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The underground museum under the Main Street in Kosice

The fortification system of the city of Košice came into being in 13th century. The first phase of its construction took place during the years from 1260 to 1290. It underwent a complicated development and exhibits number of different construction phases. The first three of these phases have been named after the old Hungarian reigning dynasties as the ARPAD phase (second half of 13th century), LUXEMBOURG phase (turn of 14th and 15th century) and the CORVINUS phase (second half of 15th century). These three phases were followed by three modern bastion construction phases. The last fortification buildings in the city were built in the years 1706 to 1710 during the rebellion of Ferencz II. Rákóczi. The whole complicated fortification system was gradually dismantled after 1783. Some 26 fragments of the town walls remain still standing in various parts of the city. The Lower Gate fortification system is the largest and the most interesting of them all. It was removed gradually. The first part to be razed to the ground was the Arpad tower probably at the end of 16th century. The remains of the gate functioned until the beginning of 19th century. The maps of 1807 no longer show the body of the fortified approach and the water moats are filled-in up to the level of the main street - Hlavná ulica. The gate remainders consisting of bridge corridor and of the Luxembourg tower were removed by the city administration in 1827. Before this happened the gate was mapped and drawn by the architect Joyef Bellágh. The adjacent sections of the walls have been removed in the same year together with the Gabriel Bethlen bastion. The debris of the gate waited for their resurrection from under the ground full 169 years.

The remains of the Lower Gate have been discovered during the reconstruction of the main street - Hlavna ulica during the years 1996 to 1998 and the city has decided to locate a unique underground museum here. The research of archeological and historical buildings was done by the conservationists PhDr. Marcela Durišová and Akad. arch. Jozef Duchoň. The museum project has been designed by Ing. arch. Alexander Lami.



  1996                                                                                         1997


© Photo: (1) Ing. Alexander Jirousek / photos of the museum: Marian Krlicka, Translation: Bc. Braňo Breznen