THIS postcard dating to 1920 shows Nový Zámok in Banská Štiavnica. It was drawn by Janko Alexy, an outstanding Slovak painter of this period. The postcard shows interesting evidence of certain euphoria and interest in Czechoslovakia as the country was marking its first years of existence. Many renowned artists travelled across the country painting historical monuments as well as interesting natural scenes. Many of them were later published in series on postcards.
Nový Zámok (New Castle) was originally called Panenský hrad (Virgin Castle) and was built as a guard and lookout tower in the times of the Ottoman threat. Mining towns often felt threatened – and rightly so – because they were rich and the frontline between Greater Hungary and the territory occupied by the Ottoman Turks was quite nearby. The hulking tower was bolstered with round corner bastions with embrasures and was situated so that it provided a good view towards Šahy and Levice, that is, to the side from which the town could be attacked. Later, the tower served as a depository for gunpowder until a new blasting-powder mill was built in the town.
It is an interesting historical fact that gunpowder was used to blast rock for the first time ever in Banská Štiavnica. Even today, Nový Zámok is well worth a visit.
1. Mar 2010 at 0:00 | By Branislav Chovan