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Stefanik Memorial

Brezová pod Bradlom, Slovakia
1 of 1Pamiatkovy úrad Slovenskej republiky

In the context of Jurkovič' complex work of monuments, the memorial of Stefanik at the hill of Bradlo is exceptional. It is the fruit of architect's reverence for a great man and someone very close to him.

The setting of Stefanik's funeral ceremony which was arranged by Jurkovič at this location, appears to be largely a direct precursor for the monument both in terms of the message as well as the formal arrangement of the decoration. This clearly magnificent ceremony was valued by the author himself as his “greatest and bravest artistic achievement”. The composition by Jurkovič is primarily an engagement of the surroundings rather than artistic abstraction of an absolute form. The art form of the memorial represents the culmination of architect's period of military cemetery designs in Western Galicia.

Some of them to some extent anticipate the memorial: its concentric arrangement, stepping up towards the centre, shape simplicity, rough cut stone blocks as well as attention to detail and finishing. The monument of the general and his entourage (which consisted of three Italian airmen: G. Mancinelli Scotti, U. Merlini and G. Aggiusti) sensibly follows Bradlo's silhouette and grants it an appearance of a medieval castle. It differs however in a more pronounced horizontal character reminiscent of even more ancient dark-age or pre-historic structures. The climax of the composition represents the tomb with four pylons. Even though the monument has been built for one of the few really famous Slovaks, it is far from being ostentatiously exclusive, but rather it is simple and straightforward while spiritually rich and inspiring.