Spectator on facebook

Spectator on facebook

The Roma competitors

The Roma didn’t have an easy life during the Austro-Hungarian Empire, as they were barely tolerated by the majority of the population.

Kremnica(Source: Courtesy of B. Chovan)

This was mostly due to their way of life – until the 19th century, most of them led a nomadic life and didn’t adapt to life of period society. Empress Maria Theresa and her son Jospeh II tried, through various decrees, to make the nomads settle down – but with little success.

Later, some groups of Roma started settling at the margins of villages, living in primitive shacks. They made their living with smithery, casual labour and – because of enormous poverty – also theivery. However, some of them began founding music bands which gradually gained popularity.

Already in the 18th century, the quality of Roma musicians was renowned even in the mining towns. Despite the fact that the Roma were banned from entering these towns, they were allowed to play there.

Roma musicians from nearby village of Hanneschau (now Lúčky) used to come to Kremnica to play. . They must have prospered here, as after some time local Kremnica-based musicians started complaining. The dispute went as far as the town-hall where it was decided, in 1784, that the Hanneschau Roma be expelled from the town. Moreover, councillors even let their musical instruments be seized under a weird pretense – they claimed that by taking the instruments, they will force the Roma to work.

In this postcard from 1920, part of the town castle in Kremnica can be seen. The author of this drawing in famous Slovak artist, Janko Alexy.

Topic: History talks


Top stories

Man who abducted the president’s son speaks out

The testimony of the former secret service agent could be of importance in a court process against the ex-spy boss.

Former SIS director Ivan Lexa

Press freedom is bleeding across our borders

Critical media are always the first targets of populists and press freedom enemies.

Foreigners: Top 10 events in Bratislava Video

Tips for the top 10 events in the capital between January 19 and January 28, plus regular services in different languages, training, temporary exhibitions and highlights of the year.

Scandi 4

Crematorium in Bratislava is an architectural revelation Photo

Those who have experienced farewells in other crematoria know what makes it special. Now the best work by the architect Ferdinand Milučký is getting a monograph

Crematorium in Bratislava by architect Ferdinand Milučký