In the Footsteps of Dušan Jurkovič

In the Footsteps of Dušan Jurkovič

Travel to places connected with the original Art Nouveau architecture of Dušan Jurkovič who would celebrate his 150th birthday this year.

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You will recognize the architecture of the Slovak architect Dušan Jurkovič at first glance. Distinct colours, mosaic and ceramic elements clearly indicate that you are looking at the work of this architect. All of his works have a peculiar style that is strongly affected by popular architecture.

You cannot miss Luhačovice Spa

When seeking out buildings by architect Dušan Jurkovič (1868-1947), your first steps should lead to the largest Moravian spa town, Luhačovice Spa. This is the place where Jurkovič had been assigned to generate the general town design of the spa, whereas he designed 14 buildings himself. Not all of them have survived to the present times, but you can see the major ones in their original beauty.

Jurkovič first ran amuck on reconstruction of Jan’s House (currently Jurkovič House), which currently belongs among the most popular sites visited during therapeutic stays of spa guests, and the kitchen house to a residential villa called Chaloupka where he combined the brick ground floor with a rustic timber superstructure with balconies and a roof with cranked dormers and gables.

When touring the town, you should not miss the Jestřabí and Valaška villas, or the Music Pavilion in the spa park.
 

Timber Buildings or Original Calvary

You will see a real jewel at Pustevny, a saddle of the Moravian-Silesian Beskids (Moravskoslezské Beskydy) near Radhošť Mountain at the altitude of 1,018 metres above sea level. Pustevny features typical timber buildings built in the folk style at the end of the 19th century according to Dušan Jurkovič’s designs. The most famous ones are Libušín and Maměnka. Both of them were built in 1898. These are Art Nouveau log houses with rich décor typical for Wallachia (Valašsko) and the Slavonic folk architecture as such. Unfortunately, Libušín suffered a fire in 2014 and it is currently still under reconstruction.

In the town of Rožnov pod Radhoštěm, you can walk along a nature trail that will reveal to you why architect Dušan Jurkovič is called the Poet of the Wood. The part related to Jurkovič leads to Karlův kopec (Charles Hill) towards Jurkovič Outlook Tower. This was designed by the famous architect in 1896, but it was built 116 years later. The outlook tower is 32 metres high, whereas the top outlook floor is at the height of 19 metres.

Thanks to Dušan Jurkovič, the place of pilgrimage called Svatý Hostýn may take pride in a very original Calvary (Stations of the Cross). It consists of thirteen wooden and distinctly decorated chapels northeast of the Basilica of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary.
 

Sightseeing the Jurkovič Villa

One of the Jurkovič’s works is also the pride of the City of Nové Město nad Metují. The local chateau was founded in 1501. The chateau was reconstructed several times and the last one to design construction works for the chateau and its garden was Dušan Jurkovič in the period of 1909-1915. The former farm yard was reshaped into a flower park and the adjacent terraced garden was completely reconstructed. To make access from the upper terrace to the flower park with a fountain easier, Dušan Jurkovič had a sheltered wooden bridge, which looks like something from a fairy tale, built in the place of the former wooden walkway.

But the real treat can be found on Jan Nečas Street in Brno-Žabovřesky. Dušan Jurkovič’s own villa was built here in 1906 and it is one of the most significant monuments of the Art Nouveau architecture in Brno. The villa is currently managed by the Moravian Gallery.