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History talks

Learning Slovak history through art and culture

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

Invalids in the church

The name of the Invalids’ Church / Invalidský kostol in Trnava may be a bit confusing.By Branislav Chovan3. Apr 2017, at 14:16

Invalids’ Church / Invalidský kostol in Trnava

A memory of woods

Some time at the end of the 1920s, Czech painter Václav Malý climbed the steep slope of Čebrať Hill, and from there he painted a panoramic picture of the town Ružomberok.By Branislav Chovan20. Mar 2017, at 15:41

V. Malý: Ružomberok

Moldava free-run wine

The town of Moldava nad Bodvou in eastern Slovakia was originally not called Moldava.By Branislav Chovan13. Mar 2017, at 6:55

Moldava and Bodvou, 1929

Ball season

In this postcard from 1902, we see three elderly men courting a young lady. Considering their clothes, this situation might have happened at some festive event, maybe a ball.By Branislav Chovan6. Mar 2017, at 11:02

Balls used to be popular in Bratislava and elsewhere.

The street of national monuments

In the past, the area between the modern-day Slavín monument and Palisády neighbourhood was composed of vast vineyards.By Branislav Chovan20. Feb 2017, at 8:59

Kuzmány Street in Bratislava

Evil in threes

All mediaeval towns saw a similar story: during their path to independence and autonomy, they clashed with the implacable stance of their lords. The town of Kežmaork, lying in the Spiš region, thus clashed with…By Branislav Chovan7. Feb 2017, at 14:00

Chapel of Mária Gyulaffy,1925 (replaced in 1973 by a replica).

The mystery of too serious card players

When and where this fascinating photo was made is a mystery - the only lead the image of three card players fascinated by a bottle of wine reveals is its publisher.By Branislav Chovan23. Jan 2017, at 11:25

Card players, 1920s-1930s

Skiers’ Kremnica

Hiking trails in High Tatras could tell tales on how advantageous it was in the past to lie close to main railway lines; thanks to this fact, they thrived and got rich thanks to regular and abundant visits by…By Branislav Chovan26. Dec 2016, at 6:55

Beginings of skiing in Kremnica...

Three days of Christmas

This Christmas card dates, with all probability, to the 1930s. Although the writing it contains is in Slovak, the architecture of the village buildings shows that the artist who made this painting was probably Czech…By Branislav Chovan19. Dec 2016, at 6:20

Christmas card 1930s model

Italy in the High Tatras

The spa village of Tatranská Polianka was known by several names in the past. The predominant name was Weszterheim, or Weszter’s House, after a businessman of that name who bought it in 1881 as part of the plots of…By Branislav Chovan13. Dec 2016, at 18:05

Tatranská Polianka

Keeping silence in Paradise

Lapis refundii, or the Rock of Refuge, is a well-known notion in Slovak history, connected with the ancient era of Tartar raids.By Branislav Chovan28. Nov 2016, at 11:14

Kláštorisko shelter.

Renaissance gem of Upper Hungary

The Habsburg imperial court belonged among the mightiest in Europe but at home, its position was not always easy.By Branislav Chovan7. Nov 2016, at 14:16

The Rákóczi House in Prešov

The shame of Slovakia

Deep in the Low Tatra mountains, one of the most picturesque spas in Slovakia used to stand.By Branislav Chovan24. Oct 2016, at 19:21

The Korytnia Church

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