Závada, Spiš, Slovakia


Závada, Spiš, Slovakia


Szepes is the Hungarian name of the historic administrative county of the Kingdom of Hungary officially called Scepusium before the late 19th century. It now lies in northeastern Slovakia, with a very small area in southeastern Poland. For the current region, see Spiš.



Spiš (Slovak; Latin: Scepusium, ,) is a region in north-eastern Slovakia, with a very small area in south-eastern Poland. Spiš is an informal designation of the territory (like Burgundy), but it is also the name of one the 21 official tourism regions of Slovakia. The region is not an administrative division in its own right, but between the late 11th century and 1918 it was an administrative county of the Kingdom of Hungary, (see separate article Szepes county).




SPIŠ, A TREASURY OF SLOVAKIA, is from a certain point of view very similar to Switzerland. The Spiš county could be compared to a Swiss canton. It has its own self-government and a peculiar culture. Every county developed independently from the others. It had its own dialect, folk-dress and verbal communication. People living in different counties had different characters and cultural habits. Every county is unique and non-repetitive. Spiš belongs to counties that are rich on natural beauties, educated labour-force and attractive cultural monuments.
The Spiš region has been endowed by a really beautiful nature. Its northern part is surrounded by massive mysterious peaks of the High Tatras mountains, that merge with the Belianske Tatras and the unique scenery of the National Park Pieniny with the Dunajec river. The eastern border ends at the Levočské vrchy (Levoča Mountains) represented by the Branisko mountain. In the south, there is Slovenské Rudohorie mountain range followed by fantastic cliffs and gorges of the National Park Slovak Paradise. Rivers that flow from the hills in the west belong to the European watershed. The Spiš rivers flow to the north and east, while the rivers from the Liptov region flow to the west. The rivers Hornád and Poprad create something like a "backbone" of the Spiš region. What is interesting, the Poprad river is the only Slovak river that flows to the north - and merges into the Baltic Sea. They are rich on fishes and therefore attract many fishermen. The High Tatras attract mountain climbers, in winter skiers and a lot of tourists as well. Having a very clear environment the High Tatras are used for healing respiratory illnesses. This is the reason why a number of sanatoriums and spas were built here. Slovak Paradise, Zamagurie and Pieniny mountains attract with its natural beauties lots of tourists and lovers of nature. Slovenské Rudohorie thanks to its rich natural resources of copper, iron and precious metals gave jobs to a large number of miners living in local towns and villages. The huge spruce forests cover quite a large area of the Spiš region. They are an important source of foods and often visited by tourists. Mountainy meadows and pastures are used for feeding cattle and sheep, in winter for winter sports. In the Spiš region, you would find lots of springs of mineral water, such as: Baldovce, Nová Ľubovňa (New Ľubovňa), Vrbov, Vyšné Ružbachy etc. The thermal water in Vrbov and in Vyšné Ružbachy is used for bathing and healing various illnesses. The Spiš region is a treasury of protected plants and animals, which is proven by the fact that there are three National Parks: High Tatras, Slovak Paradise and Pieniny and several protected areas.
The Spiš has always been a melting pot of many nations, cultures and religions - in a positive way. From the very beginning the Slovaks have always been a majority. The first German colonists came in the 12. century. The have been awarded royal privileges and successively founded a lot of independent towns and villages with very lively trade. The Hungarians settled down in the southern part in the 12. century, whereas people speaking the polish dialect (sc. "gorals") settled close to the current northern border. Russniaks and Ukrainians settled usually in mountainy areas in the 14-th century. They brought their own culture, language, but also Eastern Christianity. Many Jews settled down in the Spiš region, too - especially in the village Huncovce. The number of gypsies rose rapidly since the 15-th century. You would find here people of the Roman-Catholic as well as the Greek-Catholic religion, Orthodox, Evangelic and Jews. They worked and lived together. This was the process how a multiethnic culture arose. It has constantly been influenced by a Central European culture and became its inevitable component.
The Spiš region is also unusually rich on cultural and historical monuments. You can find them almost in every village. You do not need to go more than 100 km in order to find world famous cultural monuments. The evidence is the fact that some of them are a part of the world heritage acknowledged by the UNESCO - such as Spišský hrad (Spiš Castle), Spišská Kapitula, Spišské Podhradie, Žehra and Dobšinská ľadová jaskyňa (Dobšinská Ice Cave). Plenty of them are National Cultural Monuments - works of art from the Master Ján Pavol (John Paul) from Levoča, church of the St. James in Levoča, the Spiš Castle, Evangelic Grammar school and a church in Kežmarok, museum in Krompachy, a church in Žehra etc. Almost half of all the municipal cultural monuments in Slovakia are situated in the Spiš region - mainly in the town of Levoča, Kežmarok, Spišská Kapitula and Spišská Sobota. This is just a small part of all the gothic and renaissance architecture, sculptures, wall and board paintings, goldsmith's crafts and other arts as well.
Ethnical richness of the Spiš culture influenced heterogeneousness of its folk culture - regardless if we speak about the folk architecture, dress, cultural habits, songs, dances or crafts. All of this is harmonically combined with material, spiritual culture and the surrounding beautiful nature.
The most precious treasury in the Spiš region is the town Levoča. From the Middle Ages till the year 1922 it was an administrative and cultural centre of Spiš. It was one of the most important royal towns in Ungarn. The town Kežmarok was the second most important. It kept its German character up to the present day. Its German Evangelic Grammar School was the most successful in the city. Spišská Kapitula was the spiritual centre of the Spiš region. From the 12. century it was a seat of the Spiš clergy, today it is a centre of the Spiš bishop see. Gelnica was a mining centre. Later the towns Spišská Nová Ves and Poprad gained on importance. Very peculiar character and rich history have the towns Stará Ľubovňa, Podolínec, Spišská Stará Ves, Spišské Vlachy and others. Some of them were given as a deposit to the polish king and it took about 360 years till they were returned.







Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Spiš (Slovak; Latin: Scepusium, German: Zips, Hungarian: Szepesség, Polish: Spisz) is a region in north-eastern Slovakia, with a very small area in south-eastern Poland. Spiš is an informal designation of the territory (like Burgundy), but it is also the name of one the 21 official tourism regions of Slovakia. The region is not an administrative division in its own right, but between the late 11th century and 1918 it was an administrative county of the Kingdom of Hungary, (see separate article Szepes county).


The region is situated between the High Tatras and the Dunajec River in the north, the springs of the Váh River in the west, the Slovenské rudohorie Mountains (Slovak Ore Mountains) and Hnilec River in the south, and a line running from the town of Stará Ľubovňa, via the Branisko mountain (under which lies the 4,822 m long Branisko Tunnel, currently the longest in Slovakia), to the town of Margecany in the east. The core of the Spiš region is formed by the basins of the rivers Hornád and Poprad, and the High Tatra Mountains. Throughout its history, the territory has been characterized by a large percentage of forests - in the late 19th century, as much as 42.2% of Spiš was forest.

Early history

The history of the region until 1918 is given in more detail at Szepes county.

Traces of settlement in the Neanderthal era have been found in remains at Gánovce (Gánóc) and Bešeňová (Besenyőfalu).

The territory of Spiš was later populated first by Celts. It belonged to the state of Great Moravia (Veľká Morava), and after its dissolution became part of Poland.

The southern part of the territory was conquered by the Kingdom of Hungary at the end of the 11th century, when the border of the Kingdom ended near the modern town of Kežmarok. The royal county of Szepes (comitatus Scepusiensis) was created in the 2nd half of the 12th century. In the 1250s the border of the Kingdom of Hungary shifted to the north to Podolínec and in 1260 even further to the north (the Dunajec River). The northeastern region around Hniezdne and Stará Ľubovňa, the so-called "districtus Podoliensis", was incorporated only in the 1290s. The northern border of the county stabilized in the early 14th century. Around 1300, the royal county became a noble county.

Many of the towns of Spiš developed from German colonization. The German settlers had been invited to the territory from the mid-12th century onwards. The settlements founded by them in southern Spiš were mainly mining settlements (later towns). Consequently, until World War II Spiš had a large German population (see Carpathian Germans).

Many smaller settlements were populated by settlers from Poland. In 1412, under the Treaty of Lubowla, 13 main cities passed to Poland. Among the cities that for 360 years belonged to Poland, were: Stará Ľubovňa, Podolínec, Spišská Sobota, Poprad and Spišská Nová Ves. In 1772 all were annexed by Austria as a part of Partitions of Poland.

In 1868, 21 Spiš settlements sent their demands, the 'Spiš Petition', to the Diet of the Kingdom of Hungary, requesting special status for Slovaks within the Kingdom.

Spiš after the creation of Czechoslovakia

In 1918 (and confirmed by the Treaty of Trianon in 1920), the county became part of newly formed Czechoslovakia. A tiny part of the territory (situated in today's Poland below the Rysy), amounting to 195 km˛ after an internal border dispute had been confirmed to be part of Galicia (Central Europe) (at that time the western part of Austria-Hungary) as early as 1902. After World War I northern Spiš was united with Poland and became the subject of a long-running border dispute between Poland and Czechoslovakia. (See separate article, Czechoslovak-Polish border dispute (1918-1947)). In 1923 Slovak Spiš was divided between the newly formed Sub-Tatra county (Podtatranská župa) and Košice county (Коšická župa). In 1928-1939 and 1945-1948 it was part of the newly created Slovak Land (Slovenská krajina).

During World War II, when Czechoslovakia was divided, Spiš was part of independent Slovakia, and formed the eastern part of Tatra county (Tatranská župa) from 1940 to 1945. Slovakia joined the Axis, and the Polish part of Spiš (together with the Polish part of the county of Orava) was transferred to Slovakia. During the war all the Jews of the area were deported or murdered. When Soviet forces approached from the east at the end of 1944, most of the volksdeutsche (ethnic Germans) in Spiš fled westward, between mid-November 1944 and 21 January 1945 (see also Carpathian Germans). Their property was confiscated after the war (see Beneš decrees).

After World War II the prewar borders of Spiš were restored, with the most of the county going to Czechoslovakia, and a small part to Poland. In 1948, it became part of the newly created Košice Region (Košický kraj ) and Prešov Region (Prešovský kraj), whose borders however were completely different from those of the present-day regions of the same name. From July 1960 it became part of the newly created Eastern Slovak region (Východoslovenský kraj), which ceased to exist in September 1990.

In 1993, Czechoslovakia was split and Spiš became part of Slovakia.


According to censuses carried out in the Kingdom of Hungary in 1869 (and later in 1900 and 1910) the population of Szepes county comprised the following nationalities: Slovaks 50.4%, (58.2%, 58%), Germans 35% (25%, 25%), Ruthenians/Ukrainians 13.8% (8.4%, 8%) and 0.7% (6%, 6%) Magyars (Hungarians).

The current ethnic composition of the region, however, is much different. As mentioned above, virtually all Jews and volksdeutsche were removed or left during World War II.

Present-day Spiš has a number of Roma settlements and Roma are a substantial minority there.

There are also 40,000-48,000 Gorals (Slovak: Gorali; literally Highlanders). Although a negligible number in census terms, they are a distinctive minority with their own culture, and speak a dialect of Polish.[1]).[2][3]

Spiš today

Spiš today is one of Slovakia's 21 tourist regions. It no longer however represents, as did its predecessor, an administrative region.

Since 1996, Spiš has been divided between the modern Košice Region and Prešov Region and is covered approximately by the following six administrative districts: Poprad, Kežmarok, Stará Ľubovňa, Spišská Nová Ves, Levoča and Gelnica, except for the eastern half of the Stará Ľubovňa District and three villages of the Poprad district (Štrba including Tatranská Štrba, Štrbské Pleso and Liptovská Teplička from Liptov county.)

The present population of the Spiš region is about 320,000; almost half the population lives in towns, the largest of which are Poprad (55,000), Spišská Nová Ves (39,000) and Kežmarok (17,000).


Zavada-Satellite Map- October 2012





The town of Levoča is situated in the centre - in the heart - of a region called Spiš, which is located in north-east Slovakia bordering on Poland. The region covers mountainous terrain 573 m above sea level. It is a magnificent region bordered to the north by the Levoča hills which are a part of the Carpathian heights whereby to the northwest you may view the peaks of the lowest alpine-like mountains in Europe - that is to say the High Tatras.
To the south there is a unique national park known as Slovak Paradise predominantly consisting of limestone which through the ages has led to the formation of deep canyons and waterfalls.
In the eastern direction it is connected with the thee mountain range known as the Slovak Rudohorie. The river Hornád, with its tributary the Levoča stream, weaves through this area like a silken thread. The country abounds in mineral water sources and thermal waters in Vrbov and in Poprad which serve swimming pools.
Levoča is an ideal centre as a starting point for walking tours. The surroundings abound in a variety of historie monuments well worth seeing considering their outstanding artistic features.

Following the road via Levocska dolina, we get to the typical ancient village of Zavada with well-presreved folk architecture.



Levoča ( pronunciation ; Hungarian: Lőcse, German: Leutschau, Polish: Lewocza) is a town in the Spiš region of eastern Slovakia with a population of 14,600. The town has a historic center with a well preserved town wall, a Renaissance church with the highest wooden altar in Europe, carved by Master Paul of Levoča, and many other Renaissance buildings.




Following the road via Levocska Dolina, there is typical heritage village of Zavada with well-preserved folk architecture. This place is beautiful countryside, with cross-country ski-runs, ski slopes, ski lifts and other services, which became the center of winter sports in the Levoca region.




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