The town lies on the south-eastern hillsides of the Slovak Ore Mountains (Slovenské rudohorie) in the valley of the Bodva River. A German (the Mantacky) dialect is spoken in the town until today.
POINTS OF INTEREST
- Water wheel powered trip hammers, out of which the Tischler´s trip hammer is a part of the Slovak Technical Museum exhibition
- Historical town centre
- Marian column of 18th Century
- Observatory, Planetarium and the Museum of cinematography and film
The town was established in the 13th Century by German settlers, who were invited to come here by the Hungarian emperor Belo IV. In the past Medzev was famous for its smithery especially for making agricultural tools that were supplied to the whole Hungarian Empire as well as abroad. Apart from mining and trip hammering they dealt with agriculture and skin processing.
THE MEDZEV TRIP HAMMERS AND WORLDWIDE KNOWN MEDZEV SMITHS
Abundance of iron ore, forests and rich water sources in the vicinity of the village Nižný Medzev provided favourable conditions for ironworks production. The Medzev smiths used to make hoes, shovels, axes, scythes, nails and hooves, which they supplied to the whole Hungarian Empire even to other countries. They used water wheel powered trip hammers to produce these tools. First trip hammers were already here in the 14th Century and there were more than 100 of them till the 19th Century. The trip hammers were distributed in 11 valleys and they were built at water sources, suitable for powering by a water wheel, which was used to power trip hammers, bellows and grinders. Some of the trip hammers in the Šugovská Valley (Šugovská dolina) and in Medzev are functional ones until today however they serve as museums exhibits only. The most famous one – the Tischler´s trip hammer in Medzev – belongs to the Slovak Technical Museum in Košice (Slovenské technické múzeum v Košiciach). Other trip hammers open to the public are the Broslov´s trip hammer in the Golden Valley (Zlatá dolina) and the trip hammer in the Šugovská Valley.
Just at a stone´s throw...
THE JASOVSKÁ CAVE (JASOVSKÁ JASKYŇA)
is the first Slovak cave open to the public. It was included in the World Nature Heritage of UNESCO. It is said that the cave was discovered by a monk from nearby monastery approximately in the 12th Century. The village as well as the monastery inhabitants used to use it as a shelter. A number of ancient signs and drawings have been preserved in the cave. The underground space has been gradually created from the upper-most corridors down to the lowest part of the cave by the activity of the Bodva River waters, which gradually diluted and formed limestone into various shapes. There are huge domes, halls and corridors here as well as a beautiful lake 7 m deep in places. The cave is decorated with various cave ornaments such as pagoda-like stalagmites, stalactites, „stone“ waterfalls, drums and curls. The average cave temperature fluctuates around 9°C and there is nearly 100% humidity. The cave length is 2 811 m and its depth is 55 m. Only 720 m are open to the public and the tour lasts for 45 minutes. Some bone remains of a cave-bear were discovered in the cave. The Jasovská Cave is a habitat of more than 19 species of bats, which stay there mainly in the winter season.
PREMONSTRATENSIAN MONASTERY IN JASOV
This important religious building of the region has already become mentioned in the 12th Century. The Emperor Belo IV allotted a memorandum for the monastery construction to the Premonstratensians. The monastery consist of the baroque Church of the St. John the Baptist with beautiful frescos, a library with the collection of 80 000 volumes of historical books and the baroque garden. The monastery used to have not only large lands in the area, but also many privileges – they could keep tolls, they did not pay any taxes on ore extraction to the nobility and the residents belonging to the monastery were liberated from the estate count powers. The monastery was an education centre for the whole region.
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