LIFE in the eastern Slovak town of Krompachy has always been heavily influenced by the mining industry. The first known historical records mention its trade in copper and nearby Mount Krompachy, known as Klippberg in German, had the region’s largest iron ore deposit.
An ironworks and a rolling mill were built in the town in 1841. The number of employees at these facilities grew rapidly and reached 3,500 at the turn of the 19th century. The company was the largest of its kind in the Hungarian kingdom in terms of production.
But the 19th century brought more than just prosperity to Krompachy.
In 1831, for example, the town was struck by a deadly cholera epidemic.
To avoid further spread of the disease, wells in the town were treated with bleaching powder. But local people did not understand this sanitary measure and believed that the nobility were trying to kill them by poisoning the water.
These fears led to a peasants’ revolt in Krompachy which then spread to the whole Spiš region. It was quickly suppressed and six of its leaders were sentenced to death.
This postcard shows Krompachy as it looked in 1929.
2. Nov 2009 at 0:00 | By Branislav Chovan