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The oldest written document about Brodzany is from 1293. A typical Slovak vil­lage of the Nitra river basin is recorded under the names of Brogan, Brogen, or Borogen. Later the names Baragan and Baragyan were also added. Of interest is the fact that as late as the 17th century the name Brogyan came into being, referring to the Brogyányi fam­ily (the ending-yi being of Hungarian origin).

As it is documented in the first written record of 1293, the name of the settlement Brogen originated undoubtedly from the word brod referring to those people who lived by the ford. Archeological rema­ins dating from the 9th to the 13th centuries give convincing evi­dence of the existence of the Old Slavic settlement of Brodzany. Ot­her findings from the surrounding areas of this village, as well as from the villages of Krásno and Žabokreky nad Nitrou nearby, all provide further concrete evidence of its existence in the centuries that followed.

According to J. Stanislav and E. Pauliny, the present name of Brodzany was derived from “…the root word brod (“ford”) and suffix-jany or-any, as was common for place names that were derived from root words in the early Slavic history of the territory occupied by the oldest Slavic tribes”. In accordance with the views of these scholars the following progression can be observed in the group of consonants: from dj to dž to dz. This seems to suggest the reliabili­ty of the documentation related to Brodzany and its nearest sur­roundings. Within this historical context it is noteworthy that the family name of Brodziansky is always found in the written docu­ments as well as in its colloquial usage under its Hungarian form, i.e. Brogyanyi. Already mentioned in 1293 as a class of ruling over the Tekov castle serfs, the Brodzianskys began to rule over the vil­lage as early as the 11th century. Brodzany was situated in the north‑westernmost corner of the Tekov region in the Oslany distric­t.

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The oldest archeological remains are from the surroundings of Brodzany and date back to the prehistoric period of the Linear Pottery Culture (around 5000 B.C.) Since that time the existence of the settle­ment in the area of the Nitra river basin can be traced up to the present day. Undoubtedly the most important finds of prehistoric times were those excavated in a settlement feature found in the area of Brodzany in 1953. On the basis of the excavations of upland settlements in Brodzany and later in Nitra. A new culture of prehis­toric Europe was discovered which had not been known until then. It became known as the Brodzany-Nitra culture (3500‑3100 B.C.). However the area of Brodzany is known for other important finds belonging to the Celtic and Germanic settlements. Nevertheless, the most important finds are those of the beginnings of the Slovak national history. The settlement of Brodzany, therefore, did not originate in 1293, the date of the oldest written document known, but much earlier in prehistory. There is abundant documentation in the archives that record many important facts about the an­cient and modern history of the village, its feudal owners, and poor serfs. The Brodzianskys having gradually lost their rights to any property, the Kvaššay family took over the area in 1516. The contin­uous disputes that lasted for many years between the earlier and later owners of the Brodzany village, especially between the fami­lies of Brodziansky and Kvaššay ended by the year 1844, when Bro­dzany became the property of the Earl Gustav Vogl von Friesenhof, a successful Austrian diplomat in the czar’s court in St. Petersburg. After the death of his first wife he married sister of famous Russian writer A.S. Pushkin, Alexandria Nikolajevna Goncar. With the arrival of the Vogl von Friesenhofs to Brodzany, a totally new period began in the life of the village. This was due to the large-scale cultural activities organized under the patronage of the Pri­ncess Natalia Oldenburg. Brodzany become universally recognized by many scholars of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire and also by important cultural figures of the Russian empire, such as the lit­erary genius Pushkin, whose works survived social, and political upheavals. The evidence of this ever-living heritage is found in the newly renovated Renaissance manor where the Pushkin Literary Museum is now housed.

If the history of Brodzany is similar to that of other villages in the Nitra river basin, it has, nevertheless, exceptional status in the cul­tural life of Slovakia. The evidence of this is not only reflected in its historical remains and important historical events, but also in the lives of some of its inhabitants whose fame spread beyond the vil­lage and even the borders of Slovakia.

Brodzany manor house dates back to 1377. Next written record about the manor house is from 1495. There is not too much information available until 1669 when some extensive renovations had taken place during the ownership of the Kvaššay family. They built four fortified towers at each corner of the manor house. In the second half of the 17th century there were some fortification adjustments due to the Turkish danger and due to the anti Hapsburg uprising.

There is a huge and beautiful park that surrounds the manor house.

Literature: BRODZANY 1293-1993 commemorating 700th anniversary of the first written mention of the village.

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Published in the Slovak Heritage Live newsletter Volume 12, No.2, Summer 2004
Copyright © Vladimir Linder 2004
3804 Yale Street, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada V5C 1P6
The above article and photographs may not be copied, reproduced, republished, or redistributed by any means including electronic, without the express written permission of
Vladimir Linder. All rights reserved.