In 1894 Adolf Munk and his wife Róza Steinová purchased two old houses next to the medieval Lower Gate built probably around 1474. On that plot they built the hotel Hungária as an entertainment and cultural centre for the town around 1900. From 1913 the building housed a hotel, café, cinema and Apollo theatre. It was one of the best and most popular entertainment places in Žilina. Regular performances, balls and dance parties were organised there. Regular conferences of social democrats and Marxists from Slovakia and from the neighbouring countries were held in the hotel in 1919 to 1920. After 1919 the name was changed to Hotel Európa and at the end of the 20’s of the previous century the hotel was called Hotel Ján Popper.
It is interesting that postcard authors did not pay enough attention to texts printed on postcards. One postcard from 1913 incorrectly shows that the hotel was standing on street Felsö Sánc utca (Horný val, Upper Rampart), but the hotel was in fact situated on the corner of street Alsó Sánc (Dolný val, Lower Rampart) and street Deák Ferencz út. Before 1848, Lower Gate and Lower Rampart were situated on a nearby plot, close to where the hotel was built. On the right there is the house of Benö Mahrer – ironmongery, where Jozef Grosmann sold clothing as well. From 1941 to 1945 the building housed a German folk school, and later a town school managed by the headmaster Gottfried Staniek. The building was rented by Deutsche Partei. From 1949 it was the seat of the District Savings Bank in Žilina that was operating there until District Savings Bank, another bank, Čedok travel agency, finance administration and pharmacy built a new administration building at then Lenin Square (today Bernolákova Street) in 1978 to 1985, in which the savings bank resides until now. In 1986 the whole building on Hodžova Street was acquired by the Folk School of Arts in Žilina that had already been operating on the premises on the 1st and the 2nd floor of the building.
The musical school in Žilina was founded by Ladislav Árvay (1900 – 1967), a teacher and a violin player and native of Bytča. Under his leadership the Town Musical School in Žilina was opened in 1927. The school had its seat in the house of the Tvrdý family on what is today J. M. Hurban Street No. 38 (at Secondary Grammar School of St. Francis). In April 1944 the house was hit by an aerial bomb and the beautiful two-storey building was turned into a ground building that was demolished in 2012 and a guest house was built on the place. The musical life of Žilina was initiated by the musical school and supported by the Higher Musical School established in 1954 and transformed into the Conservatory Žilina in 1961. It was the third conservatory in Slovakia. In 1990 the Folk School of Arts was renamed the Primary School of Arts. In June 1994 the Ministry of Education of the SR named the school the Primary School of Arts of Ladislav Árvay based on its long-term results in terms of education and art, and in honour of Ladislav Árvay, who brought up many important musicians. A commemorative plaque with the following text is placed on the building: “Ladislav Árvay, 5 December 1900 – 13 August 1967, a violin teacher, the founder and the first headmaster of a musical school in Žilina in 1927 to 1951.”
Source: Mgr. Peter Štanský and Milan Novák
It can be visited
■ exterior during a guided tour of TIO Žilina.
Position of the monument on the map: B4