Dear ladies and gentlemen,
Kezmarok is one of the centres of the Spis region, a region with a rich history and an amount of valuable historical monuments. It's a seat of district. The town lies under the High Tatras mountains, 630 m above the sea level.
Kežmarok has more than 150 kinds of the original names of the town. The most widespread opinion is, that the word Kežmarok comes from the german origin and it means „Cheese market“.
The town was founded in 1269 combining several slavic and german settlements. In the past it was the second important town of the large triangle of historical Spiš, besides Levoča and Sp. Sobota. The old town consisted of 4 settlements: st. Michael, Holy Cross, st. Elisabeth and st. Peter and Paul.
In the 15th century it was granted the rights of a free royal town and received several privileges, e.g. the right of sword, right to use its own coat-of-arms or a problematic right of store, having engendered the so-called hundred - years war with the nearby town Levoca. The coat-of-arms is divided into two parts. In its upper part there are 2 crossed silver swords with a gold royal crown and a heraldic rose. The lower part is formed by 2 silver and 2 red stripes, which are symbolizing 4 rivers of Kežmarok – Poprad, Zlatník, Biela voda and Ľubický potok. The right of store was a great advantage - Kezmarok lied by an important shipping route that connected the Orient with the north of Europe. There were also many crafts working in Kezmarok (between the 15th and the 19th century there were almost 40) that contributed noteworthy to the development and a good image of the town.The most important of them were shoemakers, butchers, locksmiths and brewers. The guilds were out of operation when first factories appeared. The first factory in Kežmarok was small flax weaving mill-at present it is Tatraľan.
Nowadays, Kežmarok is the district town with more than 20000 inhabitants and it belongs to the biggest and nicest towns in the Spiš region. Rich history of the town and the region is being presented in town’s museums – the castle (with expositions of crafts, weapons, shooting association, Tatras…) and the House-furnishing museum with typical regional medieval furniture. The town gallery contributes to the cultural life with temporary exhibitions Kezmarok has an amount of historical monuments – the evangelical Wooden articular church (1717), New evangelical church (1894), the Lyceum (1776 – 76) with one of the biggest school historical libraries in central Europe, catholic Holy Cross Basilica (with the oldest parts from the 13th century), originally gothic town hall (1461), Redoute (cultural centre of Kezmarok), the castle or the Paulinius church.
Thank you for your attention, if you have any questions, I will be glad to answer it.