Historicist architecture

In the 1840s the poor economic, social and political situation of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy led to open crisis and revolution (1848, Myjava). Serfdom was abolished and civil and religious equality was introduced. In its aftermath the Slovak National Revival gained critical momentum, especially after 1867, when the pressure of increasing Magyarisation resulted in the destruction of even the most modest cultural conquests of the Slovak nation (three Patronage Secondary Schools, Matica slovenská). Against this background, in the second half of the 19th century a representation of contemporary Romanticism found itself being used in architectural neostyles. Reflecting a desire to return to an idealised past, many ecclesiastical and secular buildings were transformed in a way which imitated historical styles (Bojnice, Smolenice, Rusovce, Betliar, Galanta, Veľké Uherce, St Martin’s Cathedral, Bratislava, St Elizabeth’s Church, Košice). Urban architecture also avowed itself to Historicism. New tenement houses, villas, representative public buildings and ecclesiastical buildings formed whole streets and forever changed the character of many Slovak towns. Many ancient settlements lost their medieval city walls to make free space for new, fast-growing built-up areas. And more than ever before, architectural production was affected by new materials and technologies.