From the eighteenth century, a ground floor house belonging to Ondrej Smutný in 1849 and home to four people stood on the site of today’s Art Nouveau house. This house on Dolný val– Valata inferior bore the number 210 in the first list of all the houses in Žilina in 1849. It had only one room and one pantry cum kitchen. The family owned the house until 1896 when it came into the hands of Mária Smutná – Biringerová. In 1909, the land and the house were sold for 1,200 crowns and immediately divided into two between Ján Bielek with his wife Mária born Kuchárek and Štefan Kuchárek. These houses were given the numbers 210 and 211. It was probably around 1909-1910 that the new owners had the Art Nouveau houses built. It is thought that house no. 26 was designed by the local planners Krisler and Malirsch. The new house whose address is now Dolný val 26 was given the number 211 at the time and the address Sládkovičova ulica 8; at the time, the street was called Szécsényi utca. From 1919 until the present day, it has been called Sládkovič street. Part of the house on Dolný val (Alsó sáncz utca) bore the number 34; following several demolitions, it is now number 26. It was owned by Štefan Kuchárek until 1939, who then sold it to his sister and brother-in-law Ján Bielek for 180,000 Slovak crowns. The latter sold the house in 1948 to his son Jozef and his children Mária (later Pojteková) and Jozef. The Bielek family was one of the richest families in the town at that time; they owned much land and owed their wealth mainly to their profession as butchers.
It makes up the south-western corner of the block delimited to the south by Dolný val street, to the east by Hodžová, to the north by Na priekope and to the west bz Sládkovičová street. Its façades face on to Sládkovič street and Dolný val. The main entrance is situated on the corner of the building. The three-storey building with a basement has a rectangular layout.
We can presume that it was designed by a local planner inspired by examples of Budapest Art Nouveau. Apart from the original window panes, no details have been preserved in the interior which was quite damaged by building work carried out in the 1970s.
After nationalisation, various institutions were based in the building; in 1990 it housed the design studio of the State Project Institution for Trade and Tourism. After 1991 the building was returned to its original owners and after renovation, Devín banka had an office here. At present, it is used for commercial purposes. The house has a total surface area of 960 m2.
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