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History talks

Learning Slovak history through art and culture

Who to blame for bryndzové halušky as the national meal

The ancestors of the Slovaks' wiped their mouths with the tablecloth, pigeons flying out of the pâtés served on tables. It was a famous Czech writer who romanticised “the meal of the poor”.By Ela Rybárová26. Oct 2017, at 15:28

Food of ancestors was by no means dull; llustrative photo of Pieter Claesz's painting from 1635.

Visitors’s centre opened near Andrássy MausoleumPhoto

Historical former watchman’s cabin has been reconstructed to house the new centre for visitors near a tourist attraction. Compiled by Spectator staff ,23. Oct 2017, at 14:43

The Andrássy Mausoleum in Krásnohorské Podhradie

An outrageous conspiracy

In the Franciscan Square of Bratislava stands a tall Marian column, erected in 1675 at the order of Emperor Leopold I. Marian columns, or plague columns, were built in thanksgiving to the Virgin Mary for averting or…By Branislav Chovan17. Oct 2017, at 12:00

Marian Column in the Franciscan Square in Bratislava

The double nostalgia of Uzhgorod

The castle in the Ukrainian town of Uzhgorod can evoke double nostalgia in Slovakia, as well in Czech landsBy Branislav Chovan19. Sep 2017, at 12:54

The Uzhgorod Castle

Komárno disasters

If we could somehow be transported to a Slovak town in, let us say, the 15th century, it is quite probable we would not be able to identify it. Towns were often plagued by disasters that completely changed their…By Branislav Chovan5. Sep 2017, at 6:45

The overall view of Komárno

The right of the strong

By Branislav Chovan21. Aug 2017, at 6:10

Jablonka in Upper Orava

Šumiac breaks sweat record: first sauna to be revived

The sauna built in Šumiac by miller Michal Demo after returning from Russian captivity was the first one not just in Slovakia but in the entire former Czechoslovakia. Now it can be saved and re-used.By Kveta Fajčíková17. Aug 2017, at 12:56

The construction of first Slovak sauna in Šumiac

The married priest at Devín

The Council of Trent that took place in 1545 – 1563 imposed on bishops the obligation to regularly visit parishes in their diocese.By Branislav Chovan7. Aug 2017, at 14:51

The Devín rock

Legiontrain begins two-month trip across SlovakiaPhoto

The replica is modeled after trains that transported the Czechoslovak Legion across Russia during the First World War. Compiled by Spectator staff ,2. Aug 2017, at 6:26

Legiontrain starts its journey in Žilina on August 1.

The neighbours of Žarnovica

The history of the central-Slovak town of Žarnovica is closely connected with the nearby environment.By Branislav Chovan24. Jul 2017, at 19:05

Forestry office in Žarnovica

12 places where you can see the works of one of the best medieval wood carversPhoto

The works of the renowned Master Paul are not limited just to Levoča.By Anna Novotná20. Jul 2017, at 12:54

St Geirge Curch in Spišská Sobota

Bratislava Castle exhibition: Celts in Slovak territoryPhoto

The first ethnic group known by name which lived on Slovak territory may have ended differently than previously thought, shows an exhibition presenting many artefacts, interactive features and models. Zuzana Vilikovská ,18. Jul 2017, at 18:16

Replica of Celtic kiln

To hell for playing cards

The goal of the Crusades in the Middle Ages was to regain holy sites for the Christians. It is known, however, that the Crusaders did not achieve great success in Asia, and though the campaigns were carried out in…By Branislav Chovan10. Jul 2017, at 18:01

Playing cars was perceived a sin but enjoyed, nevertheless.

The Roma competitors

The Roma didn’t have an easy life during the Austro-Hungarian Empire, as they were barely tolerated by the majority of the population.By Branislav Chovan26. Jun 2017, at 19:40

Kremnica

Greater Bratislava

One of the important milestones of our capital is connected with the year 1946. The post-World-War II cabinet came to the conclusion that Bratislava, as the residence of top political and state Slovak national…By Branislav Chovan20. Jun 2017, at 18:03

Rača, a village now attached to Bratislava as a borough

The fight for dominance

The name of the eastern Slovak town of Bardejov has roots in the male Christian name, Bartolomej, or Bartholomew.By Branislav Chovan30. May 2017, at 16:15

Square in Bardejov

Napoleon’s oak planted in Bratislava's Tyršovo EmbankmentPhoto

An oak of Napoleonic legend was replanted, part of a commemoration spanning several days. Compiled by Spectator staff ,22. May 2017, at 14:19

Planting "Naopoleon's oak" on May 20, 2017.

A profitable craft

The first written mentions of butchers in the territory of Slovakia date back to the 13th century.By Branislav Chovan15. May 2017, at 15:55

Butchery used to be a profitable, well-respected craft.

A test with a tank

The first – and for a long time also the only solid – bridge in Bratislava appeared in 1890. It was opened with great pomp and splendor; in attendance was Kaiser Ferenc József himself who benignly agreed for the…By Branislav Chovan1. May 2017, at 20:24

The Old Bratislava Bridge

The hard life of Modrý Kameň

For about a century and a half, the territory of modern Slovakia was a direct neighbour of the expanding Ottoman Empire. The southern regions of Slovakia especially suffered from Turkish behaviour.By Branislav Chovan17. Apr 2017, at 14:02

The Modrý Kameň castle

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