The tower stands on Horný Val street, next to the parish church. Its history 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. From 1529, the Kostka brothers – Peter and Mikuláš – were the owners of Strečno castle. Burian Svetlovský went to court to have his property returned. The construction of Burian’s tower, therefore, covers a period of around three years. However, we cannot exclude the possibility that its construction was completed by the Podmanický brothers, Ján and Rafael, who occupied the parish church on two occasions, in 1540 and 1548, and converted it into a fort (castellum). An 18.3-metre long wall was found next to the tower leading to the steps going up to the parish church, 80 cm thick and set only 70 cm into the ground. The shape and direction of the wall were irregular, as if it had been built in a great hurry. The discovery of a large stone ball by the outer wall of the supporting pillar of an older church, discovered in 2000-2001 to the south of the shrine of the Gothic Church of the Holy Trinity, also testifies to this.
Burian’s tower was both a bell-tower and an observation point, providing protection against fires and approaching enemies. Its fate and that of the church are linked together, and thus several fires in the church also affected the tower itself. The roof of the tower changed several times: from 1762 to 1848, it had a Baroque, onion shape, from 1869 to 1886, a simple pyramid shape similar to the tower of Budatín castle. After the last fire, it was given a so-called helmet space. It was originally called New Tower and was named Burian’s tower from the end of the nineteenth century, perhaps after the large bell, weighing 2,336 kg. In 1917, it was used for military purposes along with another two bells. In 1923, they were replaced with six new bells. Its last reconstruction in 1941 added a panoramic viewing deck to the tower. At present, Burian’s tower is accessible to the public as part of a guided tour organised by the Žilina Tourist Information Office.
Source: Mgr. Jozef Moravčík
It can be visited
■ interior during guided tours organized by the Žilina Tourist Information Office every Tuesday and Thursday at 11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. In other days it is necessary to book the tour in advance in TIO Žilina.
■ exterior during a guided tour of TIO Žilina.
Position of the monument on the map: B4
Number of the monument on the map: 2