František Koštial’s house

Horný Val No. 6

Horný val and Dolný val are streets that have been an important part of the town’s historic core since the middle ages. Their unusual names come from the town’s fortificationswalls and a ditch, which the town built on the site before 1474, and the names have far outlived their inspiration since the fortifications were removed in the 18th century. Most of the buildings on these streets were built in the 16th century and have Renaissance cellars, but some, including the present building, were built at the start of the 20th century when the town experienced a construction boom following rapid developments in industry, trade and banking.

At the beginning of the 20th century the town had just one pharmacy, which had operated on the main square, today’s Mariánske námestie, since 1735. The pharmacy’s address was in house no. 6, which had land extending to Horný val. František Koštial bought the pharmacy licence for 35,700 crowns in 1896 and took control of the business but remained a tenant of the building’s actual owner, Armin Rosenfeld. Rosenfeld sold the building and land to Koštial for 64,000 crowns in 1902 when he was raising money for the construction of a magnificent Art Nouveau building that would serve as a bank headquarters and family seat on Hurbanova ulica, now known as the Rosenfeld Palace.
At the rear of the lot, Koštial built a new two-storey building facing onto Horný val, probably replacing an older structure. The building was designed by Mikuláš Rauter, one of the best-known architects and builders in Žilina at the start of the 20th century, who was originally from Italy. The building was built by František Krisler’s construction firm. The building permit was issued by the District Office in Žilina on 17 March 1906. František Koštial and his family probably moved into the building the same year, thus freeing up space in the front part of the building facing the square. The new building remained part of one lot with the building on the square but there was a yard between them containing a masonry cesspit. The yard also contained buildings that people could pass through. There was a basement under the full area of the two-storey building which contained a laundry. The ground floor had two apartments – with two kitchens and five rooms – and there was a similar arrangement on the first floor. The building was 10.4 m wide, 20.9 m long and 9.5 m tall. It was built in a historicist style with neo-renaissance features.

As František Koštial got older, he began to look for someone to take over his pharmacy and he sold the licence for 100,000 crowns to Gejza Hladný, who took over the business and its equipment on 01 January 1907. Koštial retained ownership of the pharmacy building. When Koštial died in 1914, his heirs made an agreement with Hladný granting him pre-emption right to the two buildings for 77,332 crowns and he bought the buildings out completely in 1918 for 38,666 crowns.

Although Gejza Hladný and his family moved to Budapest in 1922 (where he died in 1930), he retained ownership of the buildings on Horný val and the square but granted a pre-emption right to the new pharmacist, Vojtech Deutsch, in 1923. Deutsch never exercised his rights and the buildings were eventually purchased by the bank Považská agrárna a priemyselná banka for 800,000 crowns in 1926. When the bank collapsed in 1937, the two buildings were purchased by the pharmacist Vojtech Deutsch and his wife in partnership with a textile dealer Max Pollaček and his wife. The Deutsches probably started out in the building on Horný val but it is known that in 1938 they were living on the first floor of the building facing the square. On the ground floor there was the pharmacy and next door Pollaček’s textile shop. After Deutsch, the rear building on Horný val was inhabited by Max Pollaček, his wife Gizela and his daughter Elena. They also had tenants – the Lečková family and Vincent Florián.

Both the building on Horný val and the building on the square were taken into national administration from 1941 to 1947. The former owners continued to live in it during this period (except in the period after the Slovak National Uprising) as did the sub-tenants. National administration was terminated in 1947 and both the front and rear buildings were returned to the joint ownership of the Deutschová-Dvoranová and Pollačeková families. The buildings were nationalised by decision of the District National Committee in Žilina in 1962. The subtenants continued to live on Horný val, as did Max Pollaček and his wife Gizela until his death in 1955 and hers in 1965. In 1991 the building was sold into private ownership and was rebuilt by its present owner with some modifications based on a design by the architects Ing arch. Pavol Brna and Ing arch. Nikoleta Jančeková. The building facing the square and the next-door building were also rebuilt, and all the parts were connected by a commercial arcade. An old, filled-in well was discovered during the work and was cleaned and rebuilt. It now forms part of the interior of the rebuilt buildings.

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: B4

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