Kezmarok is situated in the north of the Slovak Republic in the picturesque surroundings of Spiš under the High Tatra mountains. The town was created by merging several settlements of the original Slovak population with the settlement of German immigrants. The first written mention of the town comes from 1251. Kezmarok gained its first town rights in the 1269.
In the 15th century it was awarded additional privileges – the right to hold two annual fairs, the right of the sword and the right to use the town’s coat of arms. The favorable geographical location of the city, directly on the trade route leading from the Orient to the north of Europe contributed to the dynamic development of crafts and trade. In the 15th – 19th centuries more than 40 guilds which worked in the town, which put it among the first four towns in Slovakia.
The mention of 1715 indicates that in the city were 263 craft workshops. Many famous writers, artists and scientists famous all over Europe studied and were active in the town. The first report on the school connected to the musical, visual and performing arts is from the 14th century.
More than seven centuries of the city is reflected in its architecture which includes all architectural styles from the Romanesque to the Ghotic, Renaissance, Baroque and Classic. A special feature of the urban design is the fork-shaped town square with the town hall placed in the middle and the town castle at the end of it. It was first mentioned in the year 1463. In the 16th century it was owned by the Lasky family, then passed into the hands of the Thokoly family, during which time the Ghotic castle was rebuilt in the Renaissance style.
Kezmarok is an important urban conservation area in Slovakia and proudly posesses a number of historical monuments, the most important of which are two national monuments: the Protestant Wooden Articular Church from 1717 and the largest Protestant Seminary School Library in Europe with 150 000 volumes, built between 1774-76.
The town is dominated by the Ghotic Roman Catholic church cross with valuable altar from 1498, to which Pope John Paul II. 1998 awarded the title Basilica Minor.
Based on the traditions of folk crafts, the town organises a major event every summer: European Folk Crafts with the presentation of craftmanship and foreign craftsmen. Citizens recall the rich history and importance of the royal city during its long existence.
Audio commentary on the town of Kežmarok:
Audio commentary on the historical town centre of Kežmarok:
In Kežmarok you can follow the Historical route of significant cultural and historical monuments, which has a total of 12 points of interest (POI):
- The Protestant Wooden Articular church
- The Protestant Lycée
- The New Protestant church
- The Town hall
- The Museum of Housing culture
- The Paulinsky church
- The Castle
- The old market
- The Basilica of St. Cross
- The Renaissance belfry
- 12. The Historical cemetery
Audio commentary: https://www.kezmarok.sk