Main Square

Main Square Main Square

The Main Square witnessed all the important events, which took place in the town. In the 15th century, the Hungarian king Sigmund and Polish king Vladislav visited the town, in the 19th century the Saxon king Friedrich August II., in the 20th century the Siamese Prince, the President of the Czechoslovak Republik T. G. Masaryk, and all the presidents of the Slovak Republic.

In the past, it was the place of the assemblies of Kežmarok community and splendid annual markets, which were visited by tradesmen from all over Europe. Nowadays, the Festival of European Folk Crafts has taken place here since 1991. This event continues the tradition of old craftsmen´s work. 

The square has preserved the original Gothic-Renaissance burghers´houses. However, most of them were rebuilt in the 19th and 20th century what affected the original constructions. Also the typical Spiš Region houses with shingle roofs have been preserved.

House No. 2

was originally built in the Gothic style. In 1659, it was rebuilt in the Renaissance style which is proved by a Latin inscription placed in a cartouche on the eastern side of the facade. The inscription is as follows: MANE NOBISCVM VESPERE SALVATOR MDCLIX (Stay with us, Lord, for it is getting late, 1659). In the 2nd half of the 18th century, the house took on Baroque elements and in the 19th and 20th century it was rebuilt. There is a Neo-Gothic window on the ground floor.

House No. 5

was originally built in the late Renaissance style in the 2nd third of the 17th century. In the 19th century, it was probably rebuilt from 2 houses. There is the Lasky family´s coat of arms on its balcony. 

House No. 6

was originally built in the Gothic-Renaissance style, in 1763 rebuilt in the late Baroque style. In 1867 - 1868, the foremost Slovak poet Pavol Országh Hviezdosalav lived in this house during his 5-year studies.

House No. 14

was built from two houses, which were rebuilt in the Historicist style in the 19th century. The house was owned by a landed gentry family called Pongrácz Szentiványi. From the end of the 19th century until the World War II., a casino was situated in this building.

House No. 16

was built in the Gothic, rebuilt in the Renaissance style. In its yard, there is the last preserved Renaissance yard gallery in Kežmarok and many portals. The house was modified in the 19th and 20th century. It was owned by the Stenczel family whose coat of arms was placed onto the house facade at the end of the 20th century.

House No. 24

was rebuilt from two originally Renaissance houses in the first half of the 18th century and modified into a type of the so-called Baroque Palace in 1806. It belonged to a Spiš noble family called Goldberger - Bethlenfalvy (their coat of arms is preserved on the balcony but is almost completely damaged). In 1810 – 1815, the Slovak scientist Pavol Jozef Šafárik (1795 – 1861), known as a student of lyceum and an educator, lived and worked in this house. The zoologist and publicist
Ernest Bethlenfalvy (1880 – 1955) was also born there. In 2004, a memorial tablet in honour of these two personalities was unveiled on the house. 

House No. 27

was originally built in the Renaissance style. It was rebuilt in the 19th century. The German poet Ernest Lindtner (1826 – 1902) was born there. In 1927, his memorial tablet was unveiled there, but it was destroyed after the Second World War.

House No. 33

were two originally Renaissance houses in the past. In the 20s of the 20th century, it was completely rebuilt for the Baťa shop purposes. Tomáš Mauksch (1749 – 1832) - a native of Kežmarok and the founder of the Tatras floristics - was born in this house. In 1880, Pavol Sauter had a printing office in its backyard (in the 30s of the 20th century, the printing office was moved into the house No. 66). The Slovak playwright Ivan Stodola (1888 – 1977) lived there during his studies at the 
Kežmarok grammar school in 1900 – 1901 and 1903 – 1906. 

House No. 37

was originally built in the Renaissance style and rebuilt in the style of Classicism in the half of the 19th century. It was owned by the Kolbenheyer family, who were visited by the Slovak poet Ján Kollár (1793 – 1852) in 1817.

House No. 40

was originally built in the Gothic-Renaissance style and rebuilt in the 20th century. The repair works revealed a part of a portal from the 16th century. The house was owned by the Generisch family. The brothers Kristián (1759 – 1825) - an Evangelical priest of the Augsburg confession and a historian, Ján (1761 – 1823) - a teacher and writer, and Samuel 
(1768 – 1844) - a botanist, were born there. A memorial tablet in honour of them was unveiled in 2004. 

House No. 42

was originally built in the Renaissance, rebuilt in the Historicist style in the 2nd half of the 19th century. Friedrich Hažlinský (1818 – 1896) was born there. He was the founder of the flowerless flora research in Hungary.

Houses No. 45-47

were originally built in the Gothic style. They were rebuilt in the Renaissance period and joined together (as the only ones in Kežmarok). In the house No. 47, Pavol Kray (1735 – 1804), the grandson of the Kežmarok legendary mayor Jakub Kray, was born. As a memorial tablet, unveiled in 1888, says he was also an imperial field marshal. 

House No. 46

was originally built in the Gothic-Renaissance style. Before 1669, it belonged to Hutterites (probably the only ones in the whole Spiš Region). In 1669, the castle lord István (Stephen) Thököly II. gave it to his servant Adam Badányi as a gift. The last descendant of this family - the baroness Hedviga Mária von Szirmay - lived there until her death in 1973.
In the 2nd half of the 18th century, the building was rebuilt into a house of the palace type in the style of the late Baroque. There are ornaments of the Louis XVI. style on its facade. The Badányi family was very often visited by a young baroness Babetta von Wieland. She came from the near Village of Farkašovce (present-day Vlková). With her, Ján Chalupka (1791 - 1871) fell in love. He worked as a professor and rector at the Kežmarok Lyceum in 1818 - 1824, and later on 
became a writer and playwright. This unlucky love is also mentioned in literature. The long-lasting general repair of the building managed by the municipality enabled that in 1993, the town gallery was open on the floor. Since 1996, Kežmarok information agency has been situated there. 

House No. 49

was originally built in the Renaissance style. It was rebuilt in the style of Classicism in the 1st half of the 19th century. Pavol Országh Hviezdoslav lived there during his studies in 1869 - 1870.

House No. 50

was originally built in the Gothic and rebuilt in the Renaissance style in 1589. It had been modified for several times - the last time toward the end of the 20th century. There is a cartouche with the year 1589 above the door in the yard (originally, it was placed in the corridor).

House No. 51

was originally built in the Renaissance style and rebuilt in the style of Classicism in the 1st half of the 19th century. Ján Genersich (1761 – 1823) - a professor and founder of the local literary society (one of the first in Hungary) - lived there.

House No. 52

was originally built in the Renaissance style. It was rebuilt in the 19th century. The wholesale merchant Július Demiány (1818 – 1877) was born there. He initiated the founding of the voluntary fire brigade - one of the first in Hungary - in 1862, founding of the Kežmarok savings bank in 1863, and founding of the very first factory for the starch production in Hungary in 1864. In 1867, he was the co-founder of the first Hungarian factory for the mechanical spinning of the flax and hemps. The Demiány family was visited by the famous Hungarian poet Sándor Petöfi (1823 – 1856?) in May 1845. He also visited the Kežmarok Lyceum, to which he donated a book with his verses and autograph. At the end of the 19th century, a memorial tablet in honour of this poet was unveiled on the restaurant called Koruna (demolished in about 1960), where he was accommodated. Unfortunately, the tablet was destroyed after the World War I.

House No. 54

was originally built in the Gothic-Renaissance style and rebuilt in the style of Classicism in the 19th century. There is the Keler family´s symbol on the balcony.

House No. 55 - Museum of Housing Culture - 17. - 20. century

was originally built in the Gothic-Renaissance style. In the 17th century, it belonged to the family of the goldsmith Daniel Haltz. This is proved by a joist from 1698 with the carved initials DH, situated above a wood-carving of a goblet and a date. The goblet was the symbol of goldsmiths. In the 19th century, the native of Kežmarok Štefan Palcsó (1826 – 1895)
- a pedagogue and writer - lived there. Since 1974, the building has been owned by the local museum. In 1994, the exhibition presenting the house interior styles of the town gentry from the end of the 17th century up to the beginning of the 20th century was opened there. Most of the exhibits come from the estate of the baroness Hedviga
Maria von Szirmay. 

House No. 58

was originally built in the Gothic-Renaissance style and was constructed in the 19th century by joining of 2 houses.
There is a pharmacy in the building. It continues the tradition of the pharmacy called K uhorskej korune (To the Hungarian Crown), which was established in 1680. The glass filling of the door, where a Hungarian crown can be seen, comes from the end of the 19th century. 

House No. 74

was originally built in the Gothic-Renaissance style. In the 1st half of the 19th century, it was rebuilt in the style of Classicism. Later on, its facade was changed. The native of Kežmarok and German writer from Spiš Region Karol Villiam Schwarz (1815 – 1882) lived there.

House No. 78

was originally built in the Gothic-Renaissance style. It was rebuilt and its facade was changed in the 19th century. Its modification was carried out in the 20th century. The Hungarian writer Ferenc Kazinczy (1759 – 1831) was living there during his studies. In 1898, a memorial tablet in honour of him was unveiled on the house, but it was destroyed after the World War I. 

House No. 86

was built from 2 originally Renaissance houses, which were rebuilt in the Historicist style and joined together in the 19th century. The Slovak writer and politician Martin Rázus (1888 – 1937) was accommodated there during his last study year (1903 – 1907) at the Kežmarok Lyceum. In the 30s - 40s of the 20th century, the house was the seat of the Carpathian Association.

Hlavné námestie
Barónka
Hlavné námestie

1 comment

  • Comment Link silvan mlynarcik Saturday, 25 July 2009 18:30 posted by silvan mlynarcik

    uvytal by som ak by k uvedenym textom bol dodany aj fotograficky material a zaroven aj podrobnejsi popis.

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