Historic walls and well were discovered in Zvolen

They found the bases of the cemetery wall, which disappeared in 1811, near a road that divides the park from the church.

(Source: Courtesy of Róbert Malček)

The reconstruction of Štúr’s Park in the centre of Zvolen, a town in central Slovakia, revealed precious archaeological findings. Bases of the cemetery wall were discovered under the pavement and a well was discovered nearby.

Archaeological research conducted near the Roman-Catholic church eight years ago indicated that the park is hiding other ancient secrets, regional daily My Zvolen reported.

Besides the northern line of the cemetery wall, archaeologists also expected to find the remains of an old middle school, which is recorded in the archive materials. However, they did not find one.

“We should do more research,” said archaeologist Róbert Malček of the Zvolen department of the Archaeological Institute of the Slovak Academy of Sciences in Nitra, as quoted by My Zvolen. “As the reconstruction works are not reaching great depths, neither can our research,” he noted.

The archaeologists dug about 60 centimetres into the ground and found the bases of the cemetery wall near the road that divides the park from the church. It has the shape of an ellipse and surrounded the church of St Elizabeth, which originated in the 13th century.

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Sacred place

The wall divided the world of the dead from the living. “As there used to be a market place at the square, the wall definitely marked a border between sacral and secular life,” said archaeologist Ján Beljak for My Zvolen.

The barrier disappeared in 1811. There used to be a wooden fence around the church for some time, but the whole space near the church was redeveloped, Beljak noted.

Malček added that the town's small population did not have enough finances to fortify the whole town, which is probably why they fortified only the church. The width of the uncovered bases indicates that the wall had to be high.

Under the concrete slab

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The stone well remains hidden under the pavement. Malček said that it is still very well-preserved and working. “The water surface is about two metres from the surface of the well,” he noted, as quoted by My Zvolen. “We tried to discover the depth with a 5-metre levelling lath, but we did not reach the bottom.”

A similar well was reconstructed at the square near tribune. The one in the park has a diameter of two metres. In the past, when the pavements in the park were covered with asphalt, the well was covered with a concrete slab.

“Several urban houses used to have their own well, but most of the people depended on the water from the public wells,” Malček said for My Zvolen. “This was one of them.”

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