These articles were published in the Spectacular Slovakia travel guide, published annually by The Slovak Spectator since 1996. The latest editions can be obtained from our online shop.

Bohunice: Millers and postmen

By James Thomson

    The former Turcaň mill near Bohunice.
 The former Turcaň mill near Bohunice.
 Photos by James Thomson

North of Brhlovce , on the picturesque tree-lined road which climbs through the hills to Banská Štiavnica, are a couple of noteworthy spots.

The water mill just outside Bohunice was once owned and operated by the Turčan family, and was one of six in the valleys around the village which operated until the middle of the twentieth century.

After being nationalised and then closed in 1950, the Turčan mill was bought by a local museum and is now open to the public.

The large wooden water wheel and the milling machinery are all housed within the Turčans' nineteenth-century residence, the livings quarters of which have also been preserved. The wheel itself (now out of action) was powered by a surprisingly weedy-looking stream diverted via a mill-race.

A few kilometres further north is one large, single-storey building. This is one of the dozens of post-houses that once covered Slovakia as part of a communications network linking Vienna with its far-flung territories in Romania.

The house is now part of an embryonic historical route, the Magna Via, intended to mark the network and which includes the Grassalkovič Palace in Bratislava (now the presidential palace). The man behind the route, former Nitra university professor Jozef Húska, is also planning to turn the post-house (which he owns) into a museum.

The timescale for this project seems a little hazy, but in the meantime he and his fellow enthusiasts are frequently to be found cooking up a local speciality, párance (a sort of pasta), in the post-house kitchen and are keen to welcome other history buffs.

These articles and related information were published in Spectacular Slovakia 2009, which you can obtain from our online shop.

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