Town hall 'bird snipers'

THIS peaceful scene in downtown Kežmarok indicates that back in 1934, when this postcard was published, life moved at a slower pace that it does today.

Only three cars are parked in front of the town hall, and in all likelihood those were the only cars in all of Kežmarok, as at that time photographers often tried to include everything in a photo that could show off a town’s perceived technological progress.

The town hall itself has stood on that spot since 1461. Over this period it was reconstructed so many times that it could have served as an illustration of the history of European architectural styles.

It was originally built by an architect known as Jörg. When the original Gothic town hall burned down in the early 16th century, it was redone in the Renaissance style.

Thanks to another fire in 1779, the town hall was rebuilt yet again, this time in a neo-classical style. However, this was not the town hall’s last infernal disaster: the most recent fire to ravage the building occurred in 1922, and the town hall has retained its current appearance ever since.

Kežmarok’s town hall served as the residence of its mayors and senators. They were responsible for looking after the town’s supplies, as well as its markets and school, among other things. This was common in other towns, too, but it remains unclear whether they also performed their duty as local “bird snipers”, as they were supposed to in this town of Spiš region in the 15th century.

Top stories

Police search hotels for foreigners

FOLLOWING Prime Minister Robert Fico’s statement that the government would monitor every Muslim in Slovakia, the police started searching for foreigners, particularly Arabs, Syrians and refugees.

Slovak police checking cars at the border crossing in Berg, Austria.

RegioJet to leave Bratislava-Košice line

Private rail passenger carrier RegioJet will stop running trains on the Bratislava-Košice route.

Christmas Bazaar again offered countries' specialties Photo

The biggest charity event of the expat community in Slovakia returned after a one-year break.

Stará Tržnica hosted the Christmas Bazaar on Sunday.

Amendment ensures benefits for prosecutors, boosts their powers

SLOVAK parliament passed an amendment to the law on the prosecutor’s office on November 20. The amendment, passed by 80 votes (of the 150 in total) does not give them an increase in pensions, but rather many other…

Lucia Žitňanská