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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.
View of the same three Carpathian High Tatra Mountain Peaks from Kežmarok, a town on the Poprad River in the Spiš region of north-eastern Slovakia.
Original photography: © ViliamM ID 103530598 | Dreamstime.com
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.
[LEFT] Medieval Nitra/Ungaria (now Slovakia and Hungary); [MIDDLE] Later Medieval Northern Ungaria (now Slovakia); and [RIGHT] Present-day Slovakia © Jozef Borovský
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. Articles: Fortress Čachtice
This fortress dates back to the eleventh-century. It had many owners over the centuries and withstood many sieges - even past the age of gunpowder which is unusual. It was never a residence, however, but always a military installation. The impressive structure finally burned down in the eighteenth century. Although reconstruction efforts were attempted, when the structure burned down for a second time, reconstruction efforts were abandoned forever. The fortress simply began to deteriorate until it ended up in the state it's in today. One of the last owners of the fortress was Countess Elizabeth Bathory. It was part of her vast Čachtice estate. She, as well as her children lived in the town of Čachtice itself in her manor house. This structure too, was completely destroyed in the seventeenth century and replaced by a new manor house built on Elizabeth's former home's foundations. Either these places were simply struck by fateful misfortune or someone did not want these places left standing in memory of the countess. The images in this gallery were taken in the summer of 2017 by František Pech, just after his return from his visit with his sister in Canada - my mother.
Photography: © František Pech Bottom Banner Image
Countess Elizabeth Bathory in 1580 at age twenty.
© Jozef Borovský
Bottom Coats of Arms
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.
[TOP] Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent. [SECOND ROW] LEFT: Royal Arpad Dynasty (Central Ungaria). RIGHT: Transylvania. [THIRD ROW] LEFT: Sigismund Luxembourg. RIGHT: Frederick III Habsburg. [FOURTH ROW] LEFT: Stephen IV Bathory. RIGHT: John I and John II Zapolsky. [BOTTOM] Royal (Northern Ungaria).
Why are they significant? Read about it in the
Artwork/Design: © Jozef Borovský