Prejsť na obsah

Revue Pamiatky a múzeá – Summary 4/2005

Second Downfall of Great Moravian Hill-Forts
The first third of the thirties in the 9th century
represented a significant break through in the life of the Slavs living north of
the Danube and those in the borderland with Moravia. Sometime between 830 – 833
a state was formed which was later called Moravia Magna or the Great Moravian
Empire in literature dealing with history. According to our current knowledge
fortified centres began to be built as early as the pre-Great Moravian period.
The region of present day Bratislava with its broader environs was one of the
key strategic areas of the Great Moravian Empire. Safe crossing of the rivers
Morava and Danube was facilitated by the fords below the present day Bratislava
castle, in present day Devínska Nová Ves and at the Devín Lake. Slavonic
strategists realized the significance of the communications crossing Bratislava.
That is why significant Great Moravian fortresses were built on the ruins of the
older fortifications both above the confluence of the Morava and the Danube and
above the Danubian ford. Two most important hill-forts complemented the minor
fortifications which were to check and protect important communication routes.
The Great Moravian fortification in the centre of Devínska Nová Ves on not very
steep rocky promontory above the place where the brook Mláka (Stupava brook)
flowed into the Morava must have had its predecessor already in the Roman
period. The other two hill-forts were built on the slope of Devínska Kobyla. The
flourishing of the first hill-fort on a well visible hill called Na pieskoch,
Pieskovec or Sandberg is defined to have existed in the 9th century, on the
basis of the finds of ceramic crocks. After the ground work at the beginning of
the sixties in the 20th century we know that only a part of the southern moat
has been preserved. A bit lower situated site of castle Nad lomom or Na skale
directly checked the crossing at the Morava as well as below the saddle of
Piesočník in the direction towards Devín. In archaeological research remains of
two dwellings have been discovered, of which one can be defined as coming from
the 9th and the other from the second half of the 10th century. Though the
hill-fort is still well visible in the terrain, at preset whole parts of it
cease to exist owing to not organised family house construction.
The fact
that the fortifications from the Great Moravian period gradually cease to exist
is tragic indeed, as archaeologists are often reproached and blamed for the lack
of representative finds coming from the 9th cenutry in Slovakia, which could be
comparable, both owing to their number and standard with those in the
neighbouring Moravia. However, to achieve that, it is really
necessary to
protect efficiently significant and potentially interesting localities which
could be explored.

Hoard of Coins from Svätý
The collections of the Slovak
National Museum-Museum of Archaeology were enriched by a hoard consisting of 845
coins discovered during the exploration carried out at the turn of 2004 – 2005
at Svätý Jur. The coins were found in the ossuary near St.George’s Church. Most
numerous were the local, i.e. coins struck in Hungary, among which the denarii
of Ferdinand II from the Kremnica mint struck in 1626 prevailed. They are not
marked by long use, and it seems clear that they were hidden soon after having
been introduced on market. The Prague groschen of Vladislas II (1471 – 1516) and
Ferdinand I (1526 – 1564) represent the coins struck in Bohemia, which occur
rather rarely in our finds as well as the thalers from the days of Ferdinand II,
struck in the mints in Prague, České Budějovice, or Kutná Hora. In the find
there were represented also coins from little known
regional units as for
example from the bishopric of Chur, the town Konstanz or from the region of East
Frisland. The coins struck in Strasbourg or thalers from the Spanish Netherlands
or Spain itself were also very rare. Of extreme significance are the coins
struck by the Salzburg archbishopric, which represent almost all years when the
coins were struck by the Salzburg archbishops starting with Leopold Keutschach
(1495 – 1519) till Marcus Sittico (1612 – 1619). Relatively rare coins have been
found also among those coming from Poland, Silesia, e.g. the state coins of
Ferdinand I or 24 kreutzers of Ferdinand II. We were not suprised by many coins
from Austrian regions as it is known that our countries were interconnected as
early as the Middle Ages. Also a little sealer was part of the find. There was a
pretzel on the sealer having starlets on both sides and the letters S
Finds of similar composition got in our territory, as in the case of the
hoard of coins from Svätý Jur, predominantly during the thirty year war. The
hoard was hidden probably in 1626 and the collection can be connected first with
Gabriel Bethlen’s rebellion. Part of the Netherlandish-Danish armies conducted
by General Peter Ernst von Mansfeld was to join Bethlen in Hungary.
commander of the Habsburg armies Albrecht of Wallenstein with majority of his
armies was in the territory of present day Slovakia from September till December
1626. At the end of his military expedition from November 18th till December
12th 1626 his headquarters were temporarily situated in nearby Modra. As the
soldiers had to visit also Svätý Jur frequently, because of provisions, they may
have left there money for purchase at the local producer (as also a sealer has
been found there, he might have been the local baker). Nevertheless the
circumstances of hiding a leather bag with a great sum of money can be viewed
also from another point of view. The man who hid it, at the beginning reckoned
that no one would look for it among bones of the dead.
The fact, that the
great sum of money remained there testifies that the year 1626 was really rather

Credible Places
Legal proceedings and relations were regulated orally in the oldest
phase of social development. In the more developed phase of social development
written statements of relations began to be used. In the Kingdom of Hungary more
regular use of written form in legal property transfers in the profane sphere
began to be implemented as late as the last quarter of the 12th century and
became practised in all cases in the course of the 13th century. This initiated
the foundation of credible places (loca credibilia) which substituted the
function of notaries general till the third quarter of the 19th century.
Credible places in Hungarian Kingdom were a unique, specific institution, having
no parallel in Europe. As early as the turn of the 12th and the 13th century
there developed the notion of the so called authentic seal in the Hugarian local
legal system. Besides the royal seal also the seals of significant church
institutions were considered authentic. That is why the chapters and convents
were entrusted with the administration of credible places. Though the credible
places actually and in practice were active at church institutions and under
their name they issued their deeds, their functioning belonged to the sphere of
local Hungarian profane legislation. The origination of the credible places in
the Kingdom of Hungary can be connected with the decline of the so-called
„pristaldium“. Till the first third of the 13th century there was a common
custom according to which specially authorised persons, called pristaldi (in
Latin pristaldus) were to witness the legal property transfers. The name
pristaldus originated probably from the Croatian word „pristav“, labelling the
participant, the person who was present at the transfer. If there arose a feud
concerning a property, it was necessary for the same „pristald“ to testify
credibly to the legality of the concerned legal property transfer. The activity
of the credible places was carried out in three parts from the 13th century:
they recorded in written form legal proceedings requested by the (private)
clients or authorities, on the basis of the authorities requests they testified
or carried out the official proceedings and informed about them in written
records, took care of the deeds or of their written copies entrusted to them by
private clients or authorities, and when requested they made or issued their
verified copies. From the aspect of the science of deeds (diplomacy) we know
three kinds of deeds of credible places since the 13th century. Those are the
privileges, sealed by appended seals, legal property transfer was usually their
subject matter; opened deeds – patents with the seal pressed on their rear side;
closed deeds or documents with shutting seals, mostly represented by reports.
Regional functioning of the individual credible places was gradually stabilized
so that the credible places at individual chapters were allowed to carry out
their notarial activities in their church territories (diocese or archdiaconate)
and in the comitats neighbouring with them, monastery conventual credible places
in the comitats where they resided and in the neighbouring comitats. Everybody
had a chance to appeal to several credible places. The oldest documents on the
activities of credible places come from Nitra (1229), Bratislava (1236), Spiš
(1245), Jasov (1247), Turiec (1251), Šahy (1255), Hronský Svätý Beňadik (1302),
Zobor (1333). The activities of the credible places was definitely cancelled by
the Act 35 on Royal Public Notaries in 1874 in the Kingdom of

Summer Residences of Trnava
The village Suchá pod Parnou
is situated approximately six kilometres north west of Trnava, on the road
connecting the vintners‘ villages on the foothills of the Small Carpathians.
Right in front of the village north of the road to Trnava there are long hills
forming valleys called Ružová and Vlčia dolina. The Trnava burghers owned
vineyards in the cadaster of Suchá nad Parnou as early as the 14th century. The
burghers of Trnava used to build just vintner huts in their vineyards. We can
suppose that some of the still standing huts were built as early as the 18th
century, when these were processing rooms. Those huts began to be rebuilt into
summer residences as well as the new ones were built sometime after the mid 19th
century. In the course of the second half of the 20th century almost all
buildings changed their owners and functions as well. They either ceased to
exist or their new owners after the loss of their original purpose, had them
radically rebuilt. They became common dwelling village agricultural houses and
at the end of the century again weekend cottages. At present only a few
buildings representing their original function have been preserved.

Sztáray Chapel in
German architect William (Friedrich
Wilhelm, or Frigyes Vilmos) Fröde was active as the municipal architect in
Vienna in the years 1869 – 1880 and then mostly in the eastern part of Slovakia.
At the same time in 1880 – 1896 he conducted the reconstruction of the Košice
cathedral and the parish church of St.Egidius in Bardejov and in 1894 also the
parish church in Sabinov. Less known is his participation in construction or
reconstruction of minor buildings as the family tomb of the Sztáray family in
Michalovce. In expert literature its shape is considered to be a free replica of
the Gothic Chapel of St. Michael in Košice, whose first renovation (completed in
1885) was carried out by Fröde. Count Anton Sztáray (1839-1893) member of one of
the most influential aristocratic families in Zemplín, had the chapel built. His
significat position at the bishop’s office in Košice enabled him to get in touch
with architects – restorers, who participated in the renovation of both the
cathedral and St.Michael’s Chapel.

Historical Building of the Theatre in

The old theatre in Prešov, built by
architect Mical Repaszký in 1879 -1881, has been preserved as one of the eight
theatre buildings in Slovakia. If we explore those theatres from the aspect of
typology we can say that apart from a certain deviation in the case of the
aristocratic theatre of the Erdödys in Hlohovec of 1802, all other theatres in
Bratislava, Trnava, Martin, Košice, Prešov, Levoča, Spišská Nová Ves represent
the so called vision slit architectural type. In this type of theatre horse-shoe
shaped scene in slight modifications with rows of armchairs in the parterre with
boxes and balconies situated along the parterre’s periphery were employed. Often
we can find several strata of balconies and boxes. The theatrical portal is a
significant architectural element of this type of theatre. It separates the
stage from the auditorium and determines the point of view, the vision slit for
the audience. The view of the stage is a bit distorted from the boxes in close
proximity to the portal and upper balconies which is the handicap of this kind
of theatre.
The development of theatrical buildings in the 19th cenury added
this architectural type classical forms, which on the one hand materialized the
claims of the basic dramatic genres, but at the same time their architectural
artistic apparatus reflected the artistic trends of the period. The builder of
the Prešov theatre took over the basic principle of vision slit theatre and
reduced it to the needs of a provincial, travelling theatre.

Musical Motifs in the 17th Century Spiš
Representative materialization of the instrument and the
richness of its decoration reflected the prominent position organ occupied in
the hierarchy of sacred mobiliary. In the course of the 17th century carved
decoration began to prevail in the decoration of organs. In the same way as in
the case of altars, the masters used mainly architectural elements. Ornamental
decoration was often coupled with figural in which musical motifs also occupied
their position. Figures of playing angels represent the most frequently used
motif of decoration we can see in organ chests and organs themselves. The
angelic music, however, was not of decorative function only, but carried also
symbolic meanings which, on the basis of their tradition, came from the first
centuries of Christianity. In many organs the figures of angels blowing their
trumpets derive their origin from the presentation of the scene of the Doomsday
and the Apocalyptic visions (particularly St.John’s Apocalypse), nevertheless
their symbolic meaning slightly shifted from the context of anouncing and
carrying out God’s justice in relation to sinful people to that of spreading
God’s voice from heaven to the Earth. This meaning corresponded also with their
position usually in the highest parts of the organ. The angels blowing their
trumpets as the mediators of God’s words thus became a part of the symbolism of
heavenly liturgy. Musical motifs in figural decoration of Baroque organs are not
represented by playing angels only but represent also the figures of Biblical
musicians. King David occupies the most significant position among them. David
appears in the Spiš Baroque organs and also in other places in Slovakia and
Europe with a harp which was his unchangeable attribute at that time, but does
not correspond with historic reality. The instrument David played his music and
carried away his audience, must have been a lyre. The first Greek and Latin
translations of the Bible contributed to the mixing of instruments. Putting the
statue of David outside the central vertical organ axis in symmetrical
construction of those instruments claimed to put a figural pendant to it. In
Catholic environment it was mainly St.Cecily, considered the patron of
musicians. In the Evangelical community, refusing the cult of saints
worshipping, the Old Testament figures were preferred. Particularly the works in
north eastern Slovakia, Spiš and Šariš excel in richness of carved ornamental
and figural decoration.

Unknown Coats-of-arms in Bratislava
The preparation of a new list of monuments
in Slovakia is accompanied by a revision of the register of natural cultural
monuments in famous sacred buildings in Bratislava. During the picture
documentation of the main altars family coats-of-arms so far inaccessible and
difficult to document have been found in the early Baroque St.Mary Magdalen’s
Church in Rusovce and in St.Nicolaus‘ Church in Bratislava of 1661. The
mentioned coats-of-arms have been neither described nor identified up till now.
One of the three coats-of-arms on the cartouche in the main altar, which has not
been till now mentioned as a family one during the description of artistic
decoration perhaps because anchor in church symbolism is the attribute of hope
and firm faith, is the most valuable part of the first church’s decoration. I
identified it as the coat-of-arms of the aristocratic family of the Stubenbergs:
there is a silver (white) anchor upside down on the black escutcheon, with a
gold rope pulled through the circle. The Stubenbergs were an aristocratic family
coming from Styria. From 1655 they had already lived and owned properties also
in Hungary (locality of Székelyhíd, south-east of Debreczen in the comitat of
Bihar). The patrons of the construction of the church, members of the Zichy
family married the women from the Stubenberg family several times. I suppose
that the donor should be searched for most probably among the direct descendants
of the married couple of the church builders. Paul Pálffy’s widow (1589-1655)
countess Frances, born Khuen (†1672) had St.Nicolaus‘ church built in the
Bratislava settlement below the castle. Paul Pálffy was a prominent aristocrat
whose career culminated in his service for the Habsburgs. He achieved the
highest posts in the country administration. Stone coats-of-arms of the married
couple of the Pálffys (Pálffy and Khuen) together with the sculpture of
St.Nicolaus, the church’s patron co-create the artistic decoration of the
entrance portal. I identified the coats-of-arms on the cartouche on the main
altar as those of Johann Anton Pálffy (1642-1694, Bratislava), the oldest son of
the builder and his first wife Agnes (another date: Anne Maria Nádasdy de Nádasd
+1683). The alliance coats-of-arns of the Pálffy couple might have been situated
there in the years 1668 (wedding) till 1683 (the wife’s death) perhaps after the
death of Paul Pálffy’s widow Frances, born Khuen (†1672), at the latest in 1685,
when Johann Anton married for the second time. The identification of the
coats-of-arms in St.Nicolaus‘ church not only defined the donors of the altar
but relatively exactly defined also the time of their origination –
approximately in the span of fifteen, perhaps only eleven years.

Spanish Art in Slovak
In summer 2005 most works of art
ascribed to Spanish artists in Slovak collections were concentrated at the
exhibition at Bojnice Castle. The largest collection is undoubtedly represented
by the paintings, sculptures and ceramics from the castle of Červený Kameň. From
that collection the most famous works are: the portrait of Philip II., the
workshop variant of Filip III’s portrait from the royal palace in Madrid, whose
author is one of the painters from the workshop of the court painter Juan
Pantoja de la Cruz from the period about the year 1603. However, the pictures
from the collection of the Slovak National Gallery represent the most
significant examples of the 17th century Spanish painting. Undoubtedly, we can
classify as as an example of the Madrid painting from the period about 1640 „The
Allegory of the Month of May“ (Still life with fruit, vegetables and flowers) by
Antonio Barrero. The other two pictures, by coincidence inspired by Murillo come
from J.V.Novák’s collection from Prague, who bought them in 1904 in Madrid. They
are Madonna embracing the Infant, a relatively exact copy of Murillo’s picture
famous as Madonna della Sedia. The other work is „The Rest during the Escape to
Egypt“. The Museum in Bojnice owns three interesting pictures. We suppose that
the Granada painter Luis Tovar painted two of them. The third picture is Madonna
in a Wreath of Flowers, which – though indirectly, ensues from Breughel’s and
other Flemish pictures, but whose colourfulness and free style indicate that it
was painted by the follower of the best Spanish painter of flowers Juan de