top of page

The wooden sculpture of Jószef Batthyány

The first objective on the trail “The story of the Slovaks from the Huta” is represented by the wooden sculpture of Jószef Batthyány. Created in 2019 by the Slovakian artist Juraj Čutek, from Slovakia, the symbolic statue of the Hungarian count Batthyány with a horse and cart is suggestive for illustrating the founding of the Slovakian localities in the area of the Plopiș Mountains. Juraj Čutek belongs to some prominent personalities of the Slovak art scene. Especially known are his wooden figurative sculptures with “ready-made” metallic elements. Oscillating between imagination and the real world, Čutek’s works are inspired from history, music, mythology, but also from circus art.

In the past, a significant surface of Central and Southeastern Europe was part of the Habsburg Empire and the Austro-Hungarian Empire, respectively. Due to natural, political, religious, and especially economic causes, the empire’s inhabitants migrated from one place to another. At the time, the land owners of the Plopiș Mountains counties decided to harness their

possessions. Being a forested area, an initial deforestation was necessary for founding the glass factories and for colonizing the human resource needed for supporting this industry. This is how they brought Slovak colonists, woodcutters, skilled in forestry, whom they offered in change certain benefits: the uncleared lands and wood for the construction of their households. Four big noble families (Bárányi, Bánffy, Batthyány, and Kereszegi), who owned possessions in this area, were involved in the colonization 

process of the Slovaks in the late 18th century and early 19th centuries.

Count Jószef Batthyány (full name Josef Maria Vince Alajos Erhard) was born in Graz (Austria), on December 22nd 1770, and is part of a big noble family of the Austrian Empire. The Batthyány-Strattmann family owned the Alesd domain from 1779. Around 1830, Jószef Batthyány and his wife, Anna Lázár, built the baroque castle in the center of Alesd (now the City Hospital). He passed away in Vienna on March 25th 1851, and was buried in Németújvár (Güssing, Austria), a town in eastern Austria.

bottom of page