Spectator on facebook

Spectator on facebook

HISTORY TALKS...

The Beverly Hills of the Záhorie region

ZÁHORSKÁ Bystrica, together with Dúbravka, Devínska Nová Ves and Lamač, are today parts of Bratislava. But when this photograph was taken by Eduard Hollub from Stupava in 1925, they were all independent towns.

ZÁHORSKÁ Bystrica, together with Dúbravka, Devínska Nová Ves and Lamač, are today parts of Bratislava. But when this photograph was taken by Eduard Hollub from Stupava in 1925, they were all independent towns.

In those times, Záhorská Bystrica was surrounded with fields and meadows. These have now been replaced by fashionable neighbourhoods, known locally and familiarly as the Beverly Hills of Bratislava.

The town was one of the first in Slovakia to harbour Croatian refugees who fled Turkish rule. The first families from the Balkans are said to have arrived in Záhorská Bystrica in 1529 and hundreds of others followed in succeeding decades.

So numerous were the immigrants that historical records sometimes refer to the settlement as “Bystricz, the Slovak-Croatian village”.

Naturally, such cohabitation was not entirely without problems. Nevertheless, for Gaspar Serédy, at that time Bystrica’s most influential landowner, using the low-cost Croatian labour force was extremely profitable. Croatians were given either public land or fields that were before held by Slovaks.

However, the major cause of bad blood between the two nationalities was that the Croatians were not required to pay higher taxes than the Slovaks even though they were, at least at the beginning, labelled as less efficient.

Záhorská Bystrica was long considered to be the most affluent town of the region, especially thanks to its fertile soil where vegetables, mainly cabbage, flourished better than anywhere else. These products were sold at markets in Bratislava or, even more advantageously, in the nearby city of Vienna.


Top stories

Slovak Christmas - traditional and new Photo

A chain around the table legs and waiting for a golden pig. Some old Christmas traditions survive to this day and others have disappeared.

Culture minister resigns from post as deputy chair of Smer

His replacement is expected to be elected at the December party congress.

Culture Minister Marek Maďarič

Peace, joy and good cheer pack a punch in the streets of Bratislava and its regions. Wassail! Photo

As well as the city centre, individual boroughs are hosting Christmas markets this year; the nearby Schloss Hof is offering a Christmas programme too.

Christmas atmosphere on Hviezdoslavovo square

Sledging run opens in the High Tatras Photo

The sledge track will be 2.5 kilometres long, all the way from Hrebienok to Starý Smokovec.

Hrebienok-Starý Smokovec sledge ride