SMOLNÍK is a small town on the border of the Gemer and Spiš regions that was founded before the end of the 13th century.
In the past, it lived off mining copper, antimony and iron ore. A mint was eventually started there, and in 1327, Smolník was designated a royal mining town.
But the same minerals that brought the town so much wealth also caused it hardship.
In the 16th century, František Bebek, a wealthy man from Spiš Castle, moved close to the town, with the idea of stealing its resources. On his order, many mines were raided and many locals were killed. This reign of terror didn't end until Bebek's death.
Smolník housed a mining school between 1747 and 1858, as well as a small theatre that was the first in the country until the end of the 19th century.
This postcard shows the town's skyline from 1911.
17. Mar 2008 at 0:00 | By Branislav Chovan