Archaeologists discover remains of defensive ground bank in Žilina

The embankment was first mentioned in the 15th century.

Žilina centreŽilina centre (Source: TASR)

Archaeologists from the company Archeo Sever have discovered a buried embankment that used to be part of the historic town fortifications in the centre of modern day Žilina.

The research took place based on the decision of the Regional Monuments Board in Žilina after the demolition of an older block of flats was ordered.

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According to the head of research Barbara Zajacová, it is an unusual and very precious discovery that confirms the existence of an embankment in the southern part of the town monument reservation.

The flats at the crossroad of R. Zaymus and Na priekope streets were being removed because of the new construction of an administrative building.

“Based on the decision of the Regional Monuments Board Žilina, we were conducting archaeological salvage research when we discovered the moat under the town wall that was 8-metres wide,” Zajacová said, as quoted by the SITA newswire.

Boundaries of the centre

The embankment was mentioned in the 15th century, she added. Two layers included rotten wood which could indicate two phases of the fortified embankment with a wooden palisade.

Thanks to a map of Žilina from 1747, archaeologists know what the fortifications of Žilina would have looked like. The map shows two main gates, a moat and the embankment.

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The current names of the streets Na priekope (On the moat), Horný and Dolný val (Upper and Lower embankment) clearly refer to the boundaries of the historic town of Žilina.

According to Zajacová, the finding clearly continues under an extension of the Tržnica building, a national cultural monument.

A similar discovery, but without the localisation of the embankment was made by Žilina archaeologist Jozef Moravčík in 1974 at the spot of the current building of the VUB bank. Not long ago, the embankment was also revealed in the north-western part of the historic centre of the town, Zajacová said, adding that the archaeological research will be over soon and the data analysed.

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