THE CULTURE Ministry has decided that a newly discovered medieval outer fortification in front of the former Army House in Trenčín will become a National Cultural Heritage site. The finding of the fortification wall is unique in Slovakia, according to conservationists.
“From the iconographic resources available, it is possible to identify the findings as the foundation wall creating the outer line of the town's fortification. This is probably the outermost part of the town fortification that was built sometime in the 17th century,” archaeologist Beáta Černická said.
Remnants were found when a construction company began digging the foundations for public underground garages – only a few metres under ground. “So far, the town has not received the decision of the Culture Ministry concerning the announcement of the ‘archaeological excavations site – outer fortification of the town’ as a National Cultural Heritage site, but the town will continue negotiations with the investor of the garages regarding the next steps,” Jana Marková of the Trenčín Mayor's Office told the SITA newswire. The Regional Conservation Office had requested that the unearthed fortification be preserved.
The discovery has halted the construction of the underground carpark and a glass shopping gallery called Extrovertum planned for above ground. There is now a deep pit in the centre of Trenčín surrounded by a fence and construction is not expected to be finished as planned this autumn.
Tatra Real from Bratislava is the investor in the garages and shopping centre. The PR manager of the company, Simona Hotová, said that the company had not yet received official information about the Culture Ministry's decision. Tatra Real bought the land under the planned shopping gallery from the town for €332 per square metre.
The excavations have prevented the company from building the more than 130 underground parking places planned for beneath the gallery. Both the investor and the town have said they can imagine the wall being brought to ground level and incorporated into its environment. The Regional Conservation Office in Trenčín, however, rules out this possibility, said its director, Eva Gazdíková.
The man heading the research, Director of the Archaeological Institute of the Slovak Academy of Sciences Matej Ruttkay, does not see such a big problem in moving the find to ground level. He said such steps were being made not only in Slovakia but also elsewhere in Europe.