Town hall in Dobšiná
|Elevation||468 m (1,535 ft)|
|Area||82.727 km2 (32 sq mi)|
|Population||5,125 (31 December 2005)|
|Density||62 / km2 (161 / sq mi)|
|- summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|Wikimedia Commons: Dobšiná|
It is situated between Revúcka vrchovina and Volovské vrchy in the Carpathians, and lies to the south of the beautiful Stratená valley, watered by the river Hnilec, and enclosed on all sides by mountains. The well-known ice cave Dobšinská Ice Cave (discovered in 1870) can be found in that valley and belongs to the territory of the village.
The first written reference to the settlement occurred in 1326; the text mentions that ethnic German mining experts had settled here. It received a town charter in 1417, becoming a major town for the minority of Carpathian Germans. The town was a center of mining (gold, silver, nickel, later iron, cobalt, copper, mercury etc.) and iron processing in the past. In the vicinity are mines of various materials, some of them very ancient.
Until the 18th Century, Dobšiná was more or less a German enclave, but after strict Magyarization, the German community dissolved. Oddly enough in 1927 there was a German (Buliner) Festival to celebrate the 600th anniversary and much of it was conducted in German. During WWII, Slovak forces forced the ethnic Germans to leave, and at the war's end when they were returning to their home. Slovak soldiers massacred most of them, thereby effectively destroying the German presence in the town. After the war Slovaks from other parts of Czechoslovakia were resettled in these homes.
According to the 2001 census, the town had 4,896 inhabitants. 88.58% of inhabitants were Slovaks, 9.01% Roma, 0.63% Hungarians and 0.27% Czechs. The religious make-up was 35.23% Roman Catholics, 33.58% people with no religious affiliation, 25.25% Lutherans and 0.47% Greek Catholics.
Twin towns — Sister cities
Dobšiná is twinned with:
- Šternberk, Czech Republic (1997)
- Teistungen, Germany (1999)
- Sajószentpéter, Hungary (2000)
- Kobiór, Poland (2007)
- Rudabánya, Hungary (2011)
The records for genealogical research are available at the state archive "Statny Archiv in Banska Bystrica, Kosice, Slovakia"
- Roman Catholic church records (births/marriages/deaths): 1746-1923 (parish A)
- Greek Catholic church records (births/marriages/deaths): 1818-1895 (parish B)
- Lutheran church records (births/marriages/deaths): 1626-1944 (parish A)
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