In the 18th century this townhouse belonged to an important Žilina family – the Hrabovskýs, who owned more than one house on the square. They therefore sold the house to the town on 9 June 1731 for the relatively large sum of 520 gold coins. Since that time “Žilinci” (as the locals of Žilina are known) have referred to the house as “the town house”. There is only one house on the square – formerly, known as “rínok” - with the Slovak coat of arms on the front. It consists of a yellow double cross atop a yellow hill in a green field. The townhouse not only served the needs of the town and various civic associations and organizations, but there was also a restaurant and rooms to accommodate the town’s guests, particularly the officers of the various armies that passed through Žilina. The house was therefore sometimes called the barracks. Russian officers stayed here, for example, in the revolutionary years of 1848 and 1849, when commanding the Russian Imperial Army in the fight with the imperial Austrian army against the Hungarians.
The house was therefore also a town hotel. The town rented the town hotel at auction. In 1914 the town hotel had a total of eight rooms, costing between 1.60 crown and 4.80 crowns per person per night. Under the first Czechoslovak Republic the house was used for political meetings, in particular those held by left-wing parties and their organisations. On 9th November the founding assembly of Interhelpo, a manufacturing and trade cooperative, was held here in response to a request from the Soviet Union for people to help the country's war-devastated economy. Hundreds of people, mainly young, poor Slovaks, left Žilina for the Soviet Union, where they built a variety of factories and industrial plants.
After 1949 the house belonged to the state, and a number of offices and shops were located here. In 1987 there was a bakery and delicatessen’s on the ground floor, but following renovations in the same year, a shop selling toiletries was set up. Upstairs there was Photo-Cinema.
The townhouse is located on land that runs as far as Makovického Street. The house still has the original stone Gothic cellars and Gothic cusped entranceway; the upper floors are Renaissance, built in the 17th century and altered in the 20th century. The original Renaissance room in the middle with Renaissance vaulting has been retained, and the upper floor and ground floor are Renaissance. In 1963, the house became listed building no. 1415/0. The building was completely renovated after 1991 in keeping with a design by architect Eichler, and in 1997 a second phase of reconstruction was carried out according to plans by Krušinský. The house was given a hipped gable roof and dormer windows facing onto the square. The facade was also restored. The house is used for business and administrative purposes.
Source: Mgr. Jozef Moravčík, Mgr. Peter Štanský