Spectator on facebook

Spectator on facebook

HISTORY TALKS...

Modra Town Gate

STATUS as a free imperial city during the Middle Ages was a privilege, but also a commitment. One of the most important obligations was to build fortifications and citadels around the town.

STATUS as a free imperial city during the Middle Ages was a privilege, but also a commitment. One of the most important obligations was to build fortifications and citadels around the town.

Modra, which is nestled below the Small Carpathians, started building its strongholds comparatively late, at a time when their significance had already begun to decrease.

From 1610 to 1643, architects constructed three gates: the Pezinok Gate, the Upper Gate and the Lower Gate. As a symbol of loyalty to the Emperor, the Pezinok Gate was decorated with an imperial eagle and faced towards Vienna.

But only the Upper Gate has been preserved and until 1918, one could even read a Czech inscription on the front of it: “Except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.” This quote from the Bible shows how insecure people felt just a few centuries ago.

Only a handful of gates still stand in Slovakia, since a majority of them were pulled down as cities expanded.

This postcard from 1925 shows the Upper Gate in Modra. The hedge and tall trees have been replaced by the town’s main road.

Top stories

They reported corruption at the Foreign Ministry. Now they receive an award

The tenth year of the White Crow award, celebrating young people and activists who break prejudices and go against the tide.

White Crow award laureates

The day that changed the Tatra mountains for good Photo

The windstorm damaged 12,000 hectares of woods on November 19, 2004.

Tatras after the 2004 calamity

Smer follows a downward trend but may escape oblivion

What does the defeat in regional elections mean for the future of Slovakia’s strongest party?

“How could it be a fiasco when a political party wins most councillors among all parties?” asks PM Robert Fico.

Valorisation mechanism changes

But not everybody is satisfied with some of the latest changes.