At noon on June 2 in Stropkov, an exhibition opened, focused on the military from the era of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The items presented came from the private collections of Juraj Čečka, Jozef Kiklica, Marián Jancura, Adrián Latta, Jaroslav Procházka and Jozef Švec.
These are local collectors and historians, who focus on the military history of the border region. Some items were also provided by the Regional Museum in Prešov. The exhibition was preceded by a presentation from Adrián Latta, about weapons used during the First World War; everyone present at the exhibition was given an opportunity to learn about individual parts of the military weapons and equipment used by Austro-Hungarian and Russian soldiers.
The District of Stropkov was a strategic region for the Austro-Hungarian monarch following the outbreak of armed conflict.
“During the first weeks of the war, neither Svidník nor Stropkov had much military significance, because they were located beyond the main railway lines leading from inside Austria-Hungary to the front in Halič. However, this changed at the end of September 1914 when Austro-Hungarian troops, following their first defeat in the Halič operation, retreated to the Carpathian Mountains. To aid the completion of their reserve units and the movement of supplies, they began increasing the use of their transport routes, and Svidník and Stropkov were located on one of the most important of these. This was the route that led through Dukliansky priesmyk, a pass connecting Halič with Hungary,” explains Ľuboslav Šmajda, a historian from Stropkov City Hall.
Items from this exhibition related to the military history of the Austro-Hungarian Empire originated from what is now north-eastern Slovakia, and are clear evidence of the heavy fighting that took place in the region during the First World War. The types of military equipment that have survived include not only weapons and ammunition, but also daily supplies. The exhibition also featured examples from the press of the time, writing about battles in the border region, as well as valuable photographs from the era. For example, there is a photograph taken in front of a manor house, showing Jozef von Habsburg, Commander of the VIIth Armed Battalion defending that part of the front in Stropkov.
Stropkov City Hall