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Nitrianske Hrnčiarovce Castle

 The village´s name was documentarily registered for the first time in 1113 as "villa Grincha" in the so-called second Zobor Deed issued by King Coloman who hereby certified rights and landownership of the Benedictine St Hippolyte´s Abbey in Nitra. The village was later mentioned under the following names: Gerencher (1344), Hrcžarowetz (1733), Hrnčárowce (1808) and finally Nitrianske Hrnčiarovce (1948). Hungarian lexical variants are Gerencsér, and Nyitragerencsér.

 Prior to the twelfth century the village belonged to Nitra Castle, between the twelfth and fifteenth centuries it was property of the aforesaid abbey on Zobor Hill, from 1477 of the Esztergom Chapter, a lesser possessions held here also Nitra Chapter. As early as in 1216 there was standing a Roman Catholic parish house in the village. The oldest municipal seal we know comes from the seventeenth century and its circumscription reads SIGILVM GERENCIER, the 1807 seal depicts St George and its circumscription reads SIGILUM GERENCSER.

The village Nitrianske Hrnčiarovce (district Nitra) is situated at the southeastern foot of Zobor Hill in Tribeč Mountains. The cadastre incorporates locality of a small mediaeval castle lying about 350 m northwestwards

of the upper end of Pod lesom Street. The castle´s position called Ťúkol (estimated elevation 269 m) can be found in a slope terrain and represents slight surface anomaly. By digging an oval 5 – 7 m wide moat around this spur-like hillock they created advantageous strategical site even accentuated with the outer rampart. On the top platform (11 × 7 m) of a three-level acropolis can be seen a rectangular depression (6 × 4.5 m) and a very fractional debris after the mortar-free masonry. 

Altitudinal difference between the bottom of the moat in its northwestern sector – where it is most evident – and the top platform of the acropolis makes up to 6.5 m. The rampart and moat are both least distinct in the southern, southeastern and eastern part, whereas shorter segments of the rampart are nearly all absent on the western and eastern side. Overall dimensions of the fortification show 50 × 58 m. On the basis of given constructional features we are allowed to conclude that the castle is typologically a motte, the simpliest kind

of fortified dwelling used by the lower nobility in mediaeval Hungary. The thirteenth and fourteenth century pottery fragments found at the locality obliquely testify to this fact too. More accurate information about the nature of the castle´s individual components, especially about the (stonework?) residential-defensive central tower, can only give further archaeological research. 


RUTTKAY, Matej: Stredoveký hrádok v Nitrianskych Hrnčiarovciach. In: Archeologické výskumy a nálezy na Slovensku v roku 1990, 1992a, pp 93 – 94 (passim). 

RUTTKAY, Matej: Príspevok k poznaniu malých stredovekých opevnení na juhozápadnom Slovensku. In: Archæologia historica 17, 1992b, pp 253 – 262 (re: 254, 255). 

RUTTKAY, Matej: Prieskum a dokumentácia stredovekých opevnení v pohorí Tribeč. In: Archeologické výskumy a nálezy na Slovensku v roku 2003, 2004, p 160. 

RUTTKAY, Matej: Možnosti prezentácie archeologických pamiatok v Nitre a okolí. In: Dávne dejiny Nitry a okolia vo svetle najnovších archeologických nálezov. First edition. Nitra: Archaeological Institute of the Slovak Academy of Sciences, and Nitra: Ponitrie Museum 2005, pp 135 – 143, 176 (re: 140). 

Vlastivedný slovník obcí na Slovensku II. First edition. Bratislava: Veda 1977. 520 pp (re: 304). 



/Rastislav Tóth/ 

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