Monuments and museums
Cultural Heritage Review
Avarian burial ground in Bratislava-Podunajské Biskupice
Interview with the head of research Milan Horňák from Via Magna archaeological company
Milan Horňák is a passionate archaeologist and caver. He has been involved in the research of several sites in the Balkans, such as the Roman city of Celeia (today Celje) in Slovenia, a Stone Age settlement in Vinča near Belgrade, Serbia and a tomb from the 5th century BC in the village of Brazda near Skopje, Macedonia. In Slovakia’s Turčianska kotlina, he has researched the ancient hill-forts in the mountains of Malá and Veľká Fatra. His life’s achievement, however, is undoubtedly the discovery of the burial ground of the Avarian Caganate in Bratislava – Podunajské Biskupice. This was uncovered during the archaeological excavations he had supervised since 2016, which were carried out as part of the Bratislava highway bypass construction. Despite the fact that the archaeological team is only at the start of assessing the site’s finds, they can already agree on an intense and stable settlement of the locality in the 8th century AD. Altogether, 485 graves were explored, which help to understand the funeral rituals of the community. Numerous accessories, in particular vessels, working tools and animal bones, were stored in the graves. The most attractive are undoubtedly the jewellery and ornaments found in both women and men’s graves. A unique find is the coin of Charles the Great, King of the Franks, which proves the alliance of the local monarch with the Frankish Empire. Over six thousand documented items were found in the graves. In the prepared interview, Milan Horňák authentically described the archaeological works, his initial expectations and the joy of the discoveries. In the end, he mentioned the use of modern interdisciplinary analyses to further assess the findings as well as their presentation in an exhibition.
Acquisition of glass products from former defunct glass factories in the Novohrad region
The tradition of glassmaking has shaped the history of the Novohrad region for over three decades. Today, however, it is diminishing. The Novohrad Museum and Gallery in Lučenec (NGM) is the country’s only museum institution that researches glassworks of central Slovakia with the emphasis on the Novohrad manufacture. Thanks to the project Acquisition of Glass Products from the Former Novohrad Glassmaker, the museum acquired a unique set of glass from the no-longer existing Slovglass Poltár. This glass was made in Katarínska Huta, Poltár and Zlatno glass factories, and some products were also designed and manufactured in the Málinec glass factory. These glassmakers no longer use the same procedures.
The set of Poltár glass contains hand-made and machine-made products. The typical, hand-made glass includes beverage glass sets (cups and glasses) made of coloured glass.
The collection also comprises of products made in Zlatno – mainly the densely shaped beverage sets manufactured from clear and coloured glass. The Zlatá Zuzana (Golden Suzanne) drinks service represents less common glasswork with etched lines under the edge. A rare group represents the glasses made of leaded glass and decorated with gold and enamel. The glasses with double-spirals in the stem showcase the special skills of the Zlatno glassmakers. The sculpture of Juraj Steinhübel, is a unique glasswork in the shape of a green tower.
The glass produced in the second oldest glassworks, Katarínska Huta, founded in 1842, presents sets of simple beverage glass decorated with a colourful coating and a beautiful etched floral ornament. The cups, glasses and beverage sets are made of the sodium-potassium glass. The few products in the set, which were originally designed and produced in the glassworks of Málinec, include lead crystal glasses. These were used for water and alcohol. The largest part of the acquisition was produced in Poltár. This contains large collections of crystal glass machine-made and unique prototypes. These mainly include richly cut lead beverage glasses. All of these products have a simple geometric decoration and represent the period trends in glass development, mainly designed by Milan Šuľan.
This successful application of a large-scale acquisition grant, supported by public funds as part of the Arts Fund, has helped to save one of the most complete sets of glass produced in Slovakia. By preserving it and introducing it in the form of exhibitions and publications, it will keep the legacy of the Novohrad glassworks alive for future development of Slovak as well as world’s glassmaking.
The Nature of the Turiec Region and Kmetianum expositions in Andrej Kmeť Museum in Martin
The mission and activity of the Andrej Kmeť Museum (MAK) in Martin follows the ideas of the founders of the Slovak Museum Society and the later established Slovak National Museum (SNM). The first exhibition in the museum opened in 1908. It included paleontological, zoological and botanical items, mainly from the collections and inheritances of Andrej Kmeť. In 2017, two of its permanent expositions were completely refurbished and upgraded. The Nature of the Turiec Region exhibition was first opened in 1979, in the then Turčianske Museum of Andrej Kmeť, which was established in 1964. The Kmetianum exhibition, which opened in 1998, was a joint effort of several generations of museum workers to present the history and significant people behind the museum development in Slovakia. The space for the new, modern expositions emerged with the general reconstruction of the SNM’s first building, where MAK is located. The new expositions were arranged with the support of Slovakia’s Culture Ministry. This support was used in three separate stages between 2015 and 2017. The aim of the new exhibition The Nature of the Turiec Region is to offer a comprehensive and detailed view of the geological conditions and historical evolution of the Turiec valley and adjacent foothills. It is also a presentation of the ecological development in the form of individual habitats based on the vegetation altitudes, geological basis, as well as the way and intensity of human impact and water regime. Kmetianum illustrates the history of the Slovak Museum Society and offers a representative selection of the most valuable collections from all scientific disciplines. The selection represents the best of the collection fund and narrates more than a hundred and twenty-year history of SNM and stories of the people who shaped it. The creators of the exhibition artistically designed it to correspond with the latest world trends. The unique exhibits from the museum collections are installed into units that are attractive artistically as is their contents. The expositions are complemented by a number of interactive features such as animal sounds, touch screens with information on individual habitats, a digital map with text and graphic images and interesting facts from the region, plus a microscope and magnifying glasses. New expositions The Nature of the Turiec Region and Kmetianum were ceremoniously opened on April 3, 2017.
Leopold Horovitz. Lost – Found
Interview with the exhibition’s curator Jana Švantnerová
Leopold Horovitz was one of the best-known artists of his time. He was born in Košice, where he also acquired a basic arts education, which he later developed in Vienna. He spent a long time in Paris and Warsaw, later in Budapest and Vienna. The clients of this prominent portraitist were the most important personalities of the political, social and cultural life in these countries. Throughout his creative career, he has retained his distinctively clean and formal academic style of painting. His drawings and sketches reveal a remarkable skill, precision and effortlessness. The exhibition Leopold Horovitz. Lost – Found (16 November 2017 – 22 April 2018), was created in cooperation with the East-Slovak Museum in Košice and Slovak National Gallery in Bratislava. The exhibition presented more than 50 originals, including works from his prestigious private collections from Poland, Austria and Hungary. In addition to Horovitz’s works, the exhibition also featured works of his teachers, peers and followers of Imrich Emanuel Roth, Vojtech Klimkovič, Július Benczúr, Dominik Skutecký, Elemír Halász-Hradil and the painter’s son Armin Horovitz. Another addition were the rare family relics, which are still owned by the artist’s descendants. Curator Jana Švantnerová narrates the story of this exhibition that took place in the East Slovak Museum.
St. Martin’s Cathedral in Spišská Kapitula
The Cathedral of St. Martin in Spišská Kapitula is one of the most significant sacral monuments in Slovakia. It represents the rich history of the Christian Church Administration, as well as the construction and artistic style of the Spiš region. In broader contexts, its significance extends beyond the region and the country. From 1778 to the present day, it appeared in several publications (Wagner, Pirhalla, Hradszky, Chalupecký, Puškár and Puškárová). However, this descriptive, guided and artistic-historical writing did not do justice to the actual visual form. The new publication, compiled by the experienced monument research historian Magdaléna Janovská and historian and archivist Vladimir Olejník, is based on an unusually thorough research that took place for several years. Peter Glos, Peter Harčar, Mária Novotná, Ľubor Suchý and Marián Uličný also contributed to the publication. The results of the architectural, artistic and archaeological research provided a clear interpretation of the original Romanesque Priory Temple in its entirety – in its spatial form as well as the unique Romanesque morphology. All in the context of the Central European Roman style, including the specific historical and family background of the royal family (Istria, Regensburg and mainly Bamberg). These and other facts also confirmed a new date of the construction, just after 1200. These findings were awarded the annual prize of the Monuments and Museums magazine in 2007, in the Discovery category. The research also became the basis of interpreting the following construction phases and reconstructions of the temple – Gothic, late-Gothic, Renaissance and modern. A large, quality catalogue with the new revelations was compiled after the synthetic studies of the results of the archaeological researches, and the construction, historical and artistic development of the temple. In addition to the well-known altars, tombstones, mortuaries and benches, it lists all of the items from the archaeological finds, architectural features and artistic and craftsman works in the temple. These include door wings, windows, furniture, flooring, bells and other purposeful elements, also from the often underestimated, neo-style periods of the last two centuries. By analysing their artistic, historical and structural values and researching their historical sources, their presentation widens the knowledge on the monumental protection of other cultural heritage sites. The monograph on St. Martin the Bishop’s Cathedral in Spišská Kapitula is not the usual commercial publication with pictures and repetition of the known facts. It is a discovery work that will inspire the next generations of experts, as well as laymen.
Maintenance of historic buildings
The aim of the Maintenance of Historic Buildings publication is to introduce the Pro Monumenta project, and at the same time offer practical tips on the right care of monuments for their owners, administrators and users. The manual covers a wider aspect of construction physics, building construction and other areas. The idea of preventive maintenance, which suggests that proactive intervention to the monument is safer and in the end more economical, was primarily advocated by the Dutch organization Monumentenwacht, founded in 1973. It devised a system of inspectors working in pairs, suggesting quick interventions that extended the life of the buildings. All documented in a report with photographs and general analysis of the monument for the owner. This model has become a standard for several countries, including Slovakia. The Pro Monumenta (Prevention with Maintenance) is a predefined project supported by the EEA and Norway Grants for the years of 2009 to 2014. Run by the Monuments Board of the Slovak Republic, the project was supported from January 1, 2014 to April 30, 2017. The mandatory sustainability period was set for five years with the allocated total fund of €1,152,056. Three specialized working teams were to monitor a minimum of 210 immovable cultural monuments and at least 400 within the project’s sustainability period. The teams are geographically divided into independent groups, which work at the Regional Monuments Boards of Trnava, Banská Bystrica – Banská Štiavnica and Prešov – Poprad – Spišská Sobota. They use the so-called “mobile workshops” – vehicles specially adapted to a fully-equipped workshop with ladders, tables, tools and thermal cameras. During the construction repairs, the emphasis is placed on using traditional craftsmanship. The workers are required to be physically fit, work at height and skilled in the construction trade. They should also have knowledge on construction techniques, materials and technologies. Almost all monitored monuments show a high number of failures due to a number of circumstances – frequent societal changes, lack of funding, tolerances of construction fiascos and possibly wrong decision making. The teams work on gathering and studying materials about the specific cultural monument, its examination, cleaning of roof drains and demonstrations of minor repairs to the owners. The published manual summarises the practical experience and advice of the Pro Monumenta staff, who often encountered various technical failures and their common but inappropriate repairs.
Church tower of St. John the Apostle and Evangelist in Banská Belá
The Roman Catholic Church of St. John the Apostle and Evangelist stands on a hill above the village of Banská Belá near Banská Štiavnica. It is the village’s most dominant and oldest building. It was built in the mid 13th century in Late Roman style and has undergone several construction changes during its rich history. The stone masonry tower is roofed with two separate trusses. The archives of the local parish office do not hold the record on when the tower was built. The year of construction was confirmed by the 1761 document found in the tower’s dome. Since that year, the tower’s been deteriorating not only due to age, but also through fire damage in 1896. The largest damage, however, came in the 20th century during the two world wars. In recent years, we have identified serious structural damage and static disruptions in the tower’s truss constructions. Bird droppings, biotic damage to the truss with the subsequent weakening of the structure by wood-destroying insects, unprofessional repairs, as well as holes after gunshots in the roof, through which water leaked in for 70 years. The tower deformation – the tilting of its top onion dome, was visible to the naked eye. The reconstruction of the tower was divided into two stages. The first stage (started in 2016) was to prepare it for the repairs. They dismantled the roof covering and disassembled the tower itself, only leaving the bottom grate of the columnar structure. These had to be fixed, specifically in the places under the lantern. The second stage (started in 2017) saw the completion of the lantern. They also created an authentic copy of the tower’s original onion dome. The new cross installed on its top is decorated with copper volutes and flowers. The tower dismantling revealed the old supporting structure almost completely rotten. The tower crown was therefore bricked up. The desolate state was also detected at the truss above the walkway. The new one is made of spruce wood. Almost 60 % of the original structure was preserved, up to the lantern. A new structure from oak wood had to be built above the lantern. Spruce wood was used for the stiffening structures. The total height of the new tower to the top of the cross is 38.5 metres.
Barbara Davidson – Jana Luková
Baroque painting of Our Lady Queen of Angels
The Gallery of the City of Bratislava (GMB) was established as an independent institution in 1961. Its collections were based on artworks from the Bratislava City Museum (MMB), including a painting originally called Mary, the Guardian of the Fallen and Dead. This used to be part of the museum’s church art collection, which was located in Bratislava’s Church of the Order of St. Clare since 1944. The restoration process of the painting aimed at finding its original provenance and location, as well as analysing the iconography as part of the artistic and historical research. In the second half of the 18th century, the St. Clare’s Church underwent a larger interior change. Unfortunately, the literature focuses more on the building’s architecture, mainly its medieval phase, than the baroque period. The artistic and historical research, which looked for a more precise dating of the painting and its author, was therefore quite laborious. The portrayed figures show a strong inspiration by Italian trends, but the artist was cautiously referred to as an 18th century Central European painter. In the question of iconography, the members of the restoration team agreed with the previous research that revealed that despite the original title of the painting, the theme depicts Our Lady Queen of Angels, or Guardian. This took into consideration the multiple iconographic layers of the artwork and interconnection of several themes (e.g. Our Lady Victorious, or archangels).
The work’s restoration took place in the gallery’s depositary in Devínska Nová Ves. Due to the size of the artwork, they chose the system of gradual winding of the work from roll to roll. Once stabilized, the work could be safely handled and ironed onto the new canvas (lining).
The first stage of restoration mechanically removed all non-original layers of paint from the works’ reverse side. The second stage cleansed the thick layer of pigeon excrement, which mainly covered the lower part of the painting. This revealed that the artwork was stitched using eight vertical stripes of canvas, with the seams visible on the front as well as the rear side. The work was insensitively folded in the past. Winding it onto a very small cylinder also caused a great part of damage. The surface of the painting got deformed and water caused further damage. Despite these mechanical damages, the painting was well preserved. The UV light and sample analysis, however, revealed that the work was largely re-painted. The third stage prepared a suitable stretcher (frame) and carried out another optical research on the preservation of the original. The fourth stage removed the inappropriate secondary interventions on the painting and applied new binding. The last three years saw the work being cleared from the oil re-paints and re-touched using watercolour and gouache techniques. The surface was finished with a dammar varnish, with the addition of beeswax. Due to its large dimensions, 500 x 565 cm, the rolled up painting was transferred to the chapel and then fixed onto the stretcher at the place of its current location.
Significant forestry sites in Slovakia
An initiative to preserve, enhance and promote the work of foresters as well as build significant forestry sites in Slovakia was launched at the state enterprise LESY Slovenskej republiky (FORESTS of the Slovak republic) in 2007. A Significant Forestry Site (VLM), is a place of a natural or cultural character with at least one structure of particular forest importance that documents the history of the forest, forestry management and forestry work in Slovakia. The site is listed on the VLM’s Official Register, which is managed by the Forest and Wood Museum in Zvolen, an organizational part of the LESY SR state enterprise. Forty-nine significant forestry sites were declared between 2007 and 2018. Architectural buildings include the Topolčianky hunting lodge (declared in 2007 as the first VLM’s architectural building), neo-classicist hunting lodge in Palárikovo with a park, manor house in Svätý Anton and medieval Vígľaš Castle that was surrounded with a prosperous forest in the second half of the 19th century. The General Headquarters of LESY SR enterprise, which was built in the place of the old Kammerhof in Banská Bystrica in 1916, is an example of the buildings that were set up to manage forestry. Another significant site is the Petržalka keeper’s lodges (hájovne), whose inhabitants cared for the surrounding flood-plain forests owned by the Pálffy family. The Forest Administration building in Sihla symbolizes the link between forestry and glass production. The forest management has been housed there for more than a century, after glass manufacture stopped. The forestry schools are represented in Banská Štiavnica, Košice and Zvolen. Among the memorials of VLM, we can find the monument to Jozef Decrett – Matejovie, built into the Staré Hory rocks, or a few memorials to William Rowland in Orava region. The memorial in Kulichová valley, with the names of sixteen forest workers who died under the snow avalanche in 1956, warns about the power of nature. The virgin forests of Dobroč, Badín and Stužica document the activities rescuing fauna and flora. The forestry management is represented with the horse-breeding farm at Veľká lúka (in the plateau-like region of Muránska planina), where they have raised horses for forestry work since 1950. The rescue actions, which preserve forests in places that have been devastated for a long time, include Podlavické výmole, Štútovská skala and Hrhovské pôdy. Amongst the numerous technical forestry monuments are water reservoirs that for several centuries helped with moving wood from the mountains, such as Hrončok Tajchy in Pohronie (Hron region), Borsučie in Orava region, Ružomberok -Korytnica in Liptov region and Klauzy in Slovenský raj (Slovak Paradise National Park). These artificial water reservoirs were replaced in the first half of the 20th century by the golden age of the forest railway built in Orava, Kysuce, Horehronie (Upper Hron) and Liptov regions. Another VLM’s example is the historically valuable mining water supply in Špania dolina, which helped with copper mining. The long-term project of building the network of Significant Forestry Sites in Slovakia continues to draw on a large number of natural sites and rich heritage of forest artefacts. This year, it entered the second decade of its implementation.
Flooded, but not forgotten
The 50-minute anthropological film Zatopené (Flooded), by director Soňa G. Lutherová, documents the fate of one building and its people. The mansion in Parížovce was a family home and the centre of the surrounding farm, and at the end, a historical monument. Some parts of the building remained preserved across the centuries. Others got flooded by the waters of the adjacent Liptovská Mara water reservoir. For the descendants of its last owners, the Stein family, the mansion is a memory from the lost past. For the museums, it is a jewel – the phoenix that rose from the muddy water, the pride of the Liptov region. The film narrates the unique story of the Parížovce manor house and its latest owners. It is also a reflection on the social changes that took place in Slovakia in the 20th century. The second half of the 1960’s and the beginning of the 1970’s saw increased activities in water management. Its concept was to steer the river flow to avoid flooding and to protect the land for farming and cultural use. The water management engineers identified the most vulnerable areas and scheduled the construction of water works. They continued with the older idea, based on the Orava Dam project. They identified the need of several water works on the Váh river route, one of which was the Liptovská Mara reservoir. The implementation required the demolition of 28 villages and relocation of their inhabitants as well some cultural monuments. Throughout the film’s intimate story, the country’s past becomes clearer and more personal, and therefore “human”. At the same time, it reveals the identity question of today’s young people in relation to their ancestors and heritage they left behind. The film follows the visual, anthropological tradition of a documentary. Therefore, the filmmakers’ focus is concentrated on the people and their everyday survival. The aesthetically suggestive character of the film is combined with modern visual effects. The film also uses a rich archive material of photographs, film recordings, period drawings, archaeological sketches and entries from an authentic historical journal. Emotional music accompanies the film’s narrative.
Matej Ruttkay – Jaroslava Ruttkayová
Nitra – cradle of our history
The city of Nitra sits on a sharp bend of the river with the same name, at the intersection of the Danube plain and the western hills of the Tríbeč mountain range. The unique combination of the geographic and climatic conditions of this place has created an ideal environment for human life. Man’s presence is documented by countless archaeological finds and in the case of the Middle Ages, some rare historical sources. Nitra was one of the most densely inhabited areas in the prehistoric ages and Middle Ages. Many institutions, including Nitra Bishopric, SAV’s Archaeological Institute, the City of Nitra and Slovakia’s Monuments Board, have been working intensively on protecting and presenting the city’s cultural heritage. The significant position of Nitra in the past has been reflected in the large number of national cultural monuments, monument reservations and zones. The castle was declared a national cultural monument in 1961, the Upper Town became the city’s monument reservation in 1981 and the Lower Town was listed as a monument zone with a designated protection boundary in 1992. In addition, a large number of individual monuments got protected. Among these are the relics of St. Martin’s Church on Martinský vrch (hill), hillforts of Zobor castle, Martinský vrch and Lupka, and many churches of medieval origin, such as the Church of St. Michael the Archangel, Kamaldul Monastery with St. Joseph Church in Dražovce, and Churches of St. Stephen the King and St. Ladislaus.
Nitra’s bygone Franciscan Monastery of Virgin Mary
Nitra is our oldest and most important city of the early Middle Ages. It was granted the privileges of the royal city in 1248. It is the only city in Slovakia with reliable written records preserved since the 9th century. However, we still know little about the city’s local topography, which is full of ambiguities and inaccuracies from the past. This is particularly the case with the city’s church topography, which has several inaccuracies and misconceptions on the localization and patronages of the sacral buildings in the Lower Town. One of them is the location of the Franciscan Monastery of the Virgin Mary, which ceased to exist in the last third of the 16th century. The monastery’s position has, up to this date varied within the Nitra’s Lower Town area. This inaccuracy is the result of poor historical research of the city’s history. Many topographic maps of medieval Nitra, including modern ones, disagree on the monastery’s placement. Also unclear is the monastery’s relation to its twin building – another medieval Nitra church with the same patroness of the Virgin Mary on Calvary Hill. The writing evidence on both sacral buildings have often been mixed up. The article reveals the news that the historical and topographical research confirmed the exact location of the oldest Franciscan monastery in Nitra. The Franciscan Monastery of the Virgin Mary finally has now a clear place in the topography of the privileged suburbs. Its position in front of the walls meant it was a frequent target for attacks and the monks left it before 1558. Due to military strategic reasons, it was destroyed sometime between 1578 and 1592.
Richard E. Pročka
NITRA IN THE NEW CZECHOSLOVAK REPUBLIC
Notes on urban and architectural development
Nitra’s integration into the new Czechoslovak Republic was not smooth. The representatives of higher social ranks, especially those of Hungarian nationality who held decisive political and administrative functions, felt loyal to the Austro-Hungarian monarchy. Even after the new Czechoslovak county administrators were announced and the so-called Municipal Administrative Committee with the mayor was formed, the political and civic situation in Nitra only slowly adapted to the new establishment. Czech and Slovak administrators filled the positions in the county and municipal offices, while Czech directors, professors and teachers took posts in state schools. The education systematically transformed from Hungarian to Czechoslovak, however, the population’s national sentiment did not change. In addition to the personal replacements, an overall transformation was taking place in the urban areas, in the people’s living space. The construction of residential and representative public buildings offered an opportunity to indirectly support the emerging Czechoslovak identity. The war has left the city in a desolate economic and social situation. In addition to food shortages, high prices and large unemployment, one of the key issues was a serious housing crisis. When Karol Cobori (1865-1954) from Skalica was elected the city’s mayor on March 11, 1919, the City Administrative Committee began work on bringing Nitra out of the economically difficult post-war situation and helping it to become a growing and prosperous modern city of the new Czechoslovak Republic. The first decade of the city’s existence in the new republic saw a significant construction boom in the urban and architectural development. Simultaneously with the state investments into the public buildings and apartment houses for the administration and army members, the municipal office built two apartment houses. The construction concentrated in one place and took a character of a new modern district. As in other Czech and Slovak towns, the municipal and state projects in Nitra also followed the so-called rondocubism, which can be regarded as Pavol Janák’s attempt at a new national style favoured by the state. Similarly in Nitra, this style was believed to demonstrate the city’s affiliation to the new republic.
Less known treasures of Nitra and Žitava regions
In our work, we encounter artefacts that with their nature, shape, aesthetic value and other characteristics, stand out from others. Sometimes, they unexpectedly appear among common items during a research. Occasionally, mainly in older collections, we stumble upon items that have been forgotten in the museum depositories and despite their exceptional value they remain unknown to the public. This article presents several less known or unpublished tangible archaeological items, which are deposited in the collections of the Nitra Museum, Municipal Museum in Zlaté Moravce and other institutions in the Nitra and Žitava regions. A well-preserved stone tool with a blade from the late Palaeolithic period and a similar tool with a blade from the Gravettian culture that were found in the same site in Nitra are the highlights of the Nitra Museum. Among the many ceramics that come from the archaeological research in Horné Sľažany from the 1980s, are two vessels, which record the region’s settlement more than 7,000 years ago, in the Neolithic era. Fourteen copper forms for metal casting in Zlaté Moravce Municipal Museum document the metallurgy in the Upper Žitava region. Two stone axes from Sľažany and Nevidzany, displayed at the permanent expositions of the Nitra and Zlaté Moravce museums, are rare items of the late Stone Age (Eneolite, 4,000-3,000 BC). A small part of a settlement and a large burial site from the early Bronze Age (2,000 BC) was discovered between the villages of Pata and Šoporňa. Rare bronze and gold jewellery, ornaments and parts of clothing, tools, weapons and ceramic vessels from those graves and houses are hidden in the collections of the Nitra Museum. The museum also presented findings of the rich graves from Pata. The remarkable, however, less known archaeological items of the Zlaté Moravce museum are undoubtedly two fragments of bronze foot rings, two iron swords, two iron spears and two pieces of plaited Celtic belt of the La Tène culture from the late Iron Age, represented by the Celts.
The Archaeological Institute of SAS in Nitra holds a unique collection of bronze and glass containers from the village of Dvory nad Žitavou (district Nové Zámky), which were imported from the Roman Empire. The 9th century iron sword that comes from Ladice, is one of the most precious exhibits in the Zlaté Moravce museum. The exceptional artefacts described in the article are only a few examples of the almost forgotten treasures hidden in the collections of cultural and scientific institutions.
Period-style architecture and traditional building in Slovakia
The change in the construction material at the end of the 18th century resulted in the application of period-style features on traditional buildings in the territory of present-day Slovakia. The flammable and less durable wood was no longer used. Instead, they started to build brick houses in villages, with architectural and decorative elements inspired by professional architecture. New buildings appeared in the Slovak countryside with historical construction styles, especially applied to the facades. The individual styles were mostly regionally confined. Examples show late Gothic influences on the houses of the immigrant Hutterite community, which were built from the 16th century in some western Slovak settlements. These are the oldest relics of traditional architecture in Slovakia. Renaissance inspiration was mainly applied to portal entrances of houses and large arcade lodges mainly situated in the south-western part of Slovakia. The Baroque style was least evident, only occurring in western Slovakia. The Classicist style was most dominant in the traditional brick-building, in the form of pillars in the courtyard or the front of the houses, which were built in the south of Slovakia. At the end of the 19th century, historical elements from the neo-styles and Eclecticism began to appear in traditional houses. While other styles influenced the rural construction locally, the Art Nouveau style was used throughout the country. It was not only applied as decoration on the houses’ exterior, but also radically changed the interior layout. This brought along a reform in housing. The new construction trend sweeping through Slovakia at the start of the 20th century was a breakthrough in the country’s modern history of traditional house development.