The village of Bojná is situated in the southern part of the Považský Inovec in the valley of the Bojnianka stream and it is rightly called the Slovak Pompeii thanks to several archaeological sites located in the village cadastre. The name of the village has its origin in the Old Slavic word "bojňa", which means a homestead near a military garrison post. An important trade route from the Považie region to the Ponitrie region passed through the area of Bojná. Bojná
In the cadastre of Bojná there are several archaeological sites. We known today that they are connected to the beginning of our national history. To the north-west of the village, on the ridge of the Považský Inovec Mountains, there is the 12-hectare fortified settlement of Valy (Bojná I.). It is kidney-shaped and its ramparts from the outside still reach an impressive height of 10-12 m. Above the Bojnianka valley there is a second fortified settlement with a double line of ditch and rampart (Bojná II.). Another earth fortification lies on the ridge of Žihľavník (Bojná III), again it is two defensive lines consisting of a ditch and a rampart.
The most important archaeological site is the Valy hillfort. In the period of Great Moravia it was an important, strongly fortified power centre guarding the trade route from the Ponitrie to the Považie region. The castle experienced its greatest flowering in the 9th century. Unique finds from the site clearly prove that the inhabitants had already embraced Christianity before the arrival of Sts. Cyril and Methodius.
Life at the fortress
Settlement of the area probably originated because of the nearby iron ore deposits. The inhabitants were engaged in metalworking, agriculture and military protection of the trade route during the 120 years of the fortresses’ existence. The abundance of weapons and equipment found, together with the fire-damaged houses, paints a picture of the violent demise of the settlement sometime in the early 10th century.
Plaques and bell from Bojná
The most famous finds are the gilded plaques with sacred motifs, which were probably part of a portable altar. The short texts written in Latin are the first evidence of the use of writing among Central European Slavs. The plaques originated at the turn of the 8th and 9th centuries in a Western European cultural environment. The presence of Christian liturgy in Bojna is also evidenced by the unique discovery of one of the oldest preserved Christian bells in Europe as well as fragments of other bells.
Hundreds of decorated or even gilded artefacts or jewellery prove the presence of the social elite. Tools (hammers, saws, drills, ploughshares, scythes, hoes…) or household objects (locks, keys, pottery, nails…) testify to the advanced agriculture and craftsmanship of the local community. The intensive blacksmith production is evidenced by the finds of tools and iron rods.
Exposition in nature
In addition to the permanent exhibition in the museum building, you have the opportunity to visit the reconstruction of the Slavic settlement directly at the site of the Valy hillfort.
Bojná – Valy – Marhát
The hike starts at the Ranch under Babica and continues along the gravel road to the Valy hillfort. The trail then leads towards Jelenie Jamy, where it joins the red trail and climbs up to the tourist observation tower on Marhát Hill.
Tip for an experience
Cyril and Methodius Festival – July
Experience the story of Great Moravia first-hand during the traditional Cyril and Methodius festivities with a guided tour of the hill fort, a glimpse into a period camp, or a taste of the original food. You will be transported 1200 years back in time by trying your hand at weapons, old crafts or writing in Glagolitic.
For up-to-date information about the event, visit www.bojna.sk and www.visitnitra.eu