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Spišská Nová Ves and the Spiš region

Spišská Nová Ves, with 40,000 residents, is one of the main cities in the Spiš region of Slovakia. Spiš is located just south/southwest of the majestic Tatra Mountains, which form the border between Slovakia and Poland. The snow capped peaks of the Tatras can be seen from the central square of the city.

The earliest record of human activity in the Spiš region goes back to Neolithic times, and archaeological finds of settlements around the city of Spišská Nová Ves have been dated to the 8th century. The first written mention of the city has been found on a document dated from 1268, around the time when the Slovak settlement of Iglov combined with the Carpathian German settlement of Neudorf to become a new entity. In fact, "Nová Ves" translated into English means "New City". Many of the towns in the Spiš region had both Germanic and Slovak influences, and until World War II, the area had a large German-speaking population.

In the mid-1200s, the Spiš region was continually infused with new arrivals, many specializing in the mining trade. Spiš began to function as an semi-autonomous region, gaining self-governmnet privileges after assisting King Charles I to defeat the Kingdom of Hungary in 1312. Spiš retained much of its independence until many of the towns in the region were pawned to the Kingdom of Poland in 1412. This was done because the King of Luxembourg, who controlled the Spiš region until the pawning, needed some finances for a war with Venice. The Spiš region would remain under the control of Poland until 1772 (about 360 years), when the Kingdom of Hungary annexed the region.

The Spiš region remained part of the Austria-Hungary empire until 1918 after World War I, at which point it became a component of the newly formed country of Czechoslovakia. Between 1940 and 1945, after Hitler's annexation of the Czech lands, Spiš was a region in the independent country of Slovakia. But after World War II, the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic merged to form Czechoslovakia again, which soon fell under the sphere of Communism and Russian influence for the next forty-five years.

In 1989, communist rule in Czechoslovakia ended. Then on January of 1993, in what many historians call the "velvet revolution", Czechoslovakia was dissolved, forming the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic. Slovakia, also known as the Slovak Republic, became a member of the European Union in May of 2004.

Spišská Nová Ves is surrounded by beautiful natural landscapes and historical structures. The city is in close proximity to the Tatra Mountains and a national park of Slovakia call the Slovensky Raj, or "Slovak Paradise". Below is a photo of Spiš Castle, just a few kilometers away from the city center. Spiš Castle is the largest castle in Central Europe.

spis castle

The mayor of Spišská Nová Ves is Jan Volny, and the website of the city can be found at: www.spisskanovaves.eu



 revised 21-Aug-2012