HISTORY TALKS...

Jelšava

MINERS from Poland settled in the old German town of Jelšava some time between the 4th and 6th centuries, and contributed to the town's development. Therefore, life in Jelšava centred around mining throughout the following centuries.

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MINERS from Poland settled in the old German town of Jelšava some time between the 4th and 6th centuries, and contributed to the town's development. Therefore, life in Jelšava centred around mining throughout the following centuries. But in the 13th century, the Dethro steel processing company was established there, and by the second half of the next century, Jelšava had become the second most important source of iron ore in the Hungarian Empire.

But prosperity was followed by sadness. In 1556, the Ottomans attacked Jelšava. The statistics tell of the extent of the tragedy: 452 inhabitants were killed and 400 were taken prisoner.

For the Muránska Planina plateau, on which Jelšava sits, the year 1893 is memorable. In that year, a railway connecting the towns of Plešivec, Jelšava, Revúca and Muráň was put into operation, causing an immense revival for this backward region. Jelšava supported the project with 30,000 florins and the influential aristocrat Coburg contributed 90,000.

This postcard shows the Roman Catholic church of Saints Peter and Paul, one of the few churches in Gemer region with two belfries.


By Branislav Chovan

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