Do You Know, That? Slovak Extrems I.
Prague is said to be a heart of Europe, but, frankly speaking, where can you find the real centre point? As a geographical centre of Europe, St. John Church, situated in Kremnica Hills, in 30 kms direction from Banská Bystrica, is taken for. The church was built in 13th century, and was constructed in the community of Kremnická Baňa. The reason, why this church is situated in the centre of meadows, is unknown. Nevertheless, this remarkable building is ensnared with many legends. The church was said to be constructed from the reason, so that none from surrounding six communities could have some advantage, as the church would serve the believers of one village only. So, this symbolic Centre of Europe, in a form of a boulder, is placed at west wall of the church. The information plates are placed at a monument, reminding historical Slovak land-marks, such as: Slovak Constitution and Slovak Republic Declaration of 1st January 1993.
The town of Kremnica belonged to the oldest and most important mining localities of Middle Ages. The excavation of gold and silver brought a fame and great importance to the town, by means of construction of several churches, boastful Renaissance and Gothic buildings in city centre and, first of all, castle complex, which forms its most important town dominanta, surrounded with picturesque nature of Kremnica Hills.
And what about the greatest castle?
When asking for „the greatest castle of Slovakia“, you receive a reply: „It is Spiš Castle, of course!“ This imposant castle complex, situated on a rock, exceeding in 200 metres the surrounding terrain, must fascinate everybody. Nevertheless, as far as its largemess is concerned, another construction was bigger recently...
The hill and adjoined forest-park near to the town of Zvolen was, till recent time period, a place of Sunday walks. The cycling route is passing there, and even ten years ago, hardly anybody could forsee, that below soil sediments and luxuriant vegetace, one of worlds´ uniques is hidden. This place, known as Desert Castle, was not really, till recent time, taken for whatever exceptional. The wall rests. spreaded along the ridge and along hill-side of this mountain, nobody could taken for something of special interesting topics. But, the consequence of archaeological finding works, disclosed the outlines of gigantic castle complex, taking the area of more than 7,6 ha. This surface could not be reached by any of Slovak castles and even any of European castles! As a comparison, Spiš Castle has the surface of 5,3 ha „only“! Nevertheless, to imagine an original imposing surface of the whole area, defending Zvolen Region against plundering Turks´ units, it is impossible now, as only the rests of periphery walls of buildings, towers and powerful fortifications were preserved till now, from its original forms. Václav Hanuliak, a leader of archaeological finding works, declared that this Desert Castle could be the second biggest castle of the world, immediately after famous Krak des Chevaliers Castle! So, after 1172, a castle, above confluence of Hron and Slatina rivers was constructed, which could have effect on as a scyscraper, as the towers had six up to eight stages (floors). Originally, the castle was constructed for a protection of two merchant ways from Lower Austria and Adriatic-Baltic merchant ways, passing through this country. However, there was more fights and besieges, the castle as well as its fortifications became bigger, but this growth was terminated. Even outsider public could guess, what was the reason for total destruction of such constructions. We can take into consideration the theories regarding various epidemies, such as plague, big fires and failure of merchant ways, as well as another arrangements or repairs of ruined buildings. Anyway, we do not know, what Desert Castle really is hidding, which total space was, and other testimonies (evidences) regarding mysteries of ancient past are missing…
Text: Jan Chaloupka
Translation: ing. Jan Jonáš
Photo: wikipedia commons
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