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Trip Planner Europe  /  Slovakia  /  Presov Region  /  Bardejov


World heritage site · Churches · Historic Walking Areas
Bardejov is a town in North-Eastern Slovakia. It is situated in the Šariš region on a floodplain terrace of the Topľa River, in the hills of the Beskyd Mountains. It exhibits numerous cultural monuments in its completely intact medieval town center. The town is one of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites and currently maintains a population of about 30,000 inhabitants.EtymologyThere are two theories about the origin of the name. According to one theory, the name town comes from the Hungarian word "bárd" ("chopper"), which indicated an amount of forested territory which could be chopped down by one man in one day. In the Hungarian name (Bártfa), the "fa" (English: "tree") suffix came later, and it also changed the last letter of "bárd" to "bárt", for easier pronunciation..Another theory derives the name from a Christian personal name Barděj, Barduj (abbreviated forms of Bartholomew) with common Slavic possessive suffix -ov. This theory is supported by the first recorded form of the name - Bardujef (1241). The motivation by the personal name is supported also by the presence of the suffix preserved in later Polish or Slovak sources.HistoryThe territory of present-day Bardejov has attracted settlers since the Stone Age. However, the first written reference to the town dates back to the 1240s, when monks from Bardejov complained to King Béla IV about a violation of the town’s borders by Prešov. By that time, the important church of Sv. Aegidius (St. Giles) had already been built. Heavily fortified in the 14th century, the town became a center of trade with Poland. More than 50 guilds controlled the flourishing economy. Bardejov gained the status of a royal town in 1376, later becoming a free royal town. The town’s golden age ended in the 16th century, when several wars, pandemics, and other disasters plagued the country.
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