THE VILLAGE of Terchová in northern Slovakia is famous mainly because it was the birthplace of Juraj Jánošík, the outlaw who is considered a national folk hero by many Slovaks. Today this village attracts tourists because of its beautiful natural surroundings and folklore traditions.
Terchová’s past is quite different from its current touristy atmosphere. Life in the 400- year-old village was anything but easy. People made their living mostly by pasturage – a quite demanding livelihood in the rough and tough landscape. The original inhabitants were probably Wallachian shepherds who migrated there from some part of today’s Romania. In the second half of the 19th century, Terchová was struck by a long drought which culminated in a plague epidemic, killing a large part of the population. Even those who survived started leaving Terchová. A half-century later, Terchová received another blow when during the liberation battles at the very end of World War II half of the village burned down, leading most of the citizens to depart for other parts of Slovakia. Terchová was in such a bad state that the first post-war government implemented a two-year plan to revive it. Thus, by the beginning of the 1950s, a new village was emerging.
This postcard shows how Terchová looked in the 1920s.
8. Nov 2010 at 0:00 | By Branislav Chovan