KACHLICE Z HRADU V TOPOĽČIANKACH
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Tiles from the Topoľčianky castle
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In 1990 salvage excavations were led at a renaissance and classicistic castle quadrangle in Topoľčianky. Building features and settlement layers containing pottery of the Prague type proved settlement of the 6th-8th century and the Great Moravian period as well. The next settlement phase occurred during the second half of the 12th and the first half of the 13th century. The newly constructed tower is of slightly irregular shape and respecting geomorphological features of the space. A huge fire layer from the first half of the 16th century is probably corresponding with a report from 1535, according to which the castle had been burned down and plundered and slowly decaying. The new castle started to be built on the filled-up moats in the second half of the 16th century. Tiles and their fragments are a significant group among thousands of finds from different historical periods. A great variability of tiles indicates that more castle rooms were heated up by tiled heaters mainly in the 17th century. The founded fragments are remains of at least 489 tiles that can be divided into two main groups - box tiles and bowl tiles. The box tiles decorations have two main motifs: religious - St. Margaret (so-called the Banská Bystrica tiles), St. Ladislaus, The Last Judgement, Twelve maidens, The Crucifixion, The Holy Ghost, The Annunciation, Moses, St. George fighting the Dragoon, and other motifs of unidentified saints; secular - knight, burgher, fighter/hunter, halberdier; heraldic – escutcheon boy with Hungarian emblem, lion; architectonic - the most frequently used combined with other motifs (mostly various portals, columns, etc.); vegetal and geometric motifs – the most frequent group mainly in the 17th century (large scale of tendrils, leaves, stalks, full-blown branch lets, etc.); tiles with fragments of inscriptions were sporadic. As far as the tiles dating or stratigraphy is concerned, they can be divided into two bigger groups: 1. Tiles found in ground-levelling layers of the old castle (second half of the 15th - 16th century). These tiles can be classified into the older (second half of the 15th - beginning of the 16th century; Table 1) and younger (second and third of the 16th century; Table 2) horizons. 2. Tiles discovered in a waste pit in ground-levelling layers of the pulled down castle (the 17th century; Table 3).
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