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Revue Pamiatky a múzeá – Summary 2/2008

Henrieta Žažová
The Markušovce manor
house archives
The municipality of Markušovce is situated in
eastern Slovakia in the district of Spišská Nová Ves (Košice region). It stands
out for its unusually large proportion of artistic-historical monuments and
natural sights. It probably originated in the 12th century as a guard settlement
on the northern border of the Hungarian Kingdom. Since the 13th century the
municipality has been the main residential property of the Máriássy nobility.

A fortified manor house dominates the municipality along with the medieval
Church of St. Michael the Archangel. The construction of the manor house relates
to the document of King Ladislaus IV from June 24, 1284. The document is one of
the first written royal grants for castle construction issued to Hungarian
aristocrats. Its authenticity was recently verified, but neither the place of
the castle construction, nor the reason for the granting of the right is
mentioned there. Not even a year is recorded, only the day of issue of the
documents. The only indirect indication, which would point to the fortified
Markušovce manor house, is the site of the document’s original storage – in the
archive of the Máriássy family. This assumption, however, is marred by the fact
that other records on the castle or manor house from the 13th, 14th and 15th
centuries were not found in the family archive; written documents only start to
appear at the beginning of the 16th century.
The author of the article
explores these archive materials and looks for references to construction
development of the family residence since 1507, when Štefan (Stephen) Máriássy
asked the Spiš headquarters for approval to fortify the residence. His efforts
were however turned down by Levoča and 13 other Spiš towns, which were afraid of
jeopardizing their own business interests. The conflict ended by fortifying the
manor house and church with a simple wall without any embankment.
After the
Battle of Mohacs (1526), the fight for the Hungarian throne started. Members of
the Máriássy family converted to Protestantism. The town of Levoča, which
advocated Habsburg interests, used the situation to procure its own benefits.
Its citizens robbed and burned the noble court and destroyed the wall. This act
foretold the dramatic fate of the fortified manor house and its environs in the
centuries to come: it got devastated as well as renovated, enlarged as well as
divided. In 1963 it was announced as a national cultural monument. Let’s hope
the owners who received it in restitution in the 1990s will return it to its
bygone glory.

Martin Bóna – Michal Šimkovic
Research of
the fortified manor house in Markušovce
Two parts form the
so-called Markušovce castle – an upper central part of trapezoidal ground plan
and the castle’s foreyard in the west. A part of the three-storeyed south palace
wing, which now dominates the whole building complex, has been preserved from
the central part. From the second, mostly absent northern palace wing, only the
northeastern part remained. A wall with an entrance gateway joins both
residential wings in the east. Another gate can be found in the western wall,
which still features the torso of the prismatic tower. From the west, the
central part of the fortified seat joins up through the castle’s foreyard of
irregular trapezoidal ground plan, where two bastions used to guard the entrance
The research results published up to now were mostly based upon
surface explorations and written sources. The last architectural-historical
research performed in the summer of 2007 as part of the preparation for the
monument’s renovation helped to complete the known information about the manor
house’s development. The oldest medieval core was identified in the central part
of ground floor; its ground plan featured one-room with the outside measurements
of 6.9 and 7.3 metres. The building was originally at least of two stories.
Regarding the building’s date of construction, the most significant factor was
the discovery of a continual layer with ceramics from the 14th and 15th century
buried 110 – 115 cm underground. The edifice was later enlarged northwards
(corner bastion) and westwards. The building’s vicinity received a new palace
tract to the north, a fortified wall with entrance gateway, the palace’s
southern wing, staircase tract and other additions. Baroque reconstructions were
on a smaller scale; newer building interventions in the 19th and 20th centuries
were part of the minor changes to the interior. Security works took place
between 1971 and 1975 and a new framework was made in the north-eastern area.
The results of the building’s last research in medieval times changed the
monument’s actual classification from that of a medieval castle to a fortified
manor house.

Rút Lichnerová
Graphic decoration on
historical mining maps
The cartographic monuments kept in the State
Central Mining Archives in Banská Štiavnica are a precious source material for
the study of periodical artistic display created as a side product when making
mining maps. The 18th century, the main period of great expansion in the mining
of non-ferrous metals in Banská Štiavnica, which was connected with intensive
mining mapping, often saw additional artistic works enriching the cartographic
records. We can find them next to maps’ titles, scales or independently, filling
in the free spaces on a map. Surveyors, who made mining maps, created them – E.
F. Angerstein, J. Bankó, J. Brinn, B. Faill, J. A. Geramb, J. Göllner, F. M.
Heinzely, A. Harnkes, S. Klein, A. B. Leibwurtz, F. A. Mayer, F. J. Müllner, J.
N. Sgärgeth, V. Siegel, G. Urban, F. J. von Häcklberg and Landau, K. Wolf, M.
Parergons from the selected hand-drawn mining maps of the Banská
Štiavnica region, dating to the 18th and 19th centuries, picture mining and
surveying motifs, real or fictive landscapes and allegoric scenes. They are
often rich in ornamentation, which is worthy of closer attention. The creators
used this decoration in unison with periodic artistic styles or individually,
according to their own taste and creativeness, or got inspiration from various
environments and cultures. We can find the early baroque spinning ornament
“rollwerk” there, along with the symmetrical or asymmetrical framing of texts,
and palmettos and garlands of the high baroque period. There is also the strip
ornament typical of early rococo decoration, enriched with grid or ornamentation
of the high rococo period with the characteristic shapes of shells and other sea
The parergons demonstrate different artistic levels: from
immature graphic attempts by not always talented artists through more or less
cultivated artistic images to artistically advanced works of mature
personalities, such as the allegories by M. Zipser and the figures of miners in
the mining shafts by J. N. Sgärgeth.

Branislav Lesák
Research of the Clarisse
area of Bratislava
Lying away from the main tourist routes in
historical Bratislava is the place of the former church and monastery of the
Order of Clares (or the Clarisses), which forms a dominating feature of the
earlier medieval town. This place has been linked with the Clares Order for 485
years. However, the history that connects it with Bratislava is older, reaching
to the end of the 12th and the beginning of the 13th century. Documents from
1204 and 1221 reveal that the town began to form around the area under the
Bratislava castle of that time. The establishment of a vicarage near the Church
of St. Salvatore (the St. Martin´s Cathedral) and the presence of the canonry
and priory, point to that area’s emancipation. The core settlement centred on
Kapitulská (Canonry) street. Archaeological researches in the vicinity uncovered
various types of residential buildings with a farming background. Coin findings
map the dynamic movement of the residents, either for business or migration
reasons. In particular the Austrian coinages and one Bavarian coinage from 1180
– 1250 relate to the first colonisation wave of German-speaking people that came
to Bratislava before the Tartar invasion.
Before 1235 the initial female
branch of the Cistercian order came to the area under the castle. The monastery
was inferior in authority to the Cistercian monastery in Pilis (Hungary), which
had its properties in Bratislava. However, they later lost interest in the
Bratislava monastery and thus the Bratislava properties were left without an
owner for over 20 years. Begging orders began to come to the independent royal
town of Bratislava, which reacted more actively to the period’s needs. The king
and the town council agreed that the Cistercian monastery and its properties go
to the Clarisses, the female branch of the order of St. Francis, which entered
Bratislava in 1297. At the beginning of the 14th century they built a church and
in the second half of the 14th century they started its reconstruction, which
was then finished around 1370. The current look of the monastery comes from the
first half of the 17th century. Cardinal and Estergom Bishop Peter Pázmány
carried this task out between 1634 and 1640. Joseph II definitively then
confiscated the monastery and the church from the Clarisses in 1782. An
archaeological research aimed to save the area of the former monastery, carried
out by the Municipal Institute of Monument Preservation in Bratislava between
2003 and 2006, focussed its attention on the monastery’s basement under the
western wing and the area of the north-eastern part of the eastern wing.

Zuzana Ševčíková
The manor house in
The Manor house in Ostratice, the Topoľčany district,
which consists of two constructions with mutual courtyard but no connected
roads, relates only slightly to the original environment. In the northern part
of the site stands a two-storeyed building without basement. A tower element can
be seen in the corner, which is adjoined to a one-storey wing in the north. The
whole complex forms a ground plan of the letter “L”. The second mansion is a
two-storeyed block building with basement. The buildings together form an
irregular array with the ground plan shaped in letter “U” with a courtyard. A
monument research was carried out in the manor house in 2006 because its owner,
the municipality of Ostratice, intended to adopt the building to the social and
cultural use of the region.
Several municipalities and settlements
currently constitute the municipality; the object of research being situated in
Malé Ostratice. Originally, it was a renaissance manor house from the second
half of the 16th century and changed into baroque style by the end of the 18th
century. The second mansion is of baroque style from the 18th century. Both
constructions were modified and unified into the empire style around 1820. The
current area of the buildings is only a fragment of the original “manorial
court” with mansions, farmhouses, orchards, gardens, and fortifications with
walls and dikes.
The oldest construction core of the first mansion was a
fortified castle, which consisted of a two-storeyed one-room tower, and a joined
one-storeyed two-room mansion. It had preserved its fortress features until the
second half of the 17th century. The second mansion was built in the second half
of the 16th century on the southern part of the medieval fortress. In the 17th
century, the Ostratice area was exposed to continuous disturbances; apart from
the estate’s rebellions there was a constant threat from Turkish armies. The
renaissance residence was secured with ground walls and palisades. The
residential comfort increased in the 18th century and the building could be
rightly called a manor house. In the first half of the 19th century, both
mansions underwent periodical changes, the aim of which was to unite them in
empirical style.
Because of insufficient maintenance and utility
adjustments in the 20th century, the Ostratice area came to be gradually
devastated. The last construction renovation started in 1979. The current
proposal for a monument renovation is aimed at presenting fortification elements
of the medieval and renaissance fortress with a unified empirical façade.

Zuzana Nemcová
Measures and how they were
controlled in towns
Measurement has been associated with humankind
since time unknown and applied to everyday life, whether talking of building
construction, the sale of goods, or estimating time and length of a travelled
journey. The first tools, which man started to use for measuring length, were
individual body parts. Items of everyday use, such as wicker baskets or stone
and clay vessels, were used as volume measurements when exchanging and selling
goods. The oldest known discoveries of measuring tools and instruments come from
Western Asia and Egypt. Thanks to trading relations, the metrological practice
of ancient civilisations was known throughout the Mediterranean area. It
influenced the development of measuring systems in Greece and the Roman Empire.
Its fall meant the end of using unified measurements and weights.
question of unifying measurements and weights in the then Hungarian empire came
to the fore with Sigismund of Luxemburg supporting the economic development of
Hungarian towns. In 1405 he issued decrees that introduced unified measurements
(the so-called Buda measurements) that were binding not only for royal but also
aristocratic towns, municipalities, castles and villages. The legal norm of Opus
Tripartitum, issued in 1517, stated the measure of length to be “royal arpent”.
Another attempt at metrological unification was the decision reached by a
Hungarian meeting in January 1588 that obliged Hungary to use “the old Budin
measurements”. Before 1874, when a unified metrical system was introduced,
municipalities defended their right to use their own measurements, as
metrological control was one of the sources of income. The bylaws often included
financial penalties and when measurement was violated repeatedly they could
apply corporal punishments. Many towns installed scales at town halls and other
public places, or lent town scales and other measurements to tradesmen for a
fee. Samples of municipal measurements and weights, today called etalons
(reference standards), were marked with the municipal coat-of-arms. The
prototypes of sample measurements at public buildings are technical monuments,
which bear witness to the economical life of a municipality and the local
authority’s competences for controlling measurements.

Zuzana Zvarová – Peter Horanský
Beer brewing has had a long tradition in Slovakia.
Documents from early feudal times show evidence that lieges, nobility as well as
clergy brewed beer. Beer making was concentrated in emerging towns. The right to
brew was one of the basic rights of the bourgeois. In independent royal towns,
this right was connected to particular houses. In villages, beer brewing was the
right of the nobility, who were its main users since the 16th century as a
significant source of income. The nobility rented breweries as well as
off-licences; beer was also brewed in many subjective towns.
The town of
Ilava was formed around the castle of the same name, which is first mentioned in
a document from 1318. Initially it belonged to the Trenčín castle domain, but
later became a seat of an independent castle estate that changed from owner to
owner. Mainly it was the family of Ostrožič, who owned Ilava and the castle
estate until 1684, and who significantly developed the town.
One of the few
preserved older buildings in Ilava is the manorial brewery. The first monument
research took place there in 2007, and explained the construction development of
the building. The first mention of beer brewing in Ilava comes from 1598. In
1601 there were allegedly two breweries belonging to the Ostrosic, but only one
was renewed and finished in 1630 – 1635. The year of 1635, when renovation
ended, was the official year of the founding of Ilava brewery. The oldest
building of the manorial brewery from 1630 – 1635 was a ground renaissance
building with a ground plan in the letter “L”, which corresponds to its
contemporary state. From interiors of this construction phase, there remained
the large vaulted rooms in its south-eastern wing. In 1693 Count Siegfried
Christoph Breuner of Stubingen purchased the brewery and from 1698 the brewery
was in the hands of Breuner’s son-in-law, Count Königsegg from German Aulendorf,
who enlarged it. The brewery acquired a new look during a large reconstruction
and partial, one-floor extension after 1740. In the second half of the 18th
century, the brewery was enlarged again. Beer brewing was doing well in Ilava
because its brewery was the largest in the Trenčín region in the 19th century,
with an annual production of 3,000 hectolitres of beer. In the first half of the
20th century banks took hold of the brewery. In 1948 construction of a new
brewery started, which was put in operation in 1950. This coincidence ensured
that the brewery building was preserved in its almost authentic form up today.
After the brewery was privatised in 1992 the production of beer constantly
declined until it fully stopped in 2000.

Dagmar Poláčková
Ľudovít Fulla –
avant-garde in graphic design
The first and second issue of the
Private Letters of Ľudovít Fulla (1902 – 1980) and Mikuláš Galanda (1895 – 1938)
issued on February 28 and later on April 30, 1930 manifested not only the
inclination of both Slovak painters to modern European art trends, with several
works illustrating the proclaimed opinions, but also the congenial graphic
concept. Such a brief attempt to formulate one’s art programme and introduce it
in such a form to the public has long been unique in Slovakia.

Simultaneously, it was an attempt to initiate communication with an audience
and thereby explain the principles of the new art required by the new period. By
that time both artists had not only created many works and held many exhibitions
of respected artistic works, they also spent several years teaching at
Bratislava Arts and Crafts School (1928 – 1939), not unlike the German Bauhaus.
Part of the teaching process was an experiment, which Fulla understood to be a
creative method – a search for a route. He looked for connections between the
west (functionalism, elementarism) and the east (suprematism, constructivism).

Fulla studied in Prague (1922 – 1927) and therefore knew the whole of Czech
and western typographic avant-garde. His inclination to elementarism and
function showed through constants in the following years 1928 – 1934: colour,
plane, light, and architecture of shape and destruction of illusionary space. In
1929 – 1933 he dedicated quite a large space to experiment, mainly in graphic
design and stage setting. Fulla found joy in the typographic experiment, as the
pages of the Slovenská Grafia magazine suggest. He even transported these
typographic montages and illustrations as a composition element to theatre
stage. In many of his stage settings, created for the Slovak National Theatre,
Fulla used identical, though colour transformed graphic images based on
contrasting shiny coloured planes – elementary red, green and blue, which absorb
the expansive colours of grey, black and brown. Asymmetry of obtuse and acute
angles of one-coloured planes on stage settings completes the dynamics of the
whole scene. After 1934 Fulla continued with graphic design, but his retreat
from an avant-garde concept is clear and definite.

Elena Kurincová
The standard of President
Jozef Tiso
Shortly after the origin of the Slovak Republic in
March 1939 state symbols were created, codified and legislatively modified.
Their constitution was part of the construction process of the new state
identity. This was the second dramatic act in the fates of Slovak symbols. The
first one took place after autonomy was declared, when contents and form of the
Slovak coat-of-arms were entrusted to the hands of heraldist Alexander Húščava
and illustrator Břetislav Štorm. After declaring Slovakia’s independence, a
heraldic committee was founded at the interior ministry to deal with state
symbols. At the same time, a concurrent competition was announced for designing
state coat-of-arms, state flag, state seal and presidential standards. Overall,
60 proposals were submitted and they all contained versions of the national
coat-of-arms (triple hills and double cross). The heraldic committee submitted
its proposal on May 23, the Constitutional-Legal Committee discussed it on June
16, and a parliament meeting approved it on June 23, 1939. The
Constitutional-Legal Committee presented only the governmental proposal as the
basis of the negotiations about state symbols, which was accepted by law No 148.
Unfortunately, the explanatory report does not say anything about the author of
the governmental proposal.
The Bratislava City Museum contains the original
standard of President Jozef Tiso, which used to be placed on the presidential
palace. It was used to indicate the permanent or contemporary residence of the
president of the Slovak Republic. Law No 263 specified its design. The standard
featured the state coat-of-arms in the middle of a white square field and
underneath was a slogan in golden colour saying: Faithful ourselves, in
unanimity forwards. In each field corner there was a heraldic red rose shot
through with a golden arrow. On every side between the heraldic roses were three
red double crosses with equally long arms. The whole entity was bound with a
sky-blue ribbon in the form of a cross and lined with golden decoration. The
standard measures 160 x 160 cm. What is interesting is that the realisation
differs from the statutory proposal, where only the brims of roses are red. The
same goes for the double crosses, which are of a golden (yellow) colour with red
brims. Neither colour on the state coat-of-arms’ shield corresponds with the
statutory proposal. It is yellow (golden) and not red. Future research will
probably answer the question about why the heraldic red colour on the shield,
roses and double-arm crosses was not kept when constructing the

Norma Urbanová
The late-baroque church in
The municipality of Žalobín is situated in eastern Slovakia,
on the verge of the Lower Beskydy mountains. The name of the village suggests an
ancient origin of a settlement from before the 13th, or even 11th century.
Between the 14th and 16th centuries, the village belonged to the noble family of
Drugeth; first written evidence comes from 1451. The ownership later changed and
in 1689 it ended up in the hands of Count Barkóczy. This aristocratic family
significantly helped with maintenance and later with construction and
renovations of the local church. Written evidence mentions the Roman Catholic
Church in Žalobín together with vicarage and the property connected to it in the
middle of the 16th century. Originally a wooden church with one bell, it was in
1768 replaced by the Church of St Francis Seraph from stone, with a sacristy
added to the right side of the church, three altars, ambo, and wooden choir and
an organ with six registers. An independently standing wooden belfry with two
bells – a bigger one from 1756 and a smaller one from 1644 – was part of the
masonry church. A cemetery was built on the southern part of the municipality,
outside the church wall in 1790.
Architectural-historical development of the
church could be summarised in three basic development phases: construction of
austere sacral building with wooden belfry (1765 – 1768), demolition of wooden
and construction of a masonry tower in 1873 (fully preserved up today), and
interior modifications in the 19th and 20th centuries (positioning of wooden
benches, removing baroque wooden choir with organ and replacing it with
up-to-date iron-concrete construction). The last phase of the Žalobín church
development, during which most of the interior equipment perished except for the
stone baptistery and aspersorium, did not bring any architectural values that
would need to be protected and preserved. The architectural development of the
church in the examined period ended with the building of the masonry tower and
exchanging framework in 1873. Another development of this architecture would
therefore have had to continue from the second developmental phase with respect
to all its additions.

Robert Hoza
Book of Esther

The scroll of Esther (Megillat Ester), which is read during the
Jewish celebration of Purim, has been preserved in Hebrew as well as Greek
versions. The Hebrew text is shorter and has more secular content (God is not
mentioned). Lysimachos from Jerusalem translated the scroll of Esther into
Greek. The text is mutual for Judaism as well as Christianity. It tells the
story of a Jewish girl Hadassah (Edissa), who begged King Ahasver to save Jewish
people in Persia from extermination. The holiday of Purim reminds Jews of this
rescue of their ancestors. On the eve of Purim and in the morning of Purim the
scroll is publicly read. It must be read directly from the parchment scroll
after reciting the commanded blessing. For public reading in the synagogue the
scroll of Esther is hand written in Hebrew quadratic writing without any
adornment. The scroll written for a private person is often adorned with
illuminations (decorative motifs and scenes from the text). The scroll of Esther
can reach one to three metres. A cover protects it from being destroyed.

From a literary point of view, the scroll of Esther is considered to be a
historical novel with historic background but not contents. The author is
unknown. The language used on the scroll dates to the 3rd or 2nd century BC,
probably somewhere in Mesopotamia.
The Slovak National Museum – Museum of
Jewish Culture in Bratislava preserves five rare parchment fragments from the
scroll of Esther. Experts say they were written in the 18th century. The
fragments that were significantly damaged from the past, due to unsuitable
storage, were reconstructed in Prague. During the restoration process,
individual papers were separated and missing surfaces added and fixed. The
preserved fragments do not form a complete scroll. Based on the type of writing
and ornamentation it can be assumed that the scroll was made in Poland, or the
Ukraine. The restored fragment of the scroll of Esther in 2006 became part of
the rare collection in the SNM – Museum of Jewish Culture.

Vladimír Sklenka
Masonic relics in the
Central Slovakia Museum

The Museum of Central Slovakia in Banská
Bystrica preserves several collection items that remind us of Freemasonic
movement in the town. The oldest collections, which might relate to the first
phase of the Freemasonic movement’s establishment in Banská Bystrica, include
the ceremonial sword and seal ring. Both items entered the museum collections
before 1910. Two freemasonic medals of Felvidék Lodge in the shape of an
equilateral triangle with handle can be also counted among the oldest museum
items. Two medals of Bratislava freemasonic Lodges Sokrates and Freundschaft
complete the collection of freemasonic items.
The collection enlarged in
1963, when other freemasonic items entered the museum: the freemasonic hammer of
the Felvidék Lodge caretaker, a freemasonic painted carpet – tapis (probably
from 1830, which is the date recorded in the Museum’s Book of Entries), a glass
cup with freemasonic symbols, the red wax seal of the oldest Banská Bystrica
freemasonic lodge, iron scissors for cutting wick and a sheet-metal cone of the
first supervisor for candle extinguishing as well as an honorary diploma awarded
to the main master F. Göllner in 1897.
All these items come from the
noteworthy Slovak painter Július Flaché (1892 – 1967). Originally, the charter
of the first German freemasonic lodge in Banská Bystrica from 1765 was also
among them. The collection of these items that Július Flaché donated to the
museum reflects the continuity of the freemasonic movement in Banská Bystrica
since the beginning of the second half of the 18th century until 1963. The
museum managed to enlarge this interesting collection in 2007 with items from
the first Czechoslovak Republic, when not only the Czechoslovak Lodge Vatra but
also the German Lodge Felicitas was in Banská Bystrica. Among those items are
freemasonic honours in the shape of a golden and silver plastering trowel, a
freemasonic apron and the seal of the mentioned lodge as well as the freemasonic
pass of the Common Freemasonic League from 1929. After the Munich agreement, the
autonomous government in Slovakia banned freemasonry and masons discontinued
their work in the lodges. In 1947 they renewed their activity for a short time,
but at the beginning of 1950s their activity ceased for good. Banská Bystrica
played an important role in Slovakia’s freemasonry development from the 18th
century to the first half of the 20th century.