Royal Upper-level Girl’s School

Hungarian-language Primary and Grammar School
Address: Bratislava, Dunajská 13
Architect: Zsigmond Herczegh
Builder: Antal Durvay
Designed 1909, constructed 1911

Budapest architect Zsigmond Herczegh (1849-1914) was a prominent member of the Hungarian Secession movement, which was endeavoring to interpret Hungary’s national history through ornamental architecture. His particular focus was on the design of educational institutions. Besides in Budapest, his architectural oeuvre can be found in such cities as Szeged and Nové Zámky (then called Érsekudvar), where grammar schools were constructed according to designs he had drafted. Herczegh’s work was characterized by massive compact architectural volume, a distinctive roofscape and richly embellished façades with organically undulating ornamentation. References to Hungarian mythology are also present.

Herczegh drafted the architecture for what would be an upper-level girls’ school and dormitory in Pressburg at the same time as he was designing the grammar school in Érsekudvar. To a large degree, both buildings look quite similar to each other.

The school was built in what was then a southeastern suburb of Pressburg being developed in compliance with new regulations and to accommodate the grid pattern of the streets. The building’s three wings stand at the corner of Dunajská and Rajská streets, with the classrooms originally facing Dunajská, the dormitory rooms overlooking Rajská, and the school’s gymnasium occupying the courtyard wing. Both the floor plan and structure employ a single-loaded corridor with rooms on one side and the corridor looking out to the inside courtyard. The school building’s design combines Romanesque motifs and Secession ornamentation. A Cyclopean stone plinth highlights the ground floor parterre, while the stone tiling also appears on the stylized portal at the main entrance into the school. The street façades are decorated with delicate relief ornaments in the shape of little waves, effigies of girls, frogs and flowers, all of which recall the school’s original purpose.

The building is currently used as a primary and grammar school where Hungarian is the language of instruction in classes.


Source of illustrations:
Bratislava City Archives.

Balogh-Meyerová, Innet: Výstavba gymnaziálnych budov na Slovensku v kontexte architektonických vplyvov na začiatku 20. Storočia [Influences in the 20th Century on Grammar Schools Constructed in Slovakia]. Architektúra & Urbanizmus, 34, 2000, No. 1-2, p. 51-70
Szőnyi, Endre: Tak rástla Bratislava [How Bratislava Grew]. 1st Edition, Bratislava 1967, 192 p. (2nd edition, Bratislava, Pallas 1977, 184 p.)