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Volume 12, No. 1, SPRING 2004

Slovak Heritage Live

A quarterly newsletter published by Vladimir Linder

Spring issue was published in February 2004 and it was mailed to 1200 recipients world wide. 

Čachtice Castle

A big thank you to everyone that renew their subscriptions, however there are still large number of subscribers that forgot to renew. If your address label is high lined, please note the additional messages enclosed with the newsletter and your subscription has either expired or will expire soon. Please renew early and if you can, you know that donations are gladly accepted no matter how large they may be.
In December we had visits from Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Israel, Japan, Lithuania, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, Romania, Slovak Republic, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Yugoslavia and we had received 214828 hits...

Dear Vlad, Your persistence has paid off. I am enclosing a check for $150.00 for the following: $75.00 for2002, 2003, and 2004 membership and $75.00 for the book Slovak History Chronology and Lexicon published by SPN in 2002.
I am also thinking about writing a paper about my trip to Slovakia in October. I still marvel at the success that we had. I prepared for it for six months. It may serve as a guide for others who contemplate making similar trip after fifty years of no contact and having little knowledge of Slovak, their names, and villages.
Mr. George Uchrin
21 Stonehedge Dr.
Lincroft NJ 07738 USA


The word PASCHA means “Passover,” for Christ by his resurrection passed over from death to life, freeing us from the bondage of sin, as once the Jewish people “passed over” from slavery to freedom. Furthermore, the Risen Christ is the “leaven” for the paschal bread, which he changed into his own body  (Matthew 26:26).

Christ’s mother must be remembered in the Easter foods; she was intimately involved with the passion and death of her Son. The Babka, baked in a tall, round loaf, is rich, fine-textured, and light, glazed and decorated to symbolize the joy of the Blessed Mother at the news of Christ’s Resurrection.

The red stain of beets symbolizes the stain caused by sin, which is washed away be Christ’s victory over sin, as foretold in an old Testament prophesy (Isaiah 1:18)...     

and the blood countess Alžbeta Bathory
Čachtice castle is located on a hill above town of Čachtice and on the other side of the castle is village called Vrbové. It is situated where a ledge of the Podunajská lowland in Považie connects with the Smaller Carpathian hills, 7 Kilometers south of Nové Mesto nad Váhom. Beckov castle is a bit northwest from here and Trenčín is north of Beckov. Southwest from Čachtice high in the mountains is Tematín castle.
The first written mention of the Čachtice village originates from the king Béla IV in the year 1248. Čachtice had been awarded town privileges in the year 1392 together with market rights. It was a town of landlords.
Čachtice castle dates back to the second half of the 13th century and it was one of the first castles that were safeguarding hot western border of Hungary. The first owners of the castle were Peter and Pongrác from family Hunt-Poznan, and for certain time it was property of Matúš Čák the owner of Trenčín castle. In 1392 it becomes property of Stibor from Stibotice who was owner of 15 castles in Považie region. Nádasdy family owned the castle from 1569.
In 1708 it became victim of František Rákoczi II army that burned it. The castle was repaired in 1715 and it was used as a jail for some time. Soon it burned again and from then on it started to deteriorate. At the highest point there was a palace with horseshoe shaped watchtower in which a chapel was located, built in second half of the 13th century in the place of a late Bronze Age fortified settlement. Surrounding the upper courtyard were several residential buildings built by Stibor of Stibotice and his son (1392-1436). Lower courtyard had defense character and it was accessible from the upper part by a tunnel carved through rock above the moat. Fortifications embracing the new group of buildings were retained from the latest Renaissance reconstruction ordered in the 17th century by the notorious Elizabeth Báthory...

By: Mons, Doc. ThDr. ICLic. František Dlugoš, PhD
Ernest Tatarko was born on December 26, 1914 in Ľubica near Kežmarok. He went to primary school in Kežmarok and after fourth year he was accepted to Lutheran Gymnasium in Kežmarok that was German and he graduated here. From 1935 to 1940 he studied theology at Spiš’s seminary. During his studies at the seminary he was helping in publishing of liturgical magazine LIGHT, which was mailed to different parishes of the diocese. He published it together with professor Jalovec. Apart from the magazine, he took care with professor Čarnogurský, of whom Ernest declared that he was for him the model of sainthood, of mission page of the diocese. On February 2, 1940 he was ordained to priesthood by Archbishop of Spiš, Ján Vojtaššák.
After ordination he became chaplain in Spiš Podhradie. In June of the same year he got a task of standing in for a chaplain of Levoča for six weeks. After this time he returned to be a chaplain again in Spiš Podhradie where a decree naming him a chaplain of Spišská Nová Ves was waiting for him. The priest of Spišské Podhradie wasn’t very happy about it and made sure he never left to his new post. In 1941 he became chaplain of Levoča, where he stayed exactly to January 21, 1945...

The first coins in today’s territory of Slovakia were minted by Celts more than 2000 years ago. In the first century BC there was a Celts mint it today’s Bratislava. They minted several types of coins from gold and silver. Most known are silver coins with writing BIATEC, NONNOS, COISA, and AINORIX. They are the oldest proof of Latin writing in Slovakia. With the expansion of Roman Empire all the way to the border river Danube at the beginning of 1st century AD, Roman coins can be found and slowly pushed out the Celts coins. After the dissolving of the Great Moravian Empire in 10th century the territory os slovakia becomes part of new Hungarian State and there is a beginning of new coins whose basic unit was DENÁR.
The Kremnica mint was founded on November 1, 1328 by the Hungarian king Charles Robert of Anjou, after bestowing the privilege of a free royal mining and minting town upon the mining settlement of Cremnychbana (Kremnica). Rich deposits of gold and silver in the local mines enabled the town to produce coins of high quality. The mint has been in continuous operation since it’s founding and is considered an important historical monument of central Europe. Kremnica’s fame in Europe peaked during the 14th and 15th centuries, the period of its greatest economic and social prosperity, when its gold output also reached its height at about 400 Kg per year. During this time the mint minted from the gold from Kremnica and surrounding mines around 400000 ducats. The most valuable coins of Kremnica’s mint were golden florens, known as Kremnica’s Ducats. They weren’t the currency only on domestic market but they became the favorable and most sought coins in the whole Europe for several centuries. All this time (they were minted until 1881) they kept their purity 23 Carats and 9 Grénes-987,981/1000 and steady weight of 3.45 grams...

Publisher: SPN
This book is in English
The book (350 pages) is divided into two sections.

The first section, the calendar, presents Slovak history from the first evidence about human beings on Slovak territory up to the events that took place in 1998 with notations summarizing important historical events and phenomena.
The second section is an encyclopedic dictionary with three hundred alphabetically arranged entries characterizing the most important concepts, institutions, and events. It includes genealogical tables of the longest reigning dynasties on the Hungarian throne, a list of all rulers and presidents of states to which the lands of Slovakia belonged (Great Moravia, the Kingdom of Hungary, Austria, Czechoslovakia and Slovakia).
Six historians from Bratislava prepared this chronology of Slovak history (J. Bartl, V. Segeš, V. Čičaj, D. Škvarna-main author, R. Letz and M. Kohútová).
It is said that the way to the knowledge of the present leads through a knowledge of the past. Therefore, this book can be recommended to all readers, who are interested in the Slovak history as well as to those, who are involved in genealogical research.
We can only welcome this book trying to fill the gap because until now, Slovak history was not sufficiently covered and to a very limited extent in the English language.
It is not frequent to mention the translator’ s name, but an exception in this case is allowed, thank you David P. Daniel for your excellent translation.
Reviewed by Miroslava Dulová

This book is available now. Cost is US$79.95
Please mail personal check to 
Vladimir Linder 
3804 Yale Street
Burnaby, BC, V5C 1P6, CANADA

Obrázkový slovník slovenčiny
Author: Oľga Škvareninová
Publisher: SPN
ISBN 80-8-00913-6
This illustrated dictionary is intended for each and everybody with the intention to improve his or her knowledge of the Slovak language.
It includes approximately 3 000 selected words, more than the basic thesaurus.
The dictionary is divided into six individual titles and accompanied by a register at the end.
The individual titles are:
People and their surroundings
Working environment

Leisure and sport
Art and science

This book is available now. Cost is US$25.95. 
Please mail personal check to 
Vladimir Linder
3804 Yale Street
Burnaby, BC, V5C 1P6, CANADA

JÁN ČISÁRIK (1909-1969)
Helena Čisárik together with their children, during their first visit in jail at Valdice, couldn’t recognize her husband. He looked to them like shrunk gray old man. They recognized him only from his eyes and voice. He loss 88 pounds from his original weight.
The district court in Banská Bystrica in closed sitting on May 24, 1960 decided like this: “Under § 391 section 1, Ján čisárik, born on June 26, 1909 in Jarabina is receiving amnesty from the president of the republic from May 9, 1960 and he is forgiven the rest of his sentence of 8 months and 20 days and regaining hi citizenship rights.”
The district office in Hradec Králové billed him on November 14, 1960 for their expenses during his jail time for 3820,00 Kčs. During the time he was in jail he paid the government 1703,93 Kčs and that left him 2117,07 Kčs to pay.
On June 28, 1961 the minister for internal affair had forgiven him all the unpaid bills under condition that for next 10 years from the date of amnesty he won’t commit knowingly any criminal act.
Ján Čisárik was born on June 26, 1909 in Jarabina, district Stará Ľubovňa in the family of Greek Catholic priest. Father Alexander and mother Anna Kovalická had seven children, from which two passed away in their youth.
Onder brother ThDr. and PhDr. Aalexander was Greek Catholic priest. His younger brother was a priest as well. Ján’s youth was marked by the fire in the village and period of First World War. He went to elementary school in Jarabina and then he continuer from 1916 in Bajerovce. As ten years old he started to study at the high school in Prešov and from 1924 high school in Užhorod. After successful graduation he was able to get a scholarship for study of Theology at the Charles University in Prague with assumption of study to become professor at the faculty of philosophy.
Because of tragedy in the family he transfered to Greek Catholic theology academy in Prešov.
He married Helen Mankovič on August 11,1931 in Drienica, district Prešov.
After finishing the theology academy he becomes a priest in 1931. He served in army from October to December 1931 at Division Hospital in Košice...


Tematín castle is located about 15 Km southeast of Nové Mesto nad Váhom. It is one of the highest situated castles in Slovakia at and elevation of 564 meters above the sea level. It is a dominant of center Považie. It probably originated shortly after the tartar invasion around the middle of the 13th century. However the first written records date back to 1270.
Together with Trenčín, Beckov and Čachtice castles they were providing defense for northwest border territories of Hungary. It was also defending lover ford through river Váh mentioned in documents in 1453. In 13th and 14th century it was the property of the king. The oldest buildings are in area of the upper castle that was made up of four-corner tower and fortified palace. In second half of the 14th century the castle lost its original strategic purpose and it went to private hands...

By David A. Beardsley
Do you wish you knew more about your great-grandparents? Of course you do. What if you had their life story in their own words with pictures to go along with it?  Some fortunate people do. And what if one of those pictures could come alive and you could actually see and hear your ancestor speaking to you? I’m afraid it’s too late for that to happen-for you. But one day you will be the ancestor, and it’s not too late for you to leave this kind of record for your own descendants. 
I’m going to say two big words quickly-don’t let them scare you: interactive multimedia. There, that wasn’t so bad, was it?  Without getting into a dictionary definition, interactive multimedia is a way of combining audio, video, home movies, photographs, text and so on into one “document” that allows the viewer to select what he or she is going to look at. If you’ve ever watched a DVD and chosen some “additional materials” from the menu, you have used interactive multimedia. 
You too can do something very similar, in CD or DVD format, and you don’t need a Hollywood budget. I’m not going to claim that it’s easy, or inexpensive, but for future generations the results can be priceless. With the right tools and a willingness to learn, you’ll be able to do wonderful things. In this article I’ll discuss some of the tools you can use. Don’t think you have to go buy them all-you may be able to borrow some from other family members, or perhaps a library or community center...

By our Slovak Correspondent: Miroslava Dulová
Last year, August was the most critical month for our beauty on the Danube, Bratislava, 15 centimeters of water making the difference (See Slovak Heritage Live, No. 1 Spring 2003) and this year the situation was repeated again but with a substantial difference. The water level of the Danube achieved its 50-years, 100-years, or who knows better, 150 years minimum because of the extremely hot weather and a period of no rain lasting for several weeks. People were just thinking of walking in water reaching only their knees to the other Danube bank…



Publisher Matica Slovenská 1995
This book is in English

33 tales from the legend of famous outlaw captain.


At the time of Jánošík’s life, what is now the Slovak Republic was part of Uhorsko (old Hungary), which also included Hungary, Transylvania, southern Poland, and Zakarpathian Ukraine. Slovakia did not exist as a state and the official language spoken by the nobility was Hungarian, the serfs spoke Slovak. Uhorsko was associated with Austria under the Habsburg Em­peror Karol VI and took part in the war for the Spanish throne after the death of the Spanish King Charles II. The war plundered the serfs who had to contribute as well as the lower nobility. According to the law of the time the serfs had to pay tithes and taxes and were also forced to work on the landlords’ fields by the drábi. The Hungarian nobility then used the serfs in the revolt against the Habsburgs led by Rákoczi who ruled over the land in 1703 and 1704. He was winning until 1706 but was defeated in 1708 by the Austrian army (near Trenčín). The war ended with the signing of the peace at Szatmár by the Habsburgs in 1711. Jánošík lived in the period of late feudalism, the last phase of serfdom. He robbed for six years and fought against the oppression of the lords in northwest Slovakia.

The tradition of Jánošík’s struggle was against feudalism and later became national and so­cial. As a stranger to Slovakia the discovery of the tale of Jánošík is an impor­tant part in learning about Slovak history and culture. One of the most in­teresting aspects of this story is that the personality of Jánošík and the many tales and legends, which have formed about him, are based on a real and de­terminable person. Juraj Jánošík, the son of a peasant (serf), was born in the small village of Terchová in 1688 and executed in 1713. From 1706 to 1708 he was in the revolutionary kuruc army of František Rákoczi II. After the suppression of the kuruc uprising in 1711, in the town of Bytča he met a kuruc named Tomáš Uhorčík who he helped to escape from prison. He later joined up with other kurucs who had formed a band of outlaws with Uhorčík, possibly to keep the spirit of the revolt alive, and became their captain. They robbed noblemen and rich townsmen in middle and northern Slovakia, Poland, Silesia, and Moravia and (according to legend) gave to the poor. In winter they hid in villages and out of ­the way places, moving often. In October 1712 Jánošík was arrested by the drábi and imprisoned, but he managed to escape. He was caught again in early 1713 in the region of Liptov and taken to the county court in Liptovský Mikuláš where he stood trial and was executed on March 17. He refused to answer his accusers, even after being tortured, and died hung by his lower rib on a hook. He is the hero of many tales and legends and is ce­lebrated in songs and dances, literature and art. The tradition of Jánošík is still alive today and can be observed in many areas of Slovak Life.
Perhaps the most significant aspect of Jánošík’s story can only be formulated as enigmatic question; why did this man, above all others, become the focal point for so many tales and legends?

John L. Doyle

Hard cover, 102 pages, the book is 8 1/4 x 11 1/2 inches

COST US$39.95 all-inclusive
Please send check to:
Vladimir Linder
3804 Yale Street
Burnaby, BC,


Contemporary dance, site-specific project, ballet
Editor: The Theatre Institute Bratislava


A manual of conversation
Edited by Ing. Iveta Božoňová
Editor: Príroda 2002

Author: Igot Tóth et al.
FTVŠ UK Bratislava, 2003

Reviewed by Miroslava Dulová [email protected]

For FREE sample issue of The Slovak Heritage Live Newsletter
please send in or email your postal address to:

Vladimir Linder
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Canada, V5C 1P6
Phone/Fax: 1-604-291-8065

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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.