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. This is certainly one of the reasons why lawyer Emil Holzmann (1876 Turie – 1939 Žilina) decided to settle here. In 1911, at the age of 35, he decided that he needed a place of his own and built a family seat in the town for himself, his wife Valéria, née Kux (1884–1944) and their children Pavel (1909–1944), Teodor (1905–1989) and Edita (1907–1972), who later married Dr E Weissberger. Holzmann bought land from the Town of Zilina in the Na Závaží neighbourhood that had previously been agricultural land (at what is now the junction of Milcova and Tvrdého Streets) for a price of 14,000 crowns. The town authorities acting as the building office issued a building permit for a two-storey house with a garret and cellar on 06 June 1911. The occupancy certificate was issued on 13 December 1911. The plans for the building had been drawn up in May 1911 by the construction and design firm of Július Grün and son, which also built the house. In the first two decades of the 20th century, this firm was the largest building firm in the town, with its own brickworks on the Rajec Road. Their major commissions included the Rémi Hotel (now Polom), the building of the Hungarian Royal District Court and the building of the Hungarian Border Captaincy.
According to the designs, the basement was used for storage and central heating but also included a one-room flat for a caretaker. The ground floor was a fully equipped five-room flat with a maid’s room and a toilet. Emil Holzmann had his law office on the first floor and there was also a fully equipped four-room flat, again with a maid’s room and a toilet. The top floor contained a garret, a laundry room and a drying room. The balcony was placed further left than in the original plans, which intended it to be in the middle of the right-hand part of the house. After Emil Holzmann died in 1939, ownership of the house was shared by his three children – Pavel Holzmann, Teodor Holzmann and Edita Weissberger. Edita was in China, however, and her brother Teodor had gone to the USA.
The building was taken into temporary administration from 1941 to 1945. Until October 1941, the house remained the residence of Pavel Holzmann, the son of the original owner, as well as the Sternová and Herzková families and the family of a tailor called Geraldini. From 1 October, the well-known lawyer Ernest Žabkay set up his flat and office here and Dr. Viktor Šimko moved in his surgery. In September 1944, the house was occupied by German and Hungarian troops, who were succeeded by Russian troops in May 1945. They caused significant damage to the house, especially in Žabkay’s flat. After the liberation, Ľudovít Jung – a relative of the owners – was appointed the national administrator. One of the heirs, Pavel Holzmann, and his mother Valéria had died in the Holocaust, so the house was inherited by Teodor Holzmann, who was then living in the USA.
In 1961 the building became the seat of the department of mathematics of the Faculty of Operation and Economics of Transport and Communications (PEDA) and the general department of Marxism-Leninism of the University of Transport and Communications in Žilina. After 1969, the whole building was taken over by the Institute of Marxism-Leninism. In 1990 a bank and later also insurance companies moved into the building. The building was renovated and at the time of writing in 2015 it was occupied by an insurance company.
Source: Mgr. Peter Štanský a Milan Novák
It can be visited
■ exterior during a guided tour of TIO Žilina.
Position of the monument on the map: C4