|Medzev (Nižny Medzev)|
|German: Untermetzenseifen, Hungarian: Alsómecenzéf|
|Elevation||313 m (1,027 ft)|
|Area||31.88 km2 (12.31 sq mi)|
|Population||3,776 (31 December 2005)|
|Density||118 / km2 (306 / sq mi)|
|- summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|Postal code||044 25|
Monastery in Jasov
Much of the historical records obtained regarding the history of Medzev come from the monastery in Jasov. More specifics as the origins of the original settlers stems from linguistics research in comparative linguistics and dialectology.
The Little Village "Das Dörfl"
Until now, any documents that would have been submitted to Vienna or Budapest regarding Medzev's specific date of establishment have not been found. Therefore, we must draw information from reliable sources in the timeline like demarcation, into which the colonists would have entered upon arriving in the area called Metzenseifen. The timeline, as well as official documents and historical data were wiped out by the end of the Counter-Reformation. The monastery in Jasov and the neighboring townships could help us via documents, in which the name "Metzenseifen" was mentioned.
In the archive of Vyšný Medzev (also "Upper Metzenseifen", Slovak: Vyšný Medzev, German: Obermetzenseifen, Hungarian: Felsömeczenzéf), someone accidentally discrovered a record of proceedings regarding foresting rights litagation between Vyšný Medzev and the landlords of the Premonstratensian Abbey ("Prämonstratenser Propstei") in Jasov (also German: Joß). The abbot and his monastery refused to accept the terms (privileges) set forth by King Stephan V in 1272 for the local "Saxons", allowing the use of the surrounding forests. If those rights not only qualified for the people of Metzenseifen, but was valid for all of the Zipser colonists, it is quite assumable that those in Vyšný Medzev never intended this litigation, if the first colony “Das Dörfl” did not exist in 1272. The Premonstratensians would not have allowed this argument to be validated. The year 1272 provided us with reliable evidence for the first settlement in the Bodwa River Area (see picture to the left in the direction of the original settlement).
The modern town stems from the merging of Nižný Medzev (Geman: Untermetzenseifen/Nider Metzenseifen/Nider Metzenseiffen/Nieder Mäzenseuffen/Nieder Metzenseif/Unter Mäznsüffen/ Unnter Metzensyffen) [from LX Einleitung Deutschsprachige Handschriften in slowakischen Archiven vom ..., Volume 2 By Jörg Meier, Ilpo Tapani Piirainen]; Hungarian: Alsómeczenzéf) and Vyšný Medzev (German: Obermetzenseifen/Ober Metzenseuf; again independent since 1999) in 1960. The earliest known record of the town Metzenseifen comes from 1359 Mechenseuph. There were most likely German and Slovakian miners living together at that time. After the Mongolian invasion, there was a strong surge of German families. The ownership ratio between the two ethnic groups was assigned by the Jasov Monastery.
Mining in the mountain continued to increase throughout and after the 1300s, as well as handcraft. After the 1400s, Medzev/Meztenseifen split between /Nižný/Unter-/Lower and Vyšný/Ober/Upper Medzev/Metzenseifen. During the Reformation, the monastery was closed and its governance discontinued. The struggle for power continued throughout the Counter-Reformation and eventually resulted in the rebuilding of the monastery under the supervision of Maria Theresia, the Habsburg Archduchess of Austria and Queen of Hungary and Croatia.
Over the course of the industrialization period, Medzev/Metzenseifen became an economic center (site of many well-paid blacksmiths [approximately 100], who created agricultural tools). This led to tension in the 1930s between German and Slovakian speakers in the workplace. Until the end of World War II, the German population significantly outnumbered the Slovakian population. Even today, over 20% of the population are German-speaking. In the past ten years, the number of Germans has increased by approximately 0.75%.
The town lies at an altitude of 313 metres and covers an area of 31.861 km². It has a population of about 3800 people. It is located at the foothills of the Slovak Karst (south) and Volovec Mountains (north) on the Bodva River, around 35 km west of Košice.
The settlers of Metzenseifen belong to a group called Zipser Germans, because the settlements were located in the Zips Region, also known as the Spiš Region of Slovakia. The people use the self-designation, Mantak, but are more often known by the name Carpathian German, because of the larger Carpathian Mountain Range.
- Theodor Kundtz was born on July 1, 1852 in Lower Metzenseifen. He traveled to the United States and became a millionaire in Cleveland, Ohio by making wooden furniture.
- Rudolf Schuster was the second president of Slovakia and came from a Carpathian German family from Medzev.
According to the 2001 census, the town had 3,667 inhabitants. 75.43% of inhabitants were Slovaks, 13.55% Germans, 6.65% Roma, 1.55% Hungarians and 0.44% Czechs. The religious make-up was 77.58% Roman Catholics, 12.95% people with no religious affiliation, 2.18% Greek Catholics and 0.79% Lutherans.
Twin towns — sister cities
Medzev is twinned with:
- Kauer, J., Schürger, J. and Wagner, K. 1986, ch. 3
- Wegera, herausgegeben von Jörg Meier, Ilpo Tapani Piirainen und Klaus-Peter (2009). Deutschsprachige Handschriften in slowakischen Archiven vom Mittelalter bis zur Frühen Neuzeit. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter. ISBN 978-3-11-021260-0.
- Eiben, Christopher J.
- Tischler P.
- Mayr W.
- Hitz, H., Wohlschlägl H., p. 473
- "Municipal Statistics". Statistical Office of the Slovak republic. Archived from the original on 2008-02-08. Retrieved 2008-02-10.
- Kauer, J., Schürger, J. and Wagner, K. (1986). "Unter- und Ober-Metzenseifen Stoß Unterzips—Ostslowakei," Hilfsbund Karpatendeutscher Katholiken e.V., Arbeitskreis Bodwatal.
- Eiben, Christopher J. (July 17, 1997). "Tori in Amerika (1994)". The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History. Retrieved June 11, 2012.
- Paul Tischler (October 24, 2001). "Politiker und Schriftsteller-Nach der Wahl Rudolf Schusters zum Präsidenten der Slowakei". Retrieved June 11, 2012.
- Walter Mayr (September 2, 2002). "Hamlet an der Donau". Spiegel. Retrieved June 11, 2012.
- Harald Hitz; Helmut Wohlschlägl (2009). Das östliche Österreich und benachbarte Regionen: Ein geographischer Exkursionsführer. Böhlau Verlag Wien. ISBN 978-3-205-78447-0. Retrieved 11 June 2012.