Žilina‘s town centre consists of two squares: Andrej Hlinka Square and St. Mary’s Square which, with the adjacent streets, were declared an Urban Protected Area in 1987. There are several historical buildings that deserve your attention.
Andrej Hlinka Square can be found below the Church of the Holy Trinity. It lies in the original Váh river–basin area which was changed to fields by the citizens of Žilina. The original fields are replace by the square paving at the junction of eight streets. The most important street is National Street (Národná ulica).
St. Mary´s Square, an Urban Protected Area since 1987, represents the historical heart of Žilina. Because of its square shape of about 100 x 100 m and arcades (called also "laubne"), it creates an inimitable atmosphere, unique in Slovakia.
The Cathedral is one of the most important and oldest buildings in the town. As a result of rebuilding, the original Gothic church bears Renaissance features. So called Burian’s Tower (46 m high) is a free-standing church belfry.
This house built in the Historicist style belonged to the Babušek family. From 1894 – 1904 here lived and worked Dr. Dušan Petrovič Makovický, the Slovak national revivalist and the personal physician of Lev Nikolajevič Tolstoj – the famous Russian writer.
The Žilina Town Hall was mentioned for the first time in 1508. This building (with original Gothic cellars) has been reconstructed many times – from the original Gothic style, the Rennaissance to the present condition following the redevelopment of the upper parts of the house in 1890. Today it is the seat of Žilina’s mayor.
The Church of the Conversion of St. Paul the Apostle and the monastery were built by Jesuits after their arrival in about 1654 – as missionaries. A single–nave Roman Catholic church with two towers was built in Baroque style.
This art–nouveau building was built by Rufinus Stejskal in 1921 and served as a cinema and theatre under the name "Grand Bio Universum". In this building, on 3rd January 1922, the national premiere of the first Slovak film "Jánošík" was shown here.
The new Synagogue was built in 1930 – 1931 by the Jewish community in Žilina according to the design of a significant Berlin architect Peter Behrens. The Functionalistic architecture with Moorish elements places the Synagogue amongst the most unique architectural monuments in Slovakia.
Rosenfeld´s Palace was built according to the design of the architect Mikuláš Rauter in 1907. It was named after its owner – the merchant Ignác Rosenfeld. It is one of the most beautiful art–nouveau monuments in Slovakia.
The Church of St. Barbara is the first baroque sacral building in the town. The church with the monastery was built in 1731 by members of the Franciscan Order of Friars Minor. The church has valuable interior baroque furnishings and adornments.
Once the state gendarmerie had been created in the Hungary Kingdom in 1881, a gendarmerie station with broader powers was established in Žilina until the dissolution of Austria-Hungary in 1918. In 1911 a fairly extensive building was built for the gendarmes. It was designed by architect Karol Koch from Budapest.
Žilina Industrial Corporation started to build this building. The building was put into operation in 1910. Later, an inscription Gabriel Baross´s House of Artisans was added. The gable of the building bears his statue and two reliefs of 17 figures symbolising different crafts.
Protestants did not have their own church for many years. The change occurred in 1921, when a minister, Fedor Ruppeldt came into the town. In 1934 they made architectural tender, won by architectural proposal of Milan Harminec.
Skelet flats were built between 2004 and 2005. The project was a result of a search for a new approach to how to fit modern contemporary architecture into historical surroundings. The designer of the SKELET building, Ing. arch. Ľubica Koreňová, won the two highest Slovak awards for architecture in 2006.
The historical building of the former Žilina secondary school is an architecturally interesting building for its time. Although it is not one of the Orth-Somló architectural team’s unique pieces, it is a valuable contribution to the historical centre of Žilina’s genius loci and the collection of Art Nouveau buildings in the town.
The Town Theatre was built between 1942 and 1945 as a ceremonial building and Roman Catholic Grammar School. Since 1950 a theatre under different names, a secondary general education school and then an elementary school were based here. Since 1991 the Town Theatre has been based here again.
There is an original Latin inscription carved into the plaster of the house: NON NOBIS, DOMINE, AST TIBI SIT GLORIA ET VICTORIA PSAL (terium, or MUS) CXIII, which means – It is not to us, my Lord, that glory and victory belong, but to You.
This beautiful eclectic building on the corner of National and Milcová streets is a building that formerly housed a branch of the Royal Hungarian Ministry of Tilling - agriculture. In 1996 a plaque was mounted on the wall in commemoration of the work done by the Ministry Plenipotentiary for the Administration of Slovakia in Žilina.
In 1906 Julius Grün built on the corner of what are now Národná and Milcova streets a magnificent eclectic building for the Royal district court in Žilina. After 1990, several alterations were made to the building and it continues to be used as commercial and office space. The former prison became Majovey hotel.
House no. 3 was home to Jan Vykopal, a well-known Žilina photographer. It is an Art Nouveau building and it is one of the most beautiful Art Nouveau buildings in Žilina. The building is renowned for its unusual facade, dominated by a mosaic of a female figure, reminiscent of the drawings of the Czech painter Alfons Mucha.
The Baroque statue of the Virgin Mary – the Immaculata is situated in the centre of St Mary’s square on a slighted shaped plinth with a relief of St Florian, the patron saint of firemen. The sculpture dates back to 1738.
From the eighteenth century, a ground floor house belonging to Ondrej Smutný in 1849 and home to four people stood on the site of today’s Art Nouveau house. This house on Dolný val– Valata inferior bore the number 210 in the first list of all the houses in Žilina in 1849. It had only one room and one pantry cum kitchen.
In 1912, the construction of the Hungarian State Girls’ Town School began and lasted until 1919. In 2003, the school was transformed into a religious school. The school building is included in the List of Heritage Monuments in Žilina as number 12.
The house was built at the beginning of the twentieth century in the eclectic style and it is a town block of flats with a gallery. From an art history perspective and architectural perspective the street façade is of interest with its romanticising eclectic elements reminiscent of castle architecture.
The corner of Bottova and Radničná streets is home to one of the town’s best-known houses, called Folkman’s House, since it belonged for many years to the well-known Žilina hotel-owner, Pavol Folkman. It is above all characterised by the only copper tower in our town, with a copper flat dated August 11th 1886.
The building of the former branch of the Austro-Hungarian bank was constructed in 1912 in a Neoclassicist style on the street then known as Barošova street (Baross utca). After the First World War, the building belonged to a branch of the Czechoslovak National Bank, it was designed by one of Hungary’s most important architects Jozef Hubert.
The Catholic House was built from 1925 to 1926 in a Neoclassicist style. A double cross, the state symbol of Slovakia, with sculptures of two eagles is set on the gable of the façade. Above the entrance to the building there are sculptures of two women and the façade bears a commemorative plaque.
The town villa on the corner of Hodžova and Hurbanova street was built by the well-known Žilina lawyer, Ján Milec in the 1890s. From December 12th 1918, the building was the headquarters of the minister with full powers for the administration of Slovakia, Dr. Vavro Šrobár and his office which was de facto the Slovak government.
The Art Nouveau-style building was built in 1924 and was one of the few public baths outside Bratislava at that period. The Petrovský and son business then built a ground-floor building for cleaning laundry, the “Factory for washing and chemical cleaning”.
The house, also known as the “gallery house”, was built by the town of Žilina following the plans of the architect Michal Maximilián Scheer in 1931 as a hostel for the poor inhabitants of Žilina, and also included social housing.
The municipal cemetery – today’s old cemetery – was founded in 1707 and extended in 1898. Burials took place in the grounds of the cemetery since 1697, when the town was hit by a plague epidemic and 150 bodies had to be buried outside the town.
The building is one of Žilina’s most striking examples of Art Nouveau architecture, built in the first two decades of the twentieth century. The Art Nouveau-inspired house was built for the iron trader Benö Mahrer.
The house originally bore the number 135. In 1849 it was owned by the Hulus family. Jozef Grunbaum and his seven-member family lived in today’s house no. 5. The house was acquired by the important Žilina Adamica family whose descendants still own the house today.
History of Burian´s tower is linked to the name of Strečno castle’s owner from 1526 to 1529, Burian Svetlovský of Vlčnov, who was the hereditary mayor of Žilina at the time. We cannot exclude the possibility that its construction was completed by the Podmanický brothers, Ján and Rafael.
Exhibition called "Alexander Lombardini´s life and work – History of the House" is the first private museum exhibition. On the ground floor, there are situated panels containing the main characteristics of Alexander Lombardini´s life and work. The exhibition showing the history of the house is located on the building´s basement.
This street was built at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. It linked the station of the Košice-Bohumín Railway to the town centre. It was originally named after Lajos Kossuth, then T. G. Masaryk, then Andrej Hlinka, then the Slovak National Uprising.
The Art Nouveau style building now home to the Dubná Skala Boutique Hotel ****, was originally built by Jozef Karas from 1906 to 1913 as a three-storey house to replace the old wood and wattle houses. Jozef Karas sold spirits and also had a restaurant.
Henrich Rémi bought land located opposite the railway station and built a beautiful art nouveau two-storey hotel called Rémi in 1907. It was nationalised in 1950 and subsequently renamed the Polom in 1951. It was extensively renovated in 1951.
Over a hundred years ago, in this area on the sloping terraces above the river Váh there was a cemetery, rectory and parish garden encircled by a stone wall. The wall was demolished in 1869 to improve the pathway between the church and the school.
The building’s owners designed and also constructed the building. The house is 20 metres long in total and forms a letter “V” at the back. In 2008 the house became listed building no. 07 in Žilina for its architectural value.
Originally a three floor building of the Sickness Insurance Agency known by Žilina inhabitants as “Polyclinics at Bratislavská” or simply the “sickness” was built in 1923 - 1924. The non-state polyclinics-like facility KRANKAS s. r. o. acquired the building in 2000.
The building, which is now PARS guesthouse, belonged to the railway colony built after 1870, when Žilina became a stop on the new Košice-Bohumín railway. In 2009 to 2010 the whole building was completely reconstructed and rebuilt as a restaurant and hotel rooms.
At the corner of 1. mája and Moyzesova streets, Drevoúnia Žilina, a national company built a six-storey building with basement. It was designed in November 1947 by architect M. M. Scheer. The Regional Procurator in Žilina is now based in this building.
The Žilina Power Station Company built a steam power station on municipal land between the streets that are now Ulica republiky and Ulica M. R. Štefánika. The town owned shares in the company and transferred ownership of a total of 2,160 square metres of land to the Žilina power plant for construction.
The Gardens of the Slovak National Uprising is the oldest park in the town of Žilina. They were built in the late 19th century between Všivák stream and a row of urban villas on former Park Street, some of which still retain their original Art Nouveau architecture.
On land that was originally called Frambor, there is an area called "Pod Šašvarkou" where there is a building that the people of Žilina refer to as "sirkáreň", which has had various uses and has belonged to several owners. It was built by brothers Armin and Vojtech Weider from Budatín.
The original railway station was built in 1870, and the first test train on the Košice-Bohumín railway pulled into the station on 20 December 1870. The station was two storeys high and was gradually extended when side-wings were added at the ground floor level.
In 1932 to 1933 a public folk school with ten classrooms was built at the undeveloped end of Moyzesova Street. It was designed by Maximilian Michael Scheer. Bratia Ing. Novák company from Žilina constructed the three-storey building with upper basement.
Filip Holzmann from Bytčica purchased a plot at Hollého Street No. 11 from Herman Donáth in 1923 and had a new residential house built on it. The construction was realised and probably also designed by the firm of Ľudevít Kantúrik.
In 1902 JUDr. Milan Kohút bought a plot of land at the beginning of Rajecká Road next to a Jewish elementary school. In 1904 he built a Secessionist house with a basement. The building had six rooms, a veranda and a bathroom. In the large garden behind the house there was a tennis court.
The ice stadium is named after Vojtech Závodský, an active athlete and hockey official. The stadium was built between 1958 and 1961 according to designs by Ing. arch. Milan Hodoň and Ing. Ján Dlhopolček. The hall was officially opened on 4 January 1961.
The military cemetery of Soviet soldiers on Bôrik is the resting place of 1786 soldiers who fell during the liberation of northern Slovakia in Liptov and Orava, and districts such as Bytča, Považská Bystrica and Žilina. The cemetery was opened in 1946 on the anniversary of the liberation of Žilina on 30 April 1945.
The town’s indoor swimming pool is the oldest indoor pool in Slovakia with an Olympic sized 50 m long swimming pool. It was built in 1963 according to designs by Ing. arch. Anton Cimmermann. The pool was opened to the public on 6 August 1963 and 2,500 people visited it on the first day it was open.
The Salesian building and church were designed by Michal Maximilian SCHEER between 1937 and 1938. It was used by the National Security Corps – as the police were known from 1950 to 1990. Later the Ministry of Interior Fire Brigade High School was based here. A plaque indicates that bishop Vojtašák was imprisoned here.
Trade Union House, built on former Ľudovít Štúr Square, has become the centre of cultural and social life of Žilina.Trade Union House began operating in 1963 and theatre and operetta were also performed on the Great Stage, especially by actors from Martin and Bratislava.
The first post and telegraph office was located in close proximity to the old railway station in a building that had been constructed by 1918. The current Post Office building on Hviezdoslava Street was built next to the railway station by architect Ján Vrana in 1940.
Secession house of the Žilina advocate JUDr. Arpád Braun is one of the most beautiful buildings at Andrej Hlinka Square. This important representative of the Jewish orthodox community was born in Žilina in 1877. Large commercial premises on the ground floor of the house were used especially by banks.
Printing was one of the most significant inventions of humankind. In the 17th century there were only few places in Slovakia and one of them was Žilina. Mostly religious literature, Slovak and Hungarian textbooks, and vernacular works were printed in Slovak, Latin, German, Greek, Hungarian and Hebrew languages.
The number of Žilina inhabitants increased after the War and the pressure to expand the town with new housing estates was growing. The construction of flats in the Housing estate Hliny I-II having 5 floors in general started in 1954 according to the design prepared by academic arch. Ferdinand Čapek and arch. Ivan Meliš.
Adolf Munk built the hotel Hungária as an entertainment and cultural centre for the town around 1900. From 1913 the building housed a hotel, café, cinema and Apollo theatre.
In that period the Klemens’s house had a Renaissance cellar, two rooms and a larder. Until 1990 a grocery store was in the house and the Renaissance cellar was buried. A survey proved that the house originally consisted of two detached narrow houses with a Renaissance floor built in the 16th century.
A two-floor Secession house with a cellar was built in 1899 by Nicolleto – Mikuláš Rauter, a well-known builder from Žilina, originally coming from Italy, (he also built one of the most beautiful secession buildings in Žilina – Rosenfeld’s Palace). In the same year the house was purchased by Móric Ripper.
One of the most beautiful Secession houses in Žilina was built by PhDr. Matej Murín approximately in 1905. After 1990 the house was restituted and then sold. At present it is used as a restaurant and accommodation facility under name Penzión Central Park (a guesthouse).
From the medieval period until the end of the 19th century spital fields and town spital – poorhouse were standing in place of this house. The fields were let to people and the related proceeds were used for the poor and the old living in the spital and being cared for by the town.
The first known owner of house No. 5 was Samuel Vogel and his wife Ernestína Fridrichová. The Secession house with a cellar was standing on the street leading from the railway station towards the old town and to the square.The square was the trade centre until the beginning of the 20th century.
The house of the town physician Fridrich Miloslav Mráz and his wife Mária, born as Wild, was designed by Mikuláš Rauter from Italy, who also designed one of the most beautiful Secession houses in Žilina – Rosenfeld’s palace.
From the middle ages, the Kálov neighbourhood was a district of small single-storey buildings that included the town poorhouse, and land that was intended to finance it. The land that is now SNP Park was originally vacant and the first buildings around it were built at the end of the 19th century.
Jozef Krupec, a successful Žilina lawyer, and his wife Alžbeta, née Pappová, decided to build their own family seat on the family land. The Žilina house of his parents, Rudolf and Gizela (née Heinrichová), stood at the other end of Kalinčiakova ulica on the corner with Kuzmányho ulica.
In 1849 the building belonged to the respected Pokorný family and in 1892 it was acquired by Jakub Preiss who operated a tavern in the front part under the arcades next door to a dairy. The house was 26 m long and 9.2 m wide. In 1924 the house’s poor condition meant that it was in danger of collapsing and the owner wanted to renovate it.
The area around today’s Ulica republiky and neighbouring streets such as Štefánikova, Moyzesova and Prvého mája was known as Závažie from medieval times onward. The street itself and most of its buildings came into existence after 1920.
The part of Žilina around Ulica republiky is known to locals as Závažie, or Na Závaží. It covers the area from the River Váh to the present day Hlinka Square and includes streets such as Národná, Štefánikova, Milcova and Pivovarská.
The owners of the Slovak Forestry and Wood Processing Company (Slovenská lesná a drevopriemyselná účastinná spoločnosť), Emanuel Ellenbogen and Jozef Preiss paid the Wolf family 78,000 crowns for land on which to build a new company headquarters.
This building (original descriptive number no. 1134) was erected in 1928 on the corner of what are now Republic and Ján Rek Streets by Elena Jančeková, a teacher who as married to the head of the notarial office of the Town of Žilina, Gejza Janček.
Horný val and Dolný val are streets that have been an important part of the town’s historic core since the middle ages. Their unusual names come from the town’s fortifications – walls and a ditch, which the town built on the site before 1474, and the names have far outlived their inspiration since the fortifications were removed in the 18th century.
The original name of the road in the address of Samuel Wittenberg’s house was Framborská cesta (Frambor Road). When visitors hear this name, they often wonder what or who Frambor could be.
The lawyer Ján Drobný built one of the most beautiful Art Nouveau buildings in the town. 01 July 1928, Drobný became the president of the Slovak Land, one of four large administrative territories within the Czechoslovak Republic along with the Czech Land, Moravia and Silesia, and Sub-Carpathian Ruthenia.
Construction of the Hungarian Royal State Eye Hospital in Žilina began base on the approval of the Ministry of Finance for designs drawn up in 1912. Construction was carried out by the Žilina builders Karol Grün and Son based on designs by the Budapest architect Alfréd Jendrassik, who specialised in public health buildings.
Despite its proximity to the town centre and the main square, the district of Závažie (Na Závaží) only became an attractive place for business or living after the installation of water mains, sewers and electricity in 1910. It was a quiet neighbourhood with a convenient location near the railway station.
The two-storey building with a cellar was designed and built by the Trenčín construction firm of Berta and Kováč for Áron Lipner in an Art Nouveau style. It replaced an older building on the site. Áron Lipner, originally from Terchova, was one of the richest people in Žilina.
In the 1930s, the town responded to the demand for further construction by expanding in the direction of the cemetery and the territory of Šefranica. The town had planned to build a ring road (named Veľká okružná – Big Ring) in this attractive area since 1910.
On the road to the Bôrik neighbourhood now known as Ulica Vojtecha Spanyola there is a beautiful magnolia tree (Magnolia campbellii) that grows in the garden of a family villa and dominates the entire street. The magnolia was planted by Senator Ján Kovalík when his family villa was newly built.
In the mid-1920s, many of the Žilina’s most prominent citizens began to build three-storey houses on the newly laid out square then named after M. R. Štefánik and now bearing the name of Andrej Hlinka. In 1924 Alexander Kompánek and his wife Margita, née Hoffmann, began building a house for their family on land that they bought for 6,613 crowns.
After guilds were abolished in 1872, trades workers and merchants established the Industrial Council as a body to protect their professional interests. Membership was obligatory. In 1931 the merchants left the organisation and established their own organisation Obchodné grémium obchodníctva (Commercial Business Council).
It was originally a single-storey building – the only one on the square – built in the 16th century in a Renaissance style. Its owners are known from the mid-18th century. They include Count Anton Pongrác and one of the most famous of all citizens of Žilina – Alexander Lombardini.
Around 1900, David Riesz opened a hotel with a café and restaurant at 1 Széchenyi Street (formerly known as the Lower Street and having the Slovak name Sládkovičova ulica since 1919). The Riesz Hotel was Riesz’s own building and after he died, his wife sold it for 90,000 crowns in 1911.
In the Kingdom of Hungary prior to 1918, it operated through the Hungarian Red Cross Society. The Red Cross already existed in Žilina before 1886, when it helped townspeople whose houses had been damaged in a great fire. The Czechoslovak Red Cross was founded in 1919. Its founder was Dr. Alica Masaryková.
A three-storey house was built at number 11 in 1900. The builder was the construction firm of Mikuláš Rauter, Augustín DiCento and Ján Silverio, originally from Italy. Mikuláš Rauter was an important builder and architect who built the palace of Ignác Rosenfeld the Žilina banker in 1907.
The regional library in Žilina is one of the most important public libraries in Slovakia. It has a leading position in the public library system in the Žilina Self-Governing Region, overseeing the methodological procedures of libraries in the region. It is also the town library for Žilina and a community centre catering to the broadest possible cross-section of the population and their diverse interests.
The street, which takes its name from the town’s now vanished brewery (pivovar, in Slovak), is built on land that originally lay between the town’s defensive ramparts and the Všivák Brook, which served as a sort of moat under the ramparts. The town fortifications were built around 1450–60.
Until the mid-1930s, the site of the present park was a muddy meadow into which the unregulated Všivák Brook frequently overflowed. The area was formerly known as Svinské pažite – swine meadows – because pigs were kept here.
The building was designed by arch. Friedrich Weinwurm, an outstanding functionalist architect who has several completed buildings in Žilina. The functionalist building was built by the Koníček construction firm in 1931.
This house was built on a medieval plot between Na priekope and Dolný val streets, replacing a previous building that dated from before 1849. The house was built for MUDr. Ivan Ján Jakubovský.
The construction of the National Bank won first place in the competition in the category of Civil and Industrial Buildings in 2004. The authors are Vladimír Fajčík, Maroš Likavčan, Róbert Toman. The new construction of the branch is located at the mouth of the Žilina "Boulevard" on the main pedestrian street of the city.