from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
coat of arms map
Kežmarok coat of arms
Kežmarok (Slovakia)
Basic data
State : Slovakia
Kraj : Prešovský kraj
Okres : Kežmarok
Region : Tatry
Area : 24.831 km²
Residents : 16,346 (Dec. 31, 2019)
Population density : 658 inhabitants per km²
Height : 630  m nm
Postal code : 060 01
Telephone code : 0 52
Geographic location : 49 ° 8 '  N , 20 ° 26'  E Coordinates: 49 ° 8 '18 "  N , 20 ° 25' 45"  E
License plate : KK
Kód obce : 523585
Community type : city
Administration (as of November 2018)
Mayor : Ján Ferenčák
Address: Mestský úrad Kežmarok
Hlavné Námestie 1
06001 Kežmarok
Statistics information on

Kežmarok , German 'Käsmark / Kesmark' , Hungarian Késmárk , is a town at the foot of the High Tatras . It belongs to the Spiš regionin Slovakia .

view on the city


The district town is located about 15 kilometers northeast of Poprad on the Popper River ( Poprad in Slovak ) and, along with Levoča, is one of the main towns in the Upper Spiš. Today Kežmarok is a location of the wood and textile industry.


Käsmark was founded in the 13th century by the Spiš Saxons through the merger of a Slovak fishing village, a Hungarian border guard and a German settlement. In 1269 the German settlement was granted city rights and in 1380 it rose to a royal free city (the privileges of a royal free city were reaffirmed in 1655). The Count of the Spiš Saxons had also had his seat in Käsmark since 1440, and the construction of the city castle in 1463 also took place at this time. In 1530 the city came under the control of Johann Zápolyas .

The municipal Latin school developed under the Melanchthon students Leonhard Stöckel (around 1510-1560) and Matthias Thoraconymus (* around 1550; † 1586) with a reformatory educational program, the "Melanchthon System", significant effects on the reform of the school system in Slovakia. As part of the Federation of 24 Spiš cities , Kežmarok was part of the Confessio Scepusiana ( Spis Confession).

Until the 20th century, the city had a German majority. In 1944 the German minority made up about 1/3 of the population. This made it the most important city for the Carpathian Germans. In addition, Kezmarok had an active Jewish community, which until 1940 made up about 14% of the population. During the time of the First Slovak Republic , a satellite state ("Protective State") of National Socialist Germany, 75% of all Jews living in the city were deported to labor camps and finally extermination camps, some of them with the participation of the Hlinka Guard (in 1944 also the SS ) were victims of executions. The persecution culminated in 1942 and 1944. While the Jewish community numbered about 1200 people in 1940, there were only 118 at the beginning of 1944. The Central Database of the Names of Holocaust Victims (Beta) of Yad Vashem lists about 700 Jewish residents by name, who lived in Kežmarok before the war, most of whom were deported and murdered in the Holocaust . At least 54 Jews were murdered in the city itself, including 43 remaining Jewish residents.

In 1950 the old town was placed under monument protection.

In 2017, Kežmarok was awarded the honorary title of “ Reformation City of Europe ” by the Community of Evangelical Churches in Europe .

Name of the place

The first source evidence for the settlement in the form of Villa ( Saxonum apud Ecclesiam) Sancte Elisabeth comes from 1251. In 1269, after the introduction of a cheese market , the settlement was elevated to the status of town and was given the name Käsmarkt (later Käsmark / Kesmark and incorrectly also Kaisersmarkt ). The Slovak and Hungarian names are derived from German.


year number Remarks
1880 4,475 3,222 Germans (72%), 705 Slovaks (15.8%), 347 Hungarians (7.8%)
1890 4,897 3,225 Germans (65.9%) 1,005 Slovaks (20.5%), 574 Hungarians (11.7%)
1900 5,606 3,408 Germans (60.8%) 1,074 Slovaks (19.2%), 952 Hungarians (17%)
1910 6.317 3,242 Germans (51.3%), 1,606 Slovaks (25.4%), 1,314 Hungarians (20.8%)
1930 6,465 2,577 Germans (40%)


Community partnerships

Kežmarok has partnerships with the following cities and municipalities:



The MHK SkiPark Kežmarok played between 2007 and 2009 in the highest ice hockey league in Slovakia, the Extraliga .

Web links

Commons : Kežmarok  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b Kežmarok, the city of the Reformation. Church and school. In:, accessed on June 28, 2018 (on Kežmarok's Reformation history).
  2. a b Jozef Sulaček: Tragické osudy židovskej komunity v Kežmarku v rokoch II. Svetovej vojny. Kežmarok 2003.
  3. "Kezmarok" Encyclopaedia of Jewish communities, Slovakia. In: Retrieved July 12, 2010 .
  4. Lived and murdered in Kežmarok before the war: 766 (minus multiple answers). In: Yad Vashem : Central Database of the Names of Holocaust Victims (Beta), accessed June 28, 2018.
  5. Murdered in Kezmarok: 57 (minus multiple responses and foreigners [manual counting]). In: Yad Vashem: Central Database of the Names of Holocaust Victims (Beta), accessed June 28, 2018.
  6. Slovak Wikipedia: Evanjelické Lyceum .