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The Kežmarok bell tower

THIS POSTCARD from the 1940s shows the bell tower in Kežmarok, a town nestled in the foothills of the High Tatras. This bell tower is the oldest and arguably the most beautiful in all of Slovakia. It was built between 1525 and 1591, has a square foundation and is 18 metres high.

THIS POSTCARD from the 1940s shows the bell tower in Kežmarok, a town nestled in the foothills of the High Tatras. This bell tower is the oldest and arguably the most beautiful in all of Slovakia. It was built between 1525 and 1591, has a square foundation and is 18 metres high.

Bell towers played an important role in medieval towns. Their sound served both as a reminder, for example that Mass was about to start, and to warn the town of fire or enemy attack.

For most people, a bell tower was also the only way to know what time it was. This is where the name rolničky (jingle bells) comes from. The word is rooted in roľníci, (peasants), who worked on fields and used the sound of the bells to know when their day’s labour had ended.

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