One of the most beautiful Secession houses in Žilina was built by PhDr. Matej Murín (1860 Námestovo - 1934 Žilina) approximately in 1905. After studying at the Secondary Grammar School in Banská Bystrica, he continued studying pharmaceutics in 1879 - 1885 at the University in Budapest, then he worked as a pharmacist in Námestovo and Budapest. In 1905 - 1934 he was the business manager of Žilina cellulose plant that was exporting its products to many European countries, to the United States of America, India and Japan. He was one of the co-founders of this important plant that was employing 697 people in 1910. Murín was a member of the Museum of Slovak Society and as an important person professing to have Slovak roots he was one of the signatories of the Declaration of the Slovak Nation on 30 October 1918 in Martin. By means of the declaration, the Slovaks professed to live together with the Czech nation in one state. He became a knight of the Order of St. Gregory, a member of administration boards of Tatra banka Bank, Slovenská banka Bank and many other industrial companies in Slovakia. His son, Matej Stanislav Murín, followed in his footsteps. He also worked in Žilina cellulose plant also as a manager and he was a Norwegian consul in Bratislava.
The house in then Millennium Park was standing in a nice open environment near the old town centre, a railway station and a newly built commercial street called after Lajos Kossuth – today Národná Street. On the opposite side of the park there was the brook Všivák, which is now hidden in piping under the pavement. This picturesque environment attracted many important Žilina inhabitants to have their villas built in this area. Except for PhDr. Matej Murín, the villas were owned by the town physician MUDr. Fridrich Miloslav Mráz, town mayor Ignác Rada and other important businessmen and industrialists.
The house plans and the exact date of the construction are not known, however, similarly as the adjacent house of MUDr. Mráz, the Murín’s house was probably designed by architect and builder Mikuláš (Nicolleto) Rauter, author of the design of the most beautiful Secession building in Žilina – Rosenfeld’s Palace, built in 1908. Murín and his wife Terézia, born as Kohútová were living in the house with their three children until 1924, when they sold the house for 450,000 Czech Crowns to another pharmacist – PhMr. Móric Donáth (1888 – 1944) and his wife Margita, born as Apfelmannová (1895 – 1944). Their only daughter Katarína was a pharmacist, too, and she was living in the house together with her parents. The house was nationalised in 1942 and the family had to move. Móric Donáth and his wife moved to Prussia, and their daughter Katarína to Bratislava, where she survived the holocaust unlike her parents, who died in a concentration camp.
After the war Katarína returned to Žilina, acquired the title to the house and was living in it. In 1952 the house was nationalised again and until 1956 it was the seat of an army club, then of a kindergarten and a senior house with a dining room and a kitchen. Central gas heating with a boiler room in the basement was installed in 1975.
Big reconstruction started in 1982. A part of the house was reconstructed into a kindergarten for children of Prior employees. A fountain was built in the yard. After 1990 the house was restituted and then sold. It underwent another reconstruction and at present it is used as a restaurant and accommodation facility under name Penzión Central Park (a guesthouse).
Source: Mgr. Peter Štanský and Milan Novák
Position of the monument on the map:C3