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Cultural life in towns

SLOVAKIA used to be quite a rural country, with only a few large towns. Life in small towns and villages was essentially the same, and any cultural or social life that existed, it's often unkindly noted, took place mainly in the local pub or church.

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SLOVAKIA used to be quite a rural country, with only a few large towns. Life in small towns and villages was essentially the same, and any cultural or social life that existed, it's often unkindly noted, took place mainly in the local pub or church.

Up to the end of the First World War, people particularly enjoyed watching performances by professional and amateur ensembles. Local bands - such as the one in this photo, which was taken in 1920 in the southern Slovak town of Štúrovo - performed outdoors, and were sometimes joined by artists from other towns. But at the turn of the century, these live performances were replaced by the gramophone. Often, a huge gramophone was put into a hall so a fascinated crowd could gather around to listen.

Films were rather rare then, but there were social clubs for firefighters, women and Jewish citizens. The occasional ball completed the mosaic of cultural activities held at the time.


Prepared by Branislav Chovan

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