Townhouse 21

Dom č. 21Townhouse 21

In the sixteenth century, the house belonged to the Turský squires, but the first owner is mentioned in 1566 as Uršula Matušková. In 1602 it was bought by Ján Mlynárik, then owned from 1647 by Juraj Stráňavský, then Jakub Gutt and from 1689 to 1717 by Mikuláš Cibulka. In the first third of the eighteenth century, it had several owners: 1718 Mikuláš Cibulka, 1721 Šimon Turak, 1726 Juraj Rajčani, then Wolfgang Nozdrovický. From 1732 it belonged to Ján Krizman’s family, but his widow sold it to Daniel Hebenstein. In 1784 it was purchased by Ondrej Kemba; after 1834 it belonged first to Ignác and then to Jozef Segéni. From 1861, there were several joint owners: the Folkman, Tvrdý, Schmidt, Obhlídalovič, Pokorný families. In 1923, Vilma Puchmayerová bought the house from them. Two years later, she sold it for 210,000 Czechoslovak crowns to the Economic Credit Cooperative Žilina. This association, led by the well-known Žilina priest Ružička, completely demolished the house leaving only its foundations, and built in its place a new three-storey building following plans by the architect M. M. Sheer, which still stands to this day. It was intended to be a bank and a flat for its director. The newly built building was very progressive for its time, not only in terms of its functional use, but also by its deliberate layout of rooms, lighting in its centre using joint windows as well as a wooden folding glassed-in wall between the front area and the back. The building’s architect found a progressive solution for the front façade, too, which is flat and only segmented by simple notches in the joint windows and covered with polished limestone. The building already used a central heating system. The staircase itself is unusual, as is the modern banister, too. A similar one was also used in the Palais Morava in Brno. The only shame is that such a building with a very progressive front façade was integrated into a historic square, and on top of that, next to a Baroque religious building complex. In 1944 the house was acquired by the Citizens’ Credit Institution. From 1949 to 1963 it was owned by the Graber family, when this house too was finally nationalised.

Tomáš Ružička (1877 – 1947) held in turn the offices of chaplain, administrator and priest of Žilina. In 1931, he also worked as the papal protonotary apostolic and prelate. He played an important role in the history of the town, in particular through his construction activities and help for the poor. He was responsible for building the Catholic house and the so-called Ružička colony with 23 houses for poorer families. The colony no longer exists, it was demolished to build the Hliny III. and IV. Housing estates at the end of the 1950s, but this colony remained in the memory of the inhabitants of Žilina as a symbol of support for the poor. In 1936 he sent for the Salesians (the order founded by St John Bosco) to come to Žilina. In order for them to be able to build their own premises, he allocated them a plot of land in Hliny.

House no. 20 is a terraced house built on a long plot of land adjacent to the Church of the Conversion of St Paul. Before, the original medieval townhouse stood in its place. It is a two-storey functionalist building with a façade divided into four parts and with straight arcades on the ground floor. The house is covered with travertine cladding from Spiš. It had a roof sloping down towards the square. In 1963 it was included in the Central List of Heritage Monuments under KP no. 1411/0. The ground floor of the building was rebuilt according to plans by the architect Dušan Voštenák for a travel agency which is still here today.

Source: Mgr. Jozef Moravčík, Mgr. Peter Štanský

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