The lost country

IN THIS nice postcard from 1920s, we can see the village of Vyšný Slavkov surrounded by the Levočské vrchy hills. The image is a good illustration of how Slovakia – and not only the one around Vyšný Slavkov – likely have looked completely differently than it does today.

Vyšný Slavkov, 1920sVyšný Slavkov, 1920s(Source: Courtesy of Branislav Chovan)

 

For example at the site called Sihoť, between this village and the municipality of Poľanovce, a pilgrimage Church of the Transfiguration stood since the end of the 16th century. Remains were uncovered by archaeologists during research last year. 

Experts were surprised by one wooden column in the otherwise brick-and-stone church. This is a rarity in the modern-era of mortar sacral buildings. Ruins of the church stood as late as mid 20th century, when they were broken down and used to construct local agricultural cooperative.

Apart from the church, another village – Leletkov – of which there is no trace now, used to be set in the Slavkov area. And last but not least, military surveyings from 1769 and 1821 show that there were also two ancient fortified settlements to the southeast of the village.

If someone could see a birds-eye view of Slavkov from 1,000 years, we would be rather surprised how it would differ from today’s. We would see Romanesque churches which collapsed some time in the Middle Ages, innumerable predecessor castles – fortified settlements whose presence is reflected only by obscure land protrusions here and there now — as well as perished villages that later either merged with other settlements or vanished without any trace.   

By Branislav Chovan

The processing of personal data is subject to our Privacy Policy and the Cookie Policy. Before submitting your e-mail address, please make sure to acquaint yourself with these documents.

Theme: History talks


Top stories

Massive gatherings remember Kuciak and Kušnírová: We did not forget!

One year after the murder of journalist Ján Kuciak, large protests took place around Slovakia.

Protest gathering in Bratislava, February 21, 2019.

Owls indicate spring is coming

Male owls lured by bird calls fly in to take a look at the intruder.

Long-eared owl

Murder of journalist: We need to see indictments of masterminds soon

International journalists’ organisations are “cautiously optimistic” after meeting investigators of the Kuciak murder.

Ján Kuciak

Ján Kuciak and Martina Kušnírová were murdered one year ago (timeline)

These are the notable moments of the first year since the murder.

Paying tribute to Ján Kuciak and Martina Kušnírová.