family, which were captured on the photograph of the church interior from the 1920s (the transcripts of their inscriptions were preserved in the canonical visitations from 1781), as well as mortuaries from the funeral chapel and the exterior tombstone of Alžbeta Buchberger from 1765 documented in the photographs from the 1920s to 1930s. In future, there is a hope for discovering more, for now lost inscriptions.

Brigita Hradská
Ladislav Vychodil’s stage designs for Suchoň’s opera Krútňava
The collections of the Slovak National Museum-Music Museum contain three interesting items registered under the name Stage Designs for Opera: Krútňava (The Whirlpool) by the founder of the Slovak stage design, Professor Ladislav Vychodil. They are paintings painted on paper in 1952, for the individual acts of the Krútňava opera by Eugen Suchoň, which was staged at the Slovak National Theatre in Bratislava.
Since they were damaged when purchased for the museum, they had to be restored.
The Music Museum owns three of the original six stage designs. These were designed for the first, second and sixth act. The author of the article, restorer Brigita Hradská, described the renovation of the paintings in detail. The research did not confirm the original assumption that these were aquarelle paintings. They were created using tempera. Their damage was mainly caused by the loss of the pigment layer – the tempera colour, due to improper storing, natural aging (acidic) paper and partial tearing. The restoration aimed at returning the works to their original look, aiming at minimum intervention to the original and maximum respect for its historical authenticity.
The restored paintings can be seen at the exhibition Museum’s Jewels (December 15, 2017 – January 28, 2019) in the Slovak National Museum at Vajanského nábrežie in Bratislava.

Katarína Hallonová
Tinkering. The story of (almost) lost heritage
At the beginning of November 2017, new items were added onto the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Slovakia. The current list of 18 items embraced the Modra Majolica, Fujara Trombita (Trombita flute traditionally used by shepherds, ed. note), Wooden Carved Crosses of the Podpoľanie Region, Breeding of Lipizzan Horses in Topolčianky and Tinkering. At the same time, the Register of Best Safeguarding Practices of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Slovakia was expanded with a second activity, the Documentation and Protection of Tinkering in the Považské Museum in Žilina.
Tinkering is an exceptional historical, socio-economic, productive, sociological, ethnological and cultural phenomenon, which helped to develop the cultural identity of Slovakia. In its original form, it belonged to a group of male travelling tradesmen, which helped with additional income on top of the poor livelihoods in the primary, especially agricultural, sectors.
Tinkering developed in the most backward mountainous areas of Slovakia – in the northwest region of the Trenčín county and northern part of the Spiš region. Initially it was a rare, but later, a mass local activity. In both regions it gradually affected all aspects of life. The tinkers came from the poorest social groups and formed an indigenous community with a distinctive way of life, social relations, hierarchy, work organization, folk expressions and traditions, as well as its own secret language. The tinkers, travelling en mass through Europe and the Asian part of Russia, became prominent representatives of their country abroad. Slovakia, or Upper Hungary, was known as the country of tinkers (e.g. Bergner, R. Eine Fahrt durchs Land der Rastelbinder, 1883).
Tinkering reached its peak at the beginning of the 20th century. The general disruption caused by the First World War and the geopolitical changes soon after resulted in its end. It could not overcome neither the interwar economic crisis, nor the political and economic development and industrialization after the Second World War. In the middle of the 20th century, tinkering, in its original form, no longer existed.
Považské museum in Žilina has been researching and documenting the craft since its establishment in 1942. In 1994, the museum founded the Documentation Centre of Tinkering in its premises. Its collection fund contains over 6,000 items of tangible, written and pictorial evidence of tinkering. It also maps current tinkering activities and application of these technologies in contemporary professional as well as non-professional art and design.