WHOEVER occupied Rožňava’s most dominant building – its watchtower – became lord of the entire town. Between 1938 and 1945, the southern part of Slovakia was in Hungarian hands and Rožňava found itself within the occupied territory.
The Hungarian state symbol, part of which had – until 1918 – been used across all of Slovakia, was placed on the watchtower.
Above that state symbol the sign “Magyarok” (Hungarians) appeared on a wooden gallery. This step signalled that Hungary had not resigned itself to the loss of what was once called Upper Hungary, i.e. Slovakia.
The late-Renaissance tower was built in the centre of the Gemer region between 1643 and 1654, when the town belonged to Greater Hungary but Ottoman raiders were trying to capture it. The tower, which is almost 37 metres tall, still retains a souvenir commemorating this era – an Ottoman cannonball firmly deposited in its wall.
Today, in more peaceful times, Rožňava’s watchtower is used as an observation deck. This postcard dates back to World War II.
11. Oct 2010 at 0:00 | By Branislav Chovan