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Dobšiná

THIS OLD postcard dating back to the times of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy depicts Dobšiná, a small traditional mining town in Gemer region of east-central Slovakia. Dobšiná was for centuries more or less a German enclave, which existed here until the 18th century.

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THIS OLD postcard dating back to the times of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy depicts Dobšiná, a small traditional mining town in Gemer region of east-central Slovakia. Dobšiná was for centuries more or less a German enclave, which existed here until the 18th century. After strict Magyarization was enforced, however, the German community in Dobšiná, as in other parts of Slovakia, fell apart.

In the past, local tilt hammers produced high-quality steel and so it was no accident that during the Anti-Habsburg uprisings of the 18th century it was Dobšiná which supplied swords, cannonballs, and rifle barrels to the rebel armies of György Rákóczi II. When peace was established between the Habsburgs and the rebels, army workshops in the town had to be torn down.

Došiná enjoyed a huge mining boom in the 1860s and 70s. Local cobalt-nickel ores were exported to England and Saxony in particular. The mining industry was so profitable at that time that citizens were exempt from taxes. This is in contrast with current times, when a considerable part of the local population is unemployed.


By Branislav Chovan

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