Ján Drobný’s villa

Murgašova Street No. 3

The lawyer Ján Drobný built one of the most beautiful Art Nouveau buildings in the town. He was born in Ružomberok (06/09/1881 – 05/04/1948, Žilina) and studied law at the universities in Prešov and Budapest, which awarded him his law degree in 1906. After graduating, he started working in the court at Ružomberok but settled in Žilina after marrying Mária Podivinská. In his free time, he enjoyed spending time out of doors and fishing. In 1925 he became the president of the Žilina fishing club, then called the Žilina conservation club, which had 100 members in Žilina and the surrounding area.
01 July 1928, Drobný became the president of the Slovak Land, one of four large administrative territories within the Czechoslovak Republic along with the Czech Land, Moravia and Silesia, and Sub-Carpathian Ruthenia. Within this function, he inaugurated the monument to General M. R. Štefánik on Bradlo together with President T. G. Masaryk.

In 1911 Ján Drobný and his father-in-law Ľudovít Podivinský ordered the construction a villa in the Žilina suburb of Frambor. The two-storey Art Nouveau building was built by Karol Pawer’s construction firm based on a design by the architect Flimml. The building permit was issued on 26 April 1911. The building with a base of 12.8 m by 12.4 m and a height of 14.8 m received its occupancy certificate on 27 September 1911.

The original design shows an interesting, asymmetrical solution to building a villa on a narrow base. The strongest Art Nouveau influence is seen in the design of the three-sided bay windows on both floors and in the gable cladding, the polygonal corner balcony on the upper floor, the geometric ornamental elements on the quoins and the trio of sculpted medallions between the storeys. There is also floral decoration between the windows on the upper floor. Combined with the wooden elements used on the gables and soffits, the ornamental elements give the villa a distinctive appearance with a strong character. The villa’s modern reconstruction involving changes in the colour scheme and the partitioning of the windows have given it a more austere appearance, suppressing its Art Nouveau playfulness and dynamism.From 1969 the house was the headquarters of the local coal distributor Uhoľných skladov Žilina. In 1990 the villa was returned to the descendants of its original owners who then sold it. The current owner rebuilt it in its present form.

From 1945 to 1969, Ján Drobný’s daughter Marta, her five children and her husband prof. Dr. Emanuel Filo lived in the house. Dr. Filo (22/08/1901, Beluša –07/10/1973, Žilina) was the first Slovak professor of internal medicine, the dean of the Medical Faculty of the Slovak University in Bratislava and the rector and prorector of the Slovak University from 1942 to 1945. He established the internal medicine department of Žilina Hospital and was its head from 1945 to 1960 and then an ordinary doctor until his retirement in 1971. On 23 September 1993 a commemorative bust by sculptor Alexander Ilečko was unveiled in the grounds of Žilina Hospital.

Source: Mgr. Peter Štanský a Milan Novák

It can be visited
interior
exterior during a guided tour of TIO Žilina.

Position of the monument on the map: A3

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