Námestie mieru 2, 080 01 Prešov, IČO: 37870475
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The oldest evidence of settled life in the Prešov region is the very rare anthropological finding of a Neanderthal moulding of a skull, found in Gánovce near Poprad and dating from around 120,000 years ago. Evidence of ancient settlements have been found in the Poprad and Hornád basins, in the Šariš and Ondava highlands, in the Košice basin and in the hills of Vihorlat.

Prior to the arrival of Slavs in the region, we can find remnants of the Baden, ancient Turkish and Lusatian cultures, later also of the Celtic–Dacian culture which developed links with the advanced cultures of the Mediterranean. From the 6th century onwards, however, Slavic peoples began  the long process of settling the area, a process recorded in documents from the Great Moravian period up to the 12th century.

From the 11th to the 13th century the region gradually became part of the early Hungarian feudal state, the ridge of the Carpathian mountain forming its natural northern border. In the 12th century a series of royal castles were built (Spiš, Šariš, Kapušany, Plaveč) to guard and administer trade and border routes. In the 13th century, however, a brutal and destructive Tartar invasion led the local ruler to invite German guests, mostly from Saxony, to come and settle in the region and help ensure its economic growth. The land was subsequently divided into administrative units (Spiš, Šariš, Zemplín) and certain market towns and smaller communities given special urban privileges, the oldest and most important of these being Bardejov, Kežmarok, Levoča, Prešov, Sabinov, Spišská Sobota and Veľký Šariš.

Trade routes from the Balkans through Hungary and Poland and on to the Baltic states ran through these towns. The most important was the Magna via – ‘major road’ (which copied the famous ‘Amber Road’), along the Košice – Prešov – Bardejov axis. The development of trade and crafts led to the five royal free towns in East Slovakia (Košice, Levoča, Bardejov, Prešov, Sabinov) joining together to form the so-called Pentapolitana. It was a period of splendid architecture, as we can still see today, and the economic and cultural standard of these towns was very good, even by the high standards of Central Europe.

The 15th century, however, witnessed a sharpening in the struggle for the Hungarian throne, the growth of the military Brethren movement and greater social unrest, all of which led to 13 Spiš towns being pawned to the Polish king. In the following century, during Vlach colonization,  the number of Ruthenians living in the region increased considerably.

The 16th century was also a time of Turkish incursions which brought destruction to large parts of southern Spiš and Šariš. After defeat of the Turks at the end of the 17th century, intensive rebuilding of towns and castles began: a process known as the East Slovak Renaissance, and seen best in places like Levoča, Spišský Hrhov, Strážky and Fričovce. The area was also site of anti-Habsburg magnate rebellions, the two most violent those of the Kežmarok magnate Imrich Tököli (leading to the ‘Prešov bloodbath’ of 1687) and the famous Rákóczi rebellion (1703-1711).

The poor economic and social situation, an attendant collapse in trade and crafts in the towns, various natural disasters, epidemics and even famine together led to a peasant uprising in 1831, which is commemorated by the huge monument on the Furča hill above Haniska, just outside Prešov. In the middle of the 19th century, mass movements of people to the south (Hungary) and later to the USA began. In the 20th century the region was affected by both world wars.

The north-east of the region was witness to bloody battles between Russian and Austro-Hungarian forces during the First World War, while towards the end of the Second World War almost  150,000 soldiers from both sides were killed in the major Carpathian-Dukla operation of 1944, an event commemorated by a 28 metres-high stone pylon in the cemetery of the Dukla Pass.


Offiice of the  Prešov Self-governing Region  
Námestie mieru 2
080 01 Prešov

Balentová Viera 
051/70 81 534 
Anglická verzia  Nemecká verzia 

Mattová Patrícia
051/70 81 535
Anglická verzia  Nemecká verzia 

Sendek Stanislav
051/70 81 517
Francúzska verzia



Publikované: 14.07.2009 / Aktualizované: 14.07.2009 To the topPrint