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The Pálffys’ rule in Šamorín

THIS pre-First World War postcard shows the centre of Šamorín, which was once the hub of the Upper Rye Island (Žitný ostrov), one of the most fertile regions in Slovakia.

THIS pre-First World War postcard shows the centre of Šamorín, which was once the hub of the Upper Rye Island (Žitný ostrov), one of the most fertile regions in Slovakia.

Today, an important part of the town’s population is of Hungarian origin, but this was not always the case.

In the late 17th century, Šamorín was predominantly German and Protestant. This led to religious disputes, as faith had an arguably even greater effect on people’s fate in those days.

For example, Pál Pálffy, the count palatine at the time, embarked on a re-Catholicisation campaign to stop the spread of Protestantism. The German Protestants suffered greatly, including having their property seized, which is hardly surprising considering the Pálffys’ reputation for religious fervour.
To further strengthen the presence of Catholicism, Pál Pálffy invited the Order of Minims founded by St. Francis of Paola to settle in Šamorín. They accepted, and erected a monastery and a church in the town. An interesting fact is that they remained the only members of this order in the entire Austro-Hungarian Empire.

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