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 fortifications – walls 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.
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