Presov

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Template:Infobox Slovak town Prešov (Hungarian: Eperjes, German: Preschau or Eperies) is a town in eastern Slovakia. It is the seat of the administrative Presov Region (Prešovský kraj) (see Regions of Slovakia). With a population of 93,000, it is the third largest town in the country.

Contents

Location

Prešov is situated in the valley of the Torysa river, at the confluence with its tributary Sekčov. Prešov is only 38 kilometers north from Košice.

Characteristics

As of 2001, 93.7% of the inhabitants are Slovaks; significant minorities include Roma, Rusyns, Ukrainians, and Czechs. The average wage and the employment rate in Prešov are below the national average. Significant industries in the town include mechanical and electrical engineering companies and clothing industry. Solivary, the only salt mining and processing company in Slovakia, also operates in the town.

More than ten thousand students are enrolled at the two instutions of post-secondary education in the town - the University of Prešov with 8 faculties and the Faculty of Manufacturing Technologies of the Technical University of Košice. Prešov is also seat of a Greek Catholic bishopric, a Lutheran Church bishopric and a Orthodox bishopric.

History

First inhabitants settled in this area in the Paleolithic. Oldest discovered tools and mammoth bones are 28,000 years old. Slavic people have lived in the area of the town since the 4th or 5th century AD.

By the end of the 11th century the town became part of the Kingdom of Hungary, and Hungarian soldiers settled in the town. In the 13th century many German settlers moved to Prešov from the Spiš region.

The first written record of Prešov dates back to 1247. In 1299 Prešov received municipal privileges, and in 1374 it was declared a free royal town. This led to development of crafts and trade (especially export of wine from the Tisza region to Poland). In the 15th century Prešov joined the Pentapolitana, an alliance of five towns of eastern Slovakia (Bardejov, Levoča, Košice, Prešov, and Sabinov).

The first record of a school dates to 1429. In 1572, salt mining started in Solivar (at that time a nearby town, now part of Prešov). Prešov's increased importance meant that in 1647 it became the seat of the Šariš county.

In 1667 an important Evangelic Lutheran College of Prešov was established by Protestants in the town. In 1687, 24 prominent citizens and noblemen were executed for supporting the uprising of Imre Thököly.

At the beginning of the 18th century, the population was decimated by the plague and by fires to mere 2,000 inhabitants. By the half of the 18th century the town recovered, crafts and trade improved again, and new manufactories were built. In 1752 the salt mine in Solivar was flooded. Ever since then salt has been produced from salt brine by boiling.

In 1873 the first railway was built through the town. At the end of the 19th century, the town introduced electricity, telephone, telegraph, and a sewage system. In 1887 fire destroyed a big part of the town. In 1918 Prešov became part of the newly created Czechoslovakia. During World War II, the nearby town of Košice became again part of Hungary by First Vienna Award. As a result, many institutions moved from Košice to Prešov, thus increasing its importance. In 1944, a professional Slovak Theatre was established in the town.

During the communist regime after 1948, the town became an industrial center. The population increased rapidly from 28,000 in 1950 to 52,000 in 1970 and 91,000 in 1990.

Twin towns

Prešov is twinned with:

References

hu:Eperjes pl:Preszów ro:Prešov sk:Prešov

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