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Thanks to the renaissance houses in its main street, Prešov is one of the most significant historical cities in East Slovakia.
Many of the buildings we see in this picture have a gothic foundation. However, the houses themselves were later rebuilt in renaissance style.
At the beginning of the 16th century, many locals joined the reformation. From that time on, anti-Habsburg insurgents of the same confession often came to Prešov.
With their loyalty toward the rebels, the citizens of Prešov became a thorn in the side of the Catholic Habsburgs for nearly two centuries.
However, once imperial troops gained control of the situation, they imposed swift punishment for Prešov's disobedience to Vienna's rule.
In 1687, Imperial General Antonio Calaffa and his troops marched into town. They executed 27 burgesses and noblemen.
This atrocity went down in Slovak history as the "Prešov butchery".
By Branislav Chovan,
Special to the Spectator
21. Mar 2005 at 0:00