The manor house in Voderady



The manor house is the oldest building in Voderady and it is still not known exactly when it was built and who construct it. According to the first description written by a Slovak polymath  Matej Bel in 1736 the mansion was in a poor condition  which was in the same year also described in Bratislava’s notifications of the county.

Originally a late-storey mansion was rebuilt in early Empire style by Count Franz Zichy during the years 1860-1870 as well as also being extended by adding another floor. A two-storey three-winged building, built around a square courtyard with an open southern side has emerged. The main front wing of the manor house with balustrade terrace is oriented to the courtyard. The terrace is built on the open segment arcades. In the middle of the bay there are two biaxial plastic Zichy family coats of arms and Keglewich. The castle’s single-staircase and banqueting hall located upstairs spatially dominate the interiors.






The Hungarian country monograph 1903 states that the Voderady mansion belonged to Templars according to ancient traditions.  A Templar castle was once located in Voderady  according to historian Ovid Faust. He has gained such a judgment based on the fact that he has discovered that in 1297 the owner of the Voderady castle was a master Abraham Voros-Menoldfi (son Menold). According to some historians Master Abraham was a member of the Order of templars, They also claim that the ruins in the park are the remains of a huge knighthood chateau. Other historians reject O. Faust statements and argue that this is not either a medieval or Templar castle. Ovid Faust, however, says that his finding is confirmed by the fact that Francis Zichy found in the underground of the manor house a statue of mysterious idol Baphomet, which he later gave to his friend, orientalist Hammer-Purgastall from Vienna. However, to this day his claim was not confirmed. Ovid Faust marked a wall located near the Manor house as remains of that ancient Templar castle. It is about 25 meters long and 7 meters high, with two square towers, which split the wall to three parts. In the middle of the wall there is false semicircular portal, over which was once Latin inscription plaque installed between two coats of arms. It forms a sort of corridor in the Iberian-Moorish style.

A research led by Ing. Arch. J. Žuffová invalidated Faust's arguement that this is remains of actual Templars' stronghold and confirmed that the building dates from the 19th century, and thus it is a romantic addon to the park.

The manor house became known mainly because of accumulated collections of art and historical objects from whole world and many rare books. According to the county monograph from 19th century, which holds a relatively detailed description of the objects contained in the manor house, there were approximately 10 000 12 000 books in the library on the first floor.

In the Hall of Louis XV. There were oil paintings of Emperor Maximilian and his wife Charlotte by Austrian painter Wintertalter. In the second room on the ground floor of the castle there was a rare Japanese porcelain, bronze objects and gorgeous high vases brought from Japan. In the third room there were paintings by Titoretto and van der Helter on the walls, rare cabinets and stick with diamond monogram of Siamese king. In the bedroom there were cabinets with marquetry and paintings made by old masters. In the great hall, there were 17 silver reliefs made out by goldsmiths from Augsburg in the 16th and 17th century. There was also an Italian cabinet of ebony inlaid by nacre, old oil paintings, old German cabinets with marble plates, five vases which came from the apartment of Madame Pompadour, a box inset with jams of 16th century and other rare items.The adornment of small salon was nice ivory work of 15th and 16th century, among which was the ivory chalice which came from the catacombs of Ravel. The Chalice was a gift from Achbishop Lonovics and has origins in the early centuries of Christianity. In the Chinese salon, there were original Chinese wallpapers, Chinese furniture, lots of porcelain and rare painted eight-winged screen inlaid and decorated with silk flowers. It was a gift from Napoleon I to prince of Melz and Count Franz Zichy received it later from prince's grandson. In the scriptorium, there was exposed Meissen service, a gift from Mary Christine, glass cabinets from India and Venezia, several rare miniature paintings and a collection of coins and medals. All guest rooms were also well furnished with precious furniture and paintings. Then there was a room with paintings from old masters and relief from 1700. In a small room there was a collection of the Hungarian faience, and in the eastern room then Emperor Maximilian's saddle, an old hunting guns, old Japanese weapons and oil paintings. Collections of rare Chinese and Japanese ceramics, two genuine pieces of faience from Urbino and Rhodes's and Moorish plates, old vases, bowls, jugs and precious vase from Beijing originated from 14th century were placed in great dining room. In the monastery chapel were paintings from the 14th and 15th century, woodcuts of Dürer's school and wooden mosaic. A beautiful ivory crucifix embellish the altar, it was a gift from the French Archbishop Fenelon.



The manor house in the early 20th century



In the unsettled times of war about 90 German soldiers were housed in the manor house. All precious items were stored in wooden boxes and deposited in the ground floor and basement in the fear of being drawn in war events. According to the district notary all these items were still there 10 February 1945. Based on the testimonies of former coachmen, just before the arrival of Soviet troops the owners let take the rare items away  from manor house by chariots (supposed there were 7 of them) to the nearby village Cifer. There were coachmen from Voderady replaced by Hungarian coachmen who drove the chariots to unknown location. Shortly after battlefront passed in April 1945, when the village was without leadership and reigned by confusion, unknown portions of items were stolen. A large part of relics remained walled in the manor house corridor and was later taken by staff of Deputy of Education and Culture. These items were moved to the Red Stone Museum. Other relics were located in the Historical museum in Bratislava and in Western Slovakia museum in Trnava. Manor house in Voderady thus lost all artistic and historical objects of immense value and village Voderady lost a great rarity.

In 1946 the manor house was assigned to state property. The Directorate of state assets resided there since 1947 and After its transfer to Modra, poultry professional school was established there. The manor house is currently abandoned and delapidated. It is owned by Self-Governing region of Trnava.



Čambálová, Daniela a kol. Voderady 12431993. Voderady: Obecný úrad 1993.