A great past but not such a bright present

How come despite its tourism potential and an industrial park nearby, Kežmarok has an unemployment rate three times higher than Slovakia's average?

The town of Kežmarok, SlovakiaThe town of Kežmarok, Slovakia (Source: SITA)

An almost empty long street with old houses on both sides welcomed me on the cold early November day when I arrived to Kežmarok.

The Basilica of the Holy Cross, built in the 14th century with its Renaissance belfry, dominated the landscape. A bit further, I could see the wooden evangelical articular church built in 1717 and added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List about a decade ago. I admired it from the outside and then found my way towards the castle. I walked past very old houses which traditionally belonged to local traders at a time when the town was flourishing, many nicely reconstructed with respect to their original style. The castle built as part of the town fortifications in 1463 attracts about 60,000 visitors per year, both Slovaks and foreign.

I was told that on a sunny day you can even catch a glimpse of the Tatra Mountains. So how come despite this touristic potential and an industrial park nearby, the district of Kežmarok has an unemployment rate of 14.4 percent, three times higher than Slovakia's average? In fact, it ranks second in the country, after Rimavská Sobota.

Waiting for tourists is not worth it

The rest of this article is premium content at Spectator.sk
Subscribe now for full access

I already have subscription - Sign in

Subscription provides you with:
  • Immediate access to all locked articles (premium content) on Spectator.sk
  • Special weekly news summary + an audio recording with a weekly news summary to listen to at your convenience (received on a weekly basis directly to your e-mail)
  • PDF version of the latest issue of our newspaper, The Slovak Spectator, emailed directly to you
  • Access to all premium content on Sme.sk and Korzar.sk

Top stories

Dancers perform in the streets of Trenčín, spotlighting the architecture of the city.

Slovakia will open a new institute, this time in Jerusalem

Culture, sports and travel stories rounded up in one place.

23. júl
The Office of the Public Defender of Rights flies the rainbow flag to mark the Bratislava Pride in 2021.

The pandemic has made it clear that we must stand together

International friends and partners of Slovakia celebrate Bratislava Pride.

10 h

Bratislava Pride will take place online

It will be streamed on July 24 and accompanied by numerous music performances.

22. júl

News digest: Crowd blocks entrance to parliament ahead of vaccine-related vote

The youngest member of the Slovak Olympic team kicks off the games with a personal record. Extensive reconstruction of Bratislava's Michael's Tower launched.

23. júl