AT UHROVEC Castle, which towers over the village of Uhro- vské Podhradie in Bánovce nad Bebravou district, the wooden access bridge is being rebuilt using traditional methods and as an exact copy of the original bridge that no longer exists.
For that reason, a two-week international workshop was held there to improve craftsmen’s traditional skills as well as to start building the bridge. The workshop ended at the beginning May and after a month’s break, the craftsmen and experts will return to continue the reconstruction.
As many as 17 carpenters took part from Norway, Germany, Poland, Latvia, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. They processed oak trunks manually with just axes, the only exception being the initial logging of the trees with saws, said Erika Horanská of Academia Istropolitana Nova which, along with the Foundation for the Salvation of Cultural Heritage, organised the working meeting. Financial resources of €12,000 are coming from the European Culture 2000 programme and the Slovak Culture Ministry.
All main supporting structures have been put in place, which was quite demanding as no metal tools could be used. Only where the bridge connects to the original gate may metal be used – as it was in the Middle Ages, said Peter Horanský of the foundation. The bridge was designed by architect Jaroslav Kilián according to drawings from the 18th century. The bridge will be about 12 metres long.
The event demonstrated that saving wooden historical objects in Europe will demand a large number of experts mastering these ancient skills and that in Slovakia it is amateurs and history buffs who are most interested in doing this. Horanská told TASR that this workshop was just the first stage, representing only about one quarter of the total construction.