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Trip Planner Europe  /  Slovakia  /  Zilina Region  /  Zilina


Landmarks · Castles · Churches
Žilina is a city in north-western Slovakia, around 200km from the capital Bratislava, close to both the Czech and Polish borders. It is the fourth largest city of Slovakia with a population of approximately 85,000, an important industrial center, the largest city on the Váh river, and the seat of a kraj. It belongs to the Upper Váh region of tourism.EtymologyThe name is derived from Slavic/Slovak word žila - a " vein". Žilina means "a place with many watercourses". Alternatively, it is a secondary name derived from Žilinka river or from the name of the local people, Žilín/Žiliňane.HistoryThe area around today's Žilina was inhabited in the late Stone Age (about 20,000 BC). In the 5th century, Slavs started to move into the area. However, the first written reference to Žilina was in 1208 as terra de Selinan. From the second half of the 10th century until 1918, it was part of the Kingdom of Hungary.In the middle of the 13th century, terra Sylna was the property of the Cseszneky de Milvány family. The city started to develop around 1300, and, according to records in 1312, it was already a town. In 1321, King Károly I made Žilina a free royal town. On 7 May 1381, King Lajos I issued Privilegium pro Slavis, which made the Slav inhabitants equal to the Germans by allocating half of the seats at the city council to Slavs. The town was burned in 1431 by the Hussites.
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