Originally, two detached houses numbered 99 and 100 stood on the site of today’s house. These houses were on the then Dolná street – Platea inferior; the name referred to the fact that the street went towards Dolná gate, which protected the entrance to the town from today’s Hurbanova street. From 1900 to 1918 the street was called Szécsényi utca – Sečéni street, but from February 1919 to today, it has been named after Andrej Sládkovič, the important Slovak poet. House number 99 belonged to Ján Ondruš; in 1849 it had three inhabitant, only had a ground floor and had many owners. It was then bought in 1921 by Ľudovít Petrovský and his wife Ružena, born Veselá, for the relatively high price of 200,000 crowns. The second house, number 100, originally belonged to Ignác Hrabovec, then to Anna Fischerová; at that time six people lived here in two rooms and a larder with kitchen. Petrovský bought the house in 1907 for 10,000 crowns.
In the place of these houses, he built a new house with a steam bath and living quarters in 1924. Before the construction of the bath house, there were two two-storey building, inside one of which was the Omnium cinema, well-known at the time. This is the reason why old inhabitants of Žilina refer to this three-storey building as the steam baths named after their original owner, Ľudovít Petrovský.
Carbonic acid baths, steam baths and bathtub bathing were available to regular visitors, along with massage, pedicure and a barber’s. The Art Nouveau-style building was built in 1924 and was one of the few public baths outside Bratislava at that period. The Petrovský and son business then built a ground-floor building for cleaning laundry, the “Factory for washing and chemical cleaning”. After the house constructor’s death in 1945, it was passed down to his children Ladislav, Anton and Ľudovít, who lived there with their mother. The baths and the dry cleaner’s were taken over by the Czechoslovak state after 1949 and from 1950 onwards housed the town’s Communal services. They carried on operating the steam baths, but their quality gradually deteriorated. In 1959 and 1960, the house belonged to the state, administrated by the Communcal Services.
After the restitution of property, the house was sold. Following a complete reconstruction in 1995, the interior layout of the rooms was adapted to their new role: a bank on the ground floor and office space on the other storeys. At present, it is the headquarters of the Žilina branch of ÖTP bank.
Source: Mgr. Jozef Moravčík, Mgr. Peter Štanský
It can be visited
■ exterior during a guided tour of TIO Žilina.
Position of the monument on the map: B4