SOMETIME before the first world war, these peculiarly dressed boys stood in front of the lenses of a photographer in the village of Ottenthal, located in the Low Carpathians.
Along with the statue of St Jan Nepomucký and the house with a straw roof in the background, they create a charming picture. However, neither the statue nor the house stands in the village today.
Statues of St Jan Nepomucký, however, can be spotted on squares or near roads almost all across Slovakia. This saint, originally coming from the Czech Republic, has the most widespread following among former Habsburg countries.
The village of Ottenthal, founded by German colonisers, can no longer be found on a map under this name. In its place, the traditional wine village got a Slovak name - Doľany.
Special to the Spectator
26. Jul 2004 at 0:00 | Roman Millan with John Sherwood