The house at Spojná Street nr. 5 in Banská Štiavnica

The house at Spojná Street nr. 5 is one of the dominant buildings in the lower part of the town. It is dislocated in the historical IVth town district between Katova and Nová Street (current Remeselnícka Street). However, there are no references in contemporary literature. Heuristics of available historical records proved the house existence in 1696 (direct evidence) and in 1684 (indirect evidence). Although, it is evident that the house is even older. Nothing but condition of historical records and inclusiveness of records bearing references about the house prevented his identification before 1699 or 1684.

Daniel Weiss (in different forms Weyss or Weis) was identified as a first owner of the house. On January 5th 1684, reeve of the independent royal burgh Hniezdne (Kniesen) on Spiš, Matej Nigrini, together with town council, issued the confirmation of honourable ancestry of Daniel Weiss. His parents were Daniel and Zuzana, his honourability was attested by burghers Jozef Šlachta (Schlachta) and Ján Kraus. This confirmation was needed according to the conditions of granting burgess-ship in Banská Štiavnica, together with guaranty of two burghers and ownership of property.

First factual (direct) reference of the house stems from 1696, when in the list of house owners in town, Daniel Weiss is stated as the owner. It is evident from tax lists from later periods, specifically years 1712, 1715 and 1718 that the house on Spojná Street nr. 5 fell under IVth town district. Since Middle Ages, Banská Štiavnica had established system of dividing the town into four town districts to simplify tax collection. After battle of Mohacs in August, almost 150 years of Turkish expansion threat, in 17th century of anti-Habsburgs rebellions (Bocskai, Bethlen, Rákoczi, Wesselényi, Thököly, and Francis II Rákóczi) were fulfilling a task of protecting the town. Each district had his elected quartermaster (Viertelmeister) and particular districts were divided into smaller units – tithes. The system of dividing the town into districts was used in Banská Štiavnica till 1980, which is sporadic within Slovakia.

Daniel Weiss, blacksmith by profession, in the twenties of 18th century owned, besides the mentioned house (Spojná Street nr. 5), also closer unidentified lower house (Unter House). He died around year 1727, because his testament, that was not preserved, was written on 4th of March 1727. His heirs (wife Rosalie and five children) tried to resolve partitioning of the property for several years, debts of Daniel Weiss coming to account as well. In November 1728, the house was, due to resolving the debts, priced 560 gold coins. The house was identified as burghers’ (Bürger Haus). According to categorization in town, the most prized houses were mine owners’ – merchants’ (waldbürgers’) houses in the town center, then burgher’s houses and the lowest, miners’ houses (Heuer Haus).

Next owner after the Weiss family was Ján Uhly. The house was then known as Uhlys’ farm. In 1750 the town decided to introduce detailed evidence of all properties on its municipal territory. The house at Spojná 5 was identified under consecutive number 758. It was owned by Ján Groff at that time. The house was characterized as burghers’, it had one elevated floor and was unattached from all sides. The access to the house was difficult. Water-supply (well) was situated in the garden. The house consisted of four bedrooms, 3 kitchens, hall, cellar, barn and outbuilding. Gross floor area measured 55 and ½ sq. fathoms (1 fathom = app. 1, 89 – 2, 02 meters). The property also included fruit and vegetable garden that was fenced near the sidewalk. Land area was 923 ½ sq. fathoms, courtyard area 64 ½ sq. fathoms.

In consecutive periods the house was owned by František Weiss, Pavol Szekely, František Steer, Matej Rauch, and then his son Ferdinand Rauch. After him the house was owned by family of Ľudovít Vaculík whom rented the house to several inhabitants. The house was owned by family Zoltický since 1917.

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