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Revue Pamiatky a múzeá - Summary 4/2005

zverejnené: 3. mája 2011
aktualizované: 13. apríla 2012

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 Jur
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 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.
The 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 hectic.

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 Hungary.

Summer Residences of Trnava Burghers
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 Michalovce
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 Prešov
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 Organs
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 Altars
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 Collections
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 Arrellan.

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