Coat of arms
Name origin: "cheese market"
Country Slovakia
Region Prešov
District Kežmarok
Tourism region Tatry
River Poprad
Elevation 626 m (2,054 ft)
Coordinates 49°08′01″N 20°25′35″E / 49.13361°N 20.42639°E / 49.13361; 20.42639Coordinates: 49°08′01″N 20°25′35″E / 49.13361°N 20.42639°E / 49.13361; 20.42639
Area 24.83 km2 (9.59 sq mi)
Population 16,636 (31 December 2014)
Density 670/km2 (1,735/sq mi)
First mentioned 1251
Mayor Ján Ferenčák
Timezone CET (UTC+1)
 - summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 06001
Area code +421-52
Car plate KK
Location of Kežmarok in Slovakia
Location of Kežmarok in the Prešov Region
Wikimedia Commons: Kežmarok

Kežmarok (German: Kesmark/Käsmark, Hungarian: Késmárk, Polish: Kieżmark, Latin: Kesmarkium) is a town in the Spiš region of eastern Slovakia (population 17,000), on the Poprad River.


Settlement at Kežmarok dates back to the Upper Stone Age. In the 13th century the region contained a community of Saxons, a Slovak fishing village, a Hungarian border post and a Carpathian German settlement. Its Latin name was first mentioned in 1251 as Villa (Saxonum apud Ecclesiam) Sancte Elisabeth. In 1269 Kežmarok received its town charter. It also had the right to organize a cheese market (hence the German name Kesmark ("Käsemarkt" - "cheese market"). In 1433 the town was severely damaged by a Hussite raid. After 1440, the count of Spiš had a seat in Kežmarok. In the 15th century (and then once more in 1655), Kežmarok became a free royal town.

The town was a stronghold of the noble Thököly family. The Hungarian magnate and warrior Imre Thököly was born in the town in 1657. He died in exile in Turkey in 1705 but in the 20th century his body was returned to Kežmarok and he is buried in a noble mausoleum in the town's Lutheran church.

Coat of arms of the Thököly family.

The town's other monuments include a castle, many Renaissance merchant houses, and a museum of ancient books. In pride of place is the Protestant church built in 1688 entirely of wood. The church also contains an organ of 1719 with wooden pipes. The church has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2008.

Kežmarok had a large ethnic German minority until the end of World War II. It also had a large and active Jewish community. During World War II, under the auspices of the First Slovak Republic, nearly 3,000 of the town's Jews were deported to German death camps. The town's pre-war Jewish cemetery has now been restored.


According to the 2001 census, the town had 17,383 inhabitants. 95.21% of inhabitants were Slovaks, 1.59% Roma, 0.83% Czechs and 0.43% Germans.[3] The religious makeup was 77.50% Roman Catholics, 10.98% people with no religious affiliation, 4.83% Lutherans and 2.63% Greek Catholics.[3]

International relations

View from above.

Twin towns — sister cities

Kežmarok is twinned with:[4]


See also


  1. The Town Kežmarok Archived September 28, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  2. Mestská a obecná štatistika SR Archived October 6, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  3. 1 2 "Municipal Statistics". Statistical Office of the Slovak republic. Archived from the original on 2007-11-16. Retrieved 2007-12-15.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 "Oficiálne stránky mesta Kežmarok". Retrieved 8 February 2010.
  5. Szinney József, Magyar írók élete és munkái, Hornyánszky Budapest 1900
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Kežmarok.

Genealogical resources

The records for genealogical research are available at the state archive "Statny Archiv in Levoca, Slovakia"

This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 11/14/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.