Residence of two regions

NAMES and borders of many Slovak areas date way back into the past. Even before the arrival of the old Hungarians, Slavs had created their own system of regions in the early Middle Ages.

(Source: Courtesy of Branislav Chovan)

Then, after the Hungarian Kingdom came into existence, the original Slavonic regions changed into royal counties called “komitáts”. The Slavonic origin of komitáts can be traced for example to Hungarian words such as megye – the komitát or county; and ispán – the official who headed the komitát. Megye stems from the word medzä (boundary, baulk) and ispán from the word špán, meaning pán (mister, gentleman, or lord).

Thus, it is quite understandable that when the proposal to re-introduce the word župa for an administrative region, a wave of protests followed. However, it stemmed from ignorance and ancient fears of everything Hungarian.

In this postcard from 1916, we can see the pretentious regional centre, or župný dom, of the areas of Gemer and Malohont in Rimavská Sobota. These two regions existed separately most of the time, while Malohont was considered rather as a district.

Proof of the Gemer komi-tát appeared as early as the 12th century. It resided at the Gemer Castle, but since 1578, the local gentry met at the “stolica” meetings in Boršo-dská Stolica at the Szendrö Castle. [Stolica was a nobility-owned region, while komi-tát was a royal region and župa was a state-owned region.] This was prompted by fear of the Ottomans.

Since the beginning of the 18th century, the meetings moved to Gemer-based Plešivec, but many considered this decision rather unfortunate. Plešivec, in spite of becoming the centre of political life of this župa, remained an undeveloped province seat, or rather a village than a town.

Get daily Slovak news directly to your inbox

Theme: History talks

Read more articles by the topic

Top stories

News digest: Nationwide testing gained contours

The Defence Ministry reveals details on upcoming testing, removal of the STU rector was far from normal. Take a look at our latest news digest.

President Zuzana Čaputová meeting with scientists and experts on epidemiology, infectology and medicine.

Senate voted STU rector down. Police called to the uni as well

The session of the Academic Senate proposed that Rector Fikar be dismissed.

Miroslav Fikar

Dozens of people die of COVID every day. A drop not expected for at least two weeks

People who would otherwise survive may die of other serious diagnoses due to the epidemic.

Illustrative stock photo

Slovakia orders a curfew and embarks on its COVID experiment

High turnout in testing in four northern districts, decision awaited on extending the project to the nation. Prison for a prominent prosecutor and parliament's speaker injured.

Waiting for the results of COVID tests during the pilot phase of the nationwide testing in the town of Nižná in Orava, northern Slovakia.