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The Pálffys' hunting lodge

THE MIDDLE section of the Small Carpathians, marked by soaring hills, steep slopes and deep valleys, is typically considered the most picturesque. Perhaps it was this untamed natural beauty that prompted the Pálffy family to build a hunting lodge there. The charming lodge, completed in 1865 near the municipality of Kuchyňa in the Záhorie region, was named Vývrat (Blowdown).

THE MIDDLE section of the Small Carpathians, marked by soaring hills, steep slopes and deep valleys, is typically considered the most picturesque. Perhaps it was this untamed natural beauty that prompted the Pálffy family to build a hunting lodge there. The charming lodge, completed in 1865 near the municipality of Kuchyňa in the Záhorie region, was named Vývrat (Blowdown).

The Pálffys were interested in this area for its hunting opportunities. An abundance of deer and wild boars could be found around the adjacent Vysoká hill, as well as mouflons imported by the Pálffys from Italy. The numerous jobs in the local forester’s office illustrate how important these hunting grounds were to the Pálffys.

The Vývrat hunting lodge no longer exists. Even though it was used frequently even in communist-era Czechoslovakia, it suffered from insensitive restoration and reconstruction and gradually fell into disrepair. It was not protected as a historical monument and its last owner permitted its demolition in 2011.

The lodge is depicted on numerous postcards, but this one is somewhat of a rarity. It is one of the oldest – if not the oldest – as it dates back to the first decade of the 20th century. It was made and published by photographer Jacob Mertens from Angern, a town on the Austrian side of the Morava River.

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