Main Births etc
Hungarian: Mecenzéf,
German: Metzenseifen}
—  Town  —
Church in Medzev

Coat of arms
Košice-okolie District in the Kosice Region

Medzev is located in Slovakia
Location of Medzev in Slovakia

Medzev is located in Košice Region
Location of Medzev in Košice Region
Coordinates: 48°41′59″N 20°53′26″E / 48.69972, 20.89056
Country  Slovakia
Region Košice
Districts of Slovakia Košice-okolie
First mentioned 1359
 • Mayor Valeria Flachbartová (Ind.Wp globe tiny.gif)
 • Total 31.86 km2 (12.30 sq mi)
Elevation 313 m (1,027 ft)
Population (31-12-2013)
 • Total 4,337
 • Density 136.13/km2 (352.6/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 044 25
Area code +421-55
Vehicle registration KS

Medzev (Hungarian: Mecenzéf, German: Metzenseifen) is a town and large municipality in Košice-okolie District in the Košice Region of eastern Slovakia. It is one of several towns in Bodva Valley. Other towns in Bodva Valley include: Jasov, Lucia Baňa, Vyšný Medzev, and Štós. Historically, It belonged to one of the original mountain towns in the Dolný Spiš: Gelnica, Smolník, Nálepkovo, Krompachy, Mníšek nad Hnilcom, Švedlár.


The First Settlement[]

Any official documents regarding the founding of Metzenseifen have yet to be found and were likely destroyed in the Counter-Reformation. Much of the historical records obtained regarding the history of Medzev come from the monastery in Jasov. As shown in the timeline, the departure of the Mongols in 1241 prompted King Béla IV to rebuild Hungary as quickly as possible. It is known that he invited Germans as part of his recolonization effort. Whether he directly invited the particular settlers of Metzenseifen remains unknown, but possible. The first official document from the Bodva Valley is that of a legal document from 1272, which describes the litigation of forestry rights between Upper Metzenseifen and Jasov. It could be extrapolated that Metzenseifen was founded sometime between 1241 and 1272.[1]

The Little Village[]

View of Grund from Old Cemetery

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.

The Original Settlers[]

The town was founded by ethnic Germans. It is safe to assume that they had a good reason to leave home and form this new settlement. The Feudal Age of the thirtieth century was less than satisfactory. It is known that certain privileges (e.g. freedom from servitude, etc.) were promised in order to persuade people to come to Hungary (part of Upper Hungary). Unfortunately, it is not yet known exactly where the origins of the German settlers originated. It was not common to register migrants in the thirteenth century. However, comparative research in dialectology may one day identify the origins.[2]

The Germans of Metzenseifen belong to the Zipser Germans (see Zipser German Party), which is named after the Zips Mountains called Spiš in Slovak. The Zips are a smaller group of mountains that are included in the Carpathian Mountain Range, which is why they are also known as *Karpatendeutscher*, or Carpathian Germans.

Timeline of Earliest Known Events[]

This is a timeline of Medzev/Metzenseifen, founded sometime between 1241 A.D. and 1272 A.D.


In historical records the town was first mentioned in 1359. It was founded and settled by ethnic Germans.

The modern town stems from the merging of Nižný Medzev (German: Unter-Metzenseifen/Nider Metzenseifen/Nider Metzenseiffen/Nieder Mäzenseuffen/Nieder Metzenseif/Unter Mäznsüffen/ Unnter Metzensyffen[3]) [4](Hungarian: Alsómeczenzéf) and Vyšný Medzev (German: Ober-Metzenseifen; 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 (Metzenseifen) split between Nižný Medzev and Vyšný Medzev (Unter- and Ober-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%.

Panorama of Bodva Valley[]

File:Bodva Valley 600DPI Average.pdf


View of town looking South

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.


Departure sign "Dovidenia"/"Wiedersehen" when leaving Medzev/Metzenseifen towards Stos.

This village is primarily home to Slovaks, Germans, Hungarians, and Romani. Those people of Germanic origin refer to themselves as "Mantaks",[5] although are more commonly recognized as Zipser Germans or Carpathian Germans.

Famous People[]

  • Theodor Kundtz was born on July 1, 1852 in Unter-Metzenseifen. He traveled to the United States and became a millionaire in Cleveland, Ohio by making wooden furniture.[6]
  • Rudolf Schuster was the second president of Slovakia and came from a Carpathian German family from Medzev.[7][8][9]


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.[10] The religious make-up was 77.58% Roman Catholics, 12.95% people with no religious affiliation, 2.18% Greek Catholics and 0.79% Lutherans.[10] According to the 2011 census, the town has 4261 inhabitants.


Census of Nationality
Language # of Registered Speakers % of Residents
Slovak 2975 69.82%
Not Specified 773 18.14%
German 354 8.31%
Gypsies 77 1.81%
Hungarian 54 1.27%
Czech 19 0.45%
Ruthenian 2 0.05%
Polish 2 0.05%
Moravian 2 0.05%
Bulgarian 2 0.05%
Jewish 1 0.02%
Ukrainian 0 0.00%
Croatian 0 0.00%
Serbian 0 0.00%
Russian 0 0.00%
others 0 0.00%
Source: Census of Nationality and Language 2011[11]


Census of Mother Tongue
Nationality # of Registered Residents % of Residents
Slovak 2585 60.67%
Not Specified 825 19.36%
German 419 9.83%
303 7.11%
Hungarian 100 2.35%
Czech 11 0.26%
Bulgarian 9 0.21%
Croatian 9 0.21%
Others 5 0.12%
Ruthenian 5 0.12%
Yiddish 5 0.12%
Polish 2 0.05%
Ukrainian 1 0.02%
Source: Census of Nationality and Language 2011[11]

International relations[]

Twin towns — sister cities[]

Medzev is twinned with:


  1. ^ Kauer, J., Schürger, J. and Wagner, K. 1986, p. 16
  2. ^ Komar, Jonathan (2013). The Semantic Categorization of the Lexicon of the Mantak Language (Thesis). pp. 5. 
  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. 
  4. ^ Meier, Jörg, Ilpo Tapani Piirainen. LX Einleitung Deutschsprachige Handschriften in slowakischen Archiven Volume 2. 
  5. ^ Komar 2013, p. 1.
  6. ^ Eiben, Christopher J.
  7. ^ Tischler P.
  8. ^ Mayr W.
  9. ^ Hitz, H., Wohlschlägl H., p. 473
  10. ^ a b "Municipal Statistics". Statistical Office of the Slovak republic. Archived from the original on 2008-02-08. Retrieved 2008-02-10. 
  11. ^ a b


| url    =
| title  = Hamlet an der Donau
| author = Walter Mayr
| date   = September 2, 2002
| work   = 
| publisher  = Spiegel
| accessd[[ate = June 11, 2012


External links[]