Bourgeois House (House with a Latin inscription)

Hodžova Street No. 4

In 1919 the street was named after an important national revivalist and the co-codifier of literary Slovak, Michal Miloslav Hodža (1811-1870). In the Middle Ages the street was named after its location, Lower Gate Street, then in 1849 it became Golden Street - Platea aurea. There are currently two theories as to the origin of the name. One is based on the positioning of the street, which illuminates the setting sun and creates a golden glow. The second theory holds that it is related to the goldsmiths who worked on this street. They did not have their own guild in the town, but were members of the guild of goldsmiths in Trenčín.
The street was also named Ferencz Deák utca after the Hungarian politician, František Deák. It was one of the most important thoroughfares in the medieval town, because it provided access to the main square – the rínok – for visitors entering via the Lower Gate, especially from the directions of Kysuce, Moravia, Silesia and Bratislava. Žilina archaeologist Jozef Moravčík discovered the foundations of the Lower Gate along with the 14th century moat while conducting archaeological research in August 1995. The gate stood between what is now Prima Bank and the Folk Art School. The gate was demolished following the great town fire of 1848, as was the upper gate, since they were of no defensive significance and were hampering development of the city.

Only the basement of the house with its gothic cellars and Renaissance archways that form part of the archways on Marianske Square survive of the medieval building at number 4. 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. Book of Psalms, or Psalm 113. The inscription is one of the most famous Latin texts in Žilina, because it is located on the front of the house and it is easy to see. The house has become a popular historical building and it appears in all publications on old buildings and monuments in Žilina.
The house was previously owned by important Žilina families. In 1849 the house was owned by Valentín Mitzeli, who lived there along with three family members. At that time the house had three bedrooms and three additional rooms. In 1868 the house was bought by Henrich Reizs, then in 1893 by Sigismund Reisz for 6000 forints, and finally his son-in-law Nathan Stiglitz became the owner in 1897. This family owned the house until it was nationalised.

The area leading up to present-day Dolný Val street also belonged to the house, and it was here that Nathan Siglitz built a beautiful Art Nouveau house in the early 20th century. After it was nationalised, the house on Hodžova Street became home to various shops and the Pezinská wine restaurant, popular in its time. Nowadays the building is used for commercial purposes. The front of the house has a basement and a semi-circular Gothic vaulted cellar with a rounded stone entranceway, which conservationists estimate to have originated towards the end of the 13th century. There is a Renaissance ground floor with a barrel vaulted roof and lunettes. The upper floor has been partially rebuilt and has a renaissance entranceway.
After 1990 the building was reconstructed. Next door at number 6, in 2009, archaeologists discovered several layers in the cellar dating from the 13th and14th centuries, so we can assume that number 4 must have been standing in the 13th century and probably belonged to one of Žilina’s more important residents.

Source: Mgr. Jozef Moravčík, Mgr. Peter Štanský

It can be visited
exterior during a guided tour of TIO Žilina

Position of the monument on the map: B4

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