Holíč

Holíč is a town in western Slovakia.

History

The oldest archaeological findings in the area date from the Neolithic, and there are findings from the Bronze AgeIron Age and the Roman time. The town was first mentioned in 1205 as Wywar, meaning “New Castle”. The Árpád dynasty built a stone castle after the Mongol invasion in 1241. From the 13th century until 1296, Holíč was the seat of a border comitatus. Among the owners of the town were Matthias Csák and Stibor of Stiborice. In the 15th century the town’s development was slowed by the Hussite raids. In 1736 the town was bought by Franz I, Holy Roman Emperor, husband of Maria Theresa and manufactures were built, leading to the town’s growth. Maria Theresa also rebuilt the Holíč Castle from a fortress into a summer château of the Habsburgs. Holíč’s once thriving Jewish community was completely decimated by the Holocaust.

The name Holíč (also spelled Holitsch) also refers to a type of tin-glazed earthenware faience that was manufactured in the area. The Holitsch factory (Slovakia) was founded in 1743 by Francis of Lorain consort of Empress Maria Teresia. The factory concentrated on the production of richly adorned sets intended to emulate the wares used by the aristocracy in the large western European centers. The factory, which served as a revitalizing force against the decline of local potters in the 18th century, brought together experts from different countries in a co-operative effort to produce wares from which later central European factories derived their inspiration. Responding to an eager market and following patterns established at the Strasbourg factory, the Holitsch factory produced remarkably life like pieces imitating fruits and vegetables. These fine examples of modeling were further distinguished by the brightness of the colors used in their decorations. The potters also created sculpture vessels of human or animal shapes that were intended for a practical as well as decorative use such as salt dishes, parrot bottles and lidded containers.

In August 1942, President Jozef Tiso gave an infamous speech in the town in which he defended the deportation of Jews from Slovakia, because they were “parasites”.

Sights

  • Holíč Castle, now a baroque château
  • Gothic church from 1387
  • Capuchin church from 1755
  • Tolerantion church from 1787
  • Burgher house, originally in Baroque, now in Art Nouveau style
  • Complex of manufacture buildings
  • Water and wind mills
  • Loretan and Florian chapels

In the neighbouring village of Kopčany, the 9th century St. Margaret’s Church from the time of Great Moravia, is located.

Contact

Holíč
email
sekretariat@holic.sk
address
Bratislavská 5, 908 51 Holíč
phone
034 - 321 0511