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Rendering of nightime and daytime photography of the formidable Carpathian High Tatra Mountain Range peaks, Slovakia.
Imgage source photography/art: ID 102957801 © Michael Pelin | Dreamstime.com
The image shows a Bronze Age Celtic burial mound in the foreground. The three sets of Carpathian High Tatra mountain peaks, when viewed from a certain vantage point, form three distinct "mounds" in the distance on the horizon. These mountain peaks are comprised of:
[LEFT] From left to right - (1) Tupá, (2) Končistá, (3) Gerlachovský štít, and (4) Slavkovský štít. [MIDDLE] From left to right - (1) Prostredný hrot, (2) Ľadový štít, (3) Lomnický štít, (4) Kežmarsky štít, (5) Veľká Svišťovka, and (6) Jahňacĭ štít. [RIGHT] From left to right - (1) Belianska kopa, (2) Stežky, (3) Hlúpy, (4) Predné Jatky, and (5) Bujačĭ vrch.
What stries great mountains could tell. Nobody really knows because written records no longer exist to tell us what the three mountains on medieval coats of arms of a once great kingdom represent. One can only speculate. What is plain to see, however, are three groups of mountain peaks used in the earliest medieval Ungarian (before becoming Hungarian) coat of arms as depicted by the red cross, green mountains, white background COA shown below.
Reasearch suggests that at first, and under King Svatopluk I in the ninth century, the red and white stripes were the coats of arms of the Duchy of Nitra when it was part of the Kindom of Moravia (today's Moravia in Czechia and Western Slovakia). Svatopluk ascended to the throne of Moravia and incorporated it into a new kingdom which he named Ungaria which included what is now present-day Eastern Czechia (Moravia), all of Slovakia, parts of Western Ukraine, Hungary and Romanian Transylvania. Each received its own coat of arms. After Svatopluk's death, his dynasty was replaced by the Arpad dynasty. It adopted the Nitra COA which became known as the "Arpad stripes" of present-day Hungary. These are also the original medieval COA adopted by the city of Bankská Bystrica, Slovakia (its present-day COA are changed). In medieval Arpadian times, Northern Ungarian coats of arms became the red cross, green mountains, and white background COA. In combination, the stripes and red cross/green mountain COA represented the Ungarian Kingdom minus Transylvania which had its own, distinct COA. These two COAs (stripes and mountains/cross) were adopted by later monarchs. They were used right up to the very last Slav king of Ungaria's reign in the sixteenth century. These coats of arms were then incorporated into nineteenth century Magyar Hungarian coat of arms. Northern Hungary (Slovakia), in 1918, became part of a new Czechoslovakia (modern Czechia and Slovakia) or the First Czechoslovak Republic (1918-1939.) Briefly, between 1939 and 1945, Slovakia gained its independence as the The First Slovak Republic. So as not to antagonise Magyar Hungary, Slovakia, during WWII, adopted the coat of arms shown top right (red/blue/white). Furthermore, Slovakia redesignated the three mountain peaks as Matra (then in southern Slovakia, later the territory was annexed and is now in northern Hungary), Tatra (north-eastern Slovakia), and Fatra (western Slovakia) mountain ranges. After WWII, Slovakia was re-absorbed into a new Communist Czechoslovakia (the Second Czechoslovak Republic) but retained it's red/blue/white coat of arms. Slovakia gained its independence in 1993 and is the Second Slovak Republic. The same red/blue/white coat of arms are today its official state COA, along with the same Matra, Tatra, Fatra mountain peak symbology.
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Our old family home front (image left) and back (image middle) door in Bratislava, Slovakia viewed from the inside. We left forever, escaping to the West in December 1969. The day before we left for the very last time, my father burned all family documents he was unable to take in the living room fireplace. It was to ensure that no personal information ended up in the Communist regime's hands. My parents had already given a set of keys to each of their parents. The idea was to divide up whatever was in the house between themselves. On New Year's Eve, 1969, they locked the front door for the very last time. My mother and brother were the last to step through these doors. I took this picture on New Year's Eve, 2017, forty-eight years since I last saw the place. I felt as though I was a small boy again, my mother, father, brother, and family dog inside. Remarkably, despite the years of absence, inside, the place still carried the familiar scent of home. The place is an office building now.
Photography: © Jozef Borovský
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Window (image right) of an abandoned curia, Čachtice, Slovakia. Once a property belonging to nobility, built in the seventeenth century, it became an sanatorium during the Communist years and afterwards, abandoned and derelict. It is now finally being restored.
Photography: © Jozef Borovský
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Countess Elizabeth Bathory in 1580 at age twenty.
© Jozef Borovský
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Coats of arms of the most influential medieval and early modern dynasties that changed the course of history in Carpathian Ungaria and subsequently, the Western world.
Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent.
LEFT: Royal Arpad Dynasty (Central Ungaria). RIGHT: Transylvania.
LEFT: Sigismund Luxembourg. RIGHT: Frederick III Habsburg.
LEFT: Stephen IV Bathory. RIGHT: John I and John II Zapolsky.
Royal (Northern Ungaria).
Why are they significant? Read about it in the Chrysalis Books.
Artwork/Design: © Jozef Borovský