Martin, Slovakia

City centre of Martin
Coat of arms
Name origin: church dedicated to St. Martin
Country Slovakia
Region Žilina
District Martin
Tourism region Turiec
River Turiec
Elevation 395 m (1,296 ft)
Coordinates SK 49°03′54″N 18°55′19″E / 49.06500°N 18.92194°E / 49.06500; 18.92194Coordinates: SK 49°03′54″N 18°55′19″E / 49.06500°N 18.92194°E / 49.06500; 18.92194
Area 67.736 km2 (26.153 sq mi)
Population 61,000 (2013)
 - urban 76,550
 - metro 97,214
Density 901/km2 (2,334/sq mi)
First mentioned 1264
Mayor Andrej Hrnčiar (Sieť)
Timezone CET (UTC+1)
 - summer (DST) CEST
Postal code 036 01
Area code +421-43
Car plate MT
Location in Slovakia
Location in the Žilina Region
Wikimedia Commons: Martin
Statistics: MOŠ/MIS

Martin ( pronunciation ; Slovak: Turčiansky Svätý Martin until 1950, Hungarian: Turócszentmárton, German: Turz-Sankt Martin, Latin: Sanctus Martinus / Martinopolis) is a city in northern Slovakia, situated on the Turiec river, between the Malá Fatra and Veľká Fatra mountains, near the city of Žilina. The population numbers approximately 61,000, which makes it the eighth largest city in Slovakia. It is the center of the Turiec region and the District of Martin.


From the second half of the 10th century until 1918, it was part of the Kingdom of Hungary. The first recorded reference to Martin in written sources is dated to 1284 under the name of Vila Sancti Martini.

In the turbulent 15th century, Martin suffered from many disasters, for example from the attack of the Hussites in 1433, when the town was burned down. Just 10 years later, it was destroyed again by an earthquake and Martin started to be slowly degraded from royal to the privileged town and under direct influence of the Révay family.

Since the 18th century, Martin became centre of the Turóc county.

The town became the foremost Slovak cultural center in the 19th century. Several cultural institutions (including Slovak Matica and Slovak National Museum) were founded there. Most political activities leading to the Slovak national emancipation in the 19th and early 20th centuries were organized in or from Martin. The town was also industrialized at this time. The first printing works were established in 1869, the furniture factory Tatra nábytok in 1890, and so on.

The town lost some of its importance after Pressburg (today's Bratislava) became the capital of Slovakia in 1919. Today, it is the seat of the Slovak National Library and Slovak Matica.

National Council of the Slovak Republic declared the City of Martin the center of national culture of the Slovaks on August 24, 1994.

City of Martin won the United Nations Public Service Award in 2011 in category: Preventing and Combating Corruption in the Public Service [1]


Martin lies at an altitude of 395 metres (1,296 ft) above sea level and covers an area of 67.74 square kilometres (26.2 sq mi).[2] It is located in northern Slovakia, in the Turiec Basin, just south of the confluence of the Turiec River with Váh. Mountain ranges in the proximity of the city are Lesser Fatra and Greater Fatra, more to the south are Žiar and Kremnica Mountains. The nearest major cities are Žilina, 30 kilometres (19 mi) away to the north-west, Banská Bystrica, 60 kilometres (37 mi) away to the south-east and capital Bratislava, 230 kilometres (143 mi) to the south-west (by road). Martin has 10 boroughs: Jahodníky, Ľadoveň, Stred, Sever, Košúty, Podháj, Stráne, Priekopa, Tomčany and Záturčie.


Martin lies in the north temperate zone and has a continental climate with four distinct seasons. It is characterized by a significant variation between hot summers and cold, snowy winters. Average annual temperature is around 7 °C (45 °F) and average annual rainfall is 750–860 mm (29.5–33.9 in); most of the rainfall is in June and in the first half of July. Snow cover lasts from 60 to 80 days per year.

Climate data for Martin
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 0
Average low °C (°F) −5
Average precipitation cm (inches) 2.85
Source: MSN Weather[3]


Martin has a population of 58000 (as of December 31, 2009). According to the 2001 census, 94.9% of inhabitants were Slovaks, 1.6% Czechs, 0.5% Romani, and 0.2% Hungarians. The religious makeup was 44.1% Roman Catholics, 31.2% people with no religious affiliation, and 17.2% Lutherans.[2]

According to the 2011 census, 81.7% of inhabitants were Slovaks, 1.0% Czechs, 0.09% Roma, and 0.2% Hungarians and 16.2% did not specify nationality. The religious makeup was 34.3% Roman Catholics, 28.3% people with no religious affiliation, 21.1% did not specify religion and 13.2% Lutherans.[4]


Martin (east view) and Greater Fatra.
The tallest waterfall (38 m) in Lesser Fatra near Martin

The oldest building is a Romanesque church dedicated to Saint Martin of Tours (13th century). The Slovak National Museum placed its ethnographic collection in Martin. An open-air museum in the suburbs, the Museum of the Slovak Village (Jahodnícke háje), exhibits the traditional rural architecture and folk traditions of the region of Turiec. The Slovak National Cemetery is the official Slovak hall of fame, inspired by the Panthéon in Paris. The Slovak Chamber Theatre in Martin was established in 1944 as the second professional theatre company in Slovakia. The theatre building is a landmark of the city center.

Martin is surrounded by Malá Fatra and Veľká Fatra mountains, which in winter offer excellent conditions for skiing and in summer for hiking.


Martin is home to a Volkswagen Group owned automotive industry production plant, under the Volkswagen Slovakia, a.s. subsidiary. Opened in 2000, it employs approximately 800 people. The city has been hit rather hard by the recession as Volkswagen was forced to lay off over 200 workers. The Danish shoe company ECCO is situated near to the Kosuty II borough. Two other big employers are the printing company Neografia Martin and the University hospital. Other well known companies are Skanska, Vienna International, and Hoechst-Biotika. Some important companies are located near to the city of Martin like ŽOS Vrútky or Prefa Sučany. Due to economic crisis the unemployment rate rose to 10%, but is still below national average rate. During the best years, the unemployment rate was approximately 5% [5]


Martin is home to the Jessenius Faculty of Medicine which is one of three medical schools in Slovakia. Up to 500 Norwegian medical students are currently studying there. The city's system of primary education consists of nine public schools, two private primary schools (BellAmos School), and two religious primary schools, enrolling in total 5,027 pupils. There is currently a plan to build a five story high school near the main square. When completed, it will be largest educational building in Slovakia apart from universities. The school will be named after Andrej Hlinka, a former Slovak politician.[6] Secondary education is represented by two gymnasia with 828 students,[7] three specialized high schools with 1,050 students (Business Academy Martin),[8] and three vocational schools with 2,501 students (data as of 2007).[9]



Martin lies on the crossroad that interconnect the main road (as well main railway) from Bratislava to Košice with Banská Bystrica. It is connected directly to Žilina, Turčianske Teplice and Ružomberok.

Public transport is not only in Martin itself, but it also extends to the surrounding town of Vrútky and to three villages (Bystrička, Lipovec, Turčianske Kľačany)

Martin is also served by Martin Airport, a small, general aviation airport used for gliding.

Gader Valley with Martin in the Background

Twin towns - sister cities

City centre.

Martin is twinned with:

Notable people


  1. "UN Award". UN.
  2. 1 2 "Municipal Statistics". Statistical Office of the Slovak republic. Archived from the original on 2008-01-11. Retrieved 2008-01-22.
  3. "Monthly Averages for Martin, Slovakia". MSN. Retrieved 18 January 2008.
  4. 2011 Census (PDF). Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic Retrieved 12 July 2013. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  5. "Unemployment rate" (in Slovak). Úrad práce, sociálnych vecí a rodiny Martin.
  6. "Prehľad základných škôl v školskom roku 2006/2007" (PDF) (in Slovak). Ústav informácií a prognóz školstva. 2006. Retrieved 2008-03-07.
  7. "Prehľad gymnázií v školskom roku 2006/2007" (PDF) (in Slovak). Ústav informácií a prognóz školstva. Retrieved 2008-03-07.
  8. "Prehľad stredných odborných škôl v školskom roku 2006/2007" (PDF) (in Slovak). Ústav informácií a prognóz školstva. Retrieved 2008-03-07.
  9. "Prehľad združených stredných škôl v školskom roku 2006/2007" (PDF) (in Slovak). Ústav informácií a prognóz školstva. Retrieved 2008-03-07.
  10. "Kalisz Official Website - Twin Towns". (in English and Polish) © 2005-2008 Urząd Miejski Kalisz. Retrieved 2008-11-29.
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