National cultural monuments

by Viera Dvořáková, PhD.

Slovakia is a country abounding in cultural monuments and historical residences. They come from all periods of history and due to their values many of them belong to world heritage. Their authentic form documents in an exceptional way the tumultuous European history. Only selected parts of the entire tangible cultural heritage fall under the Act on the Protection of Cultural Heritage. They are those subjects, which are proclaimed and included in registers of the Central List of Cultural Heritage on the basis of the evaluation of their historical value preservation. Since 2002 all these objects are regarded as national monuments and they are recorded in the register of movable and immovable heritage sites. Immovable national cultural monuments may consist of more monument buildings depending on the nature of constructions and/or of the entire area, while movable objects can consist of several articles. The total number of national monuments is not a fixed number, it varies as a result of newly identified monuments, due to the breakdown of composition of objects, because of revoking monuments’ protection, and it changes also in case of the destruction of monuments.
Currently (up to June 1, 2014) 9,807 immovable national cultural monuments are registered, which consist of 15,406 historical objects. In the register of movable national cultural heritage there are 14,781 entries, composed of 33,163 relict items.
While creating the Central list of Cultural Heritage, besides the protection of the most precious cultural heritage values, the primary objective is the aspiration to achieve a representative occurrence of monuments in it. From the set of preserved historic buildings and items, which are not safeguarded in museums or galleries under specific laws, all these national cultural heritage monuments are the most valuable real estates and selected objects with preserved monumental values. They constitute the basic wealth of the tangible heritage of the nation, region and country. Each cultural monument is unique as it can be considered a piece in a colorful mosaic, every part of which is a fragment of cultural expression of different a style, marked by a number of transformations in time. It is indeed a difficult task to determine, which of the monuments are the most valuable, the most important and the most relevant, however, some of the monuments have traditionally been reported as the most remarkable, more important than others. This view essentially does not exist in the understanding of current legislation anymore; great changes in previously existing hierarchy that has been created over a long period of time have been introduced since the adoption of law on protection of cultural heritage in 2002. The category of national cultural heritage monuments determined in former periods, which were previously seen as the most important and most significant objects from the entire cultural heritage, has been merged with other cultural monuments. As a result, today all declared cultural monuments and national cultural monuments are considered to be national cultural heritage monuments. Despite this fact, the most recent list of national cultural treasures offers an interesting selection of 72 of the most outstanding castles, mansions, churches, monasteries, archaeological sites and sets of monuments, which are tied to important milestones in our national history.
A special group among them are sets of monuments. As immovable properties they include the wooden churches of Eastern Slovakia (some of which are now part of UNESCO World Heritage list under the name The Wooden Churches of the Slovak Part of Carpathian Mountain Area) and patronal grammar schools. Among national movable cultural heritage monuments there are medieval wall paintings, the work of J. Szilassy – the goldsmith of Levoča, as well as the works of Levoča carver, Master Pavol.
It is an established fact that an important factor in the matter of monuments protection is the attitude of the local population towards them. If people do appreciate and regard them, if they understand their exceptional value, these monuments are usually not threatened by extinction. Certain hierarchization does always help to give a better understanding of values, or so we could perceive it while gradually increasing the list of national cultural monuments during the 2nd half of the 20th century. Today, now that this hierarchization has disappeared, the eyes of public turn towards foreign lists, to a higher evaluation and recognition of values of cultural heritage in Slovakia – in particular towards the World Heritage List by UNESCO, or lately towards monuments branded as European heritage.
It is certainly not an easy task to look for the most important and most representative monuments among thousands of objects and items registered in the Central List of Cultural Heritage. If we would like to introduce the most precious monuments preserved in our country to someone who knows nothing about Slovak cultural heritage, no doubt, most of the monuments, which are present on the list of former national cultural heritage, would be featured also on our list. And this is so despite of the fact that today some of them, especially those associated with historical twists, are labelled with a suspicion of political favouritism. But this only confirms the fact that monuments, which in the course of their development have passed through many changes, truly reflect not only the time of their formation, but also sharp historical turning points, which we have experienced in the past and are still experiencing.
That is why we present the most interesting monuments, which belonged to the former national cultural heritage list, enhanced with other important objects to visitors of our portal. It is natural that in this list most people will especially look for significant landscape landmarks, largely ruins of castles, preserved castles, manor houses and medieval churches. In the Central List of Cultural Heritage, this group forms less than 20%, in our list these objects represent 50% of its monuments. In the interest of a more balanced presentation of the varied range of national treasures, we adjusted the list so that it would include besides monuments of architecture, also archaeological monuments, folk architecture monuments, monuments of history, science and technology heritage monuments, monuments of fine arts and crafts, as well as historic “green” monuments. By this, we would like to mediate at least partially the picture of diverse composition of the national cultural heritage fund in Slovakia.

Academia Istropolitana Building, Bratislava
Anna Koléniová’s House – Slovak National Council of 1848 Memorial House, Myjava
Apponyi Palace, Bratislava
Banská Bystrica – Town Castle and surrounding area
Banská Štiavnica – Town Castle, the so called Old Palace
Beckov Castle
Benedictine Abbey, Hronský Beňadik
Birthplace of Ľudovít Štúr and Alexander Dubček, Uhrovec
Bojnice Chateau
Bosak’s Bank in Prešov
Bratislava Castle
Bratislava Dúbravka – Villa Rustica
Building in Brhlovce, hosting a museum exhibition
Building of the State Theatre in Košice
Buildings Mining and Forestry Academy, Banská Štiavnica
Bytča Castle
Červený Monastery
Červený Kameň Castle
Čierny Orol (Black Eagle) Memorial House, Liptovský Mikuláš
Collonade Bridge, Piešťany
Declaration memorial building for the Košice government program – County House
Devín Castle
Dolná Krupá Mansion
Dukla battlefield and cemetery area, Vyšný Komárnik
Empire Theatre, Hlohovec
Evangelical Church, Banská Štiavnica
Evangelical Church, Levoča
Evangelical Church, Štítnik
Evangelical Collegium, Prešov
Evangelical Lyceum in Kežmarok
Evangelical Lyceum on Konventná Street, Bratislava
Farmer’s House No.15 – Peasant Museum, Vlkolínec
First Slovak Secondary Schools
First Slovak National Museum Building, Martin
General Milan Rastislav Štefánik Memorial, Bradlo
Gothic Bridge, Dravce
Great Moravian Court at Ducové, Moravany nad Váhom
Hain House, Levoča
Havránok Fortified Settlement at Bobrovník
Historic Collection of the Diocese Library, Nitra
Historical Building of the Horse Railway Station in Bratislava
Institute of Tuberculosis and Respiratory Diseases in Vyšné Hágy
Janko Kráľ Garden – the oldest public garden in Central Europe, Bratislava
Jasov Monastery
Kalište – Baláže – SNP Memorial Site
Klinger Lake, Banská Štiavnica
Klobušický Palace, Prešov
Komárno – Fortification system
Komárno, The Fortress
Krásna Hôrka Castle
Kremnica Mint
Leányvár Roman Military Camp at Iža
Lučenec Synagogue
Ľudovít Štúr Monuments in Modra
Manor house Betliar
Manor house in Holíč
Mansion, Church of St. Anna and belfry, Spišská Belá – Strážky
Matica slovenská Building, Martin
Medieval murals in 35 sacral structures
Memorial of the 1831 Peasant Uprising in Haniska
Molpír Fortified Settlement, Smolenice
Monuments of the Černová Massacre, Ružomberok
Monuments to Andrej Hlinka, Ružomberok
Monument to the Slovak National Uprising (SNP) in Banská Bystrica
Municipal Savings Bank, SNP Square 18, Bratislava
National Cemetery, Martin
National theatre in Bratislava
Neological Synagogue Žilina
New Evangelical Church, Bratislava
Nová Bystrica – Logging Switchback Railway Chmúra-Tanečník
Nitra Castle
Orava Castle
Primate’s Palace, Bratislava
Raden’s House, Čičmany
Railway Station in Kežmarok
Reduta Bratislava
Renaissance belfry in Kežmarok
Roman Catholic Church of St Elizabeth (Blue Church), Bratislava
Saint Anton Mansion
Saint Jacob’s Church, Levoča
Slavín Monument in Bratislava
Solivar by Prešov
Spiš Castle
St. Egidius Parish Church, Bardejov
St. Elisabeth’s Cathedral, Košice
St. George’s Rotunda, Skalica
St. Martin’s Cathedral, Bratislava
Strečno Castle
Synagogue in Malacky
Šaštín –Pauline Fathers Monastery Complex
The Castle of Slovenská Ľupča
The Chapel of St. George in Kostoľany pod Tríbečom
The Church of St. Elisabeth of Hungary in Muľa
The Church of the Holy Spirit at Žehra
Thurzo´s House, Banská Bystrica
Tomášikovo Water Wheel Mill
Topoľčianky Castle
Town Castle in Kremnica
Town Hall in Bardejov
Trebišov Manor House
Trenčín Castle
Trnava University Buildings
Turček’s water pipe and underground power plant, Kremnica
Wooden Churches of Eastern Slovakia
Works of Ján Szilássy
Works of Master Pavol of Levoča
Zvolen – Castle