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about Humenne

Humenné (German Homenau, Hungarian Homonna) is a town/city in the Prešov region ("kraj") in eastern Slovakia and the second largest city of the historic Zemplin region. More than 36000 inhabitants (2001). It lies 157 m above sea level at the volcanic Vihorlat mountains and at the cofluence of the Laborec and Cirocha rivers.

Humenne history

The Laborec river and the Carpathian mountains predetermined the development of the city and its sorroundings, a silent witness of which has been Vihorlat volcano, the 1075 m high highest peak of the Vihorlat mountains. Thanks to its advantageous location and pleasant climate, preconditioned by the neighbouring mountains, the city has been an attractive place for people since the Stone Age, which is evidenced by a number of archeological findings. The Slavic forefathers of the Slovaks gradually moved to the basin of Humenne during the great migration of peoples, starting in the 5th century.

An intensive and organized settlement of this area started as late as in the middle of the 13 th century, after the Mongol raids. The first written document mentioning Humenne dates back to 1317. The history of Humenne is closely connected with the Drughets (Drugets, Drugetovci), a distinguished aristocratic family originally from Naples, who, accompanying the king Charles Robert of Anjou, came to the Kingdom of Hungary (Slovakia was part of the Kingdom of Hungary) at the beginning of the 14th century. The Drugeths made Humenne their seat and changed it into the centre of one of the largest feudal dominions in Slovakia. King Matthias Corvinus conferred civic privileges (town status) on the town, which were validated by a seal with coat of arms. At that time, the town was crossed by an important trade route connecting the Kingdom of Hungary and Poland. Humenne is mentioned among royal customs offices, and later on it received the right of storehousing and supposedly market rights, too. This was also the time of an ever increasing influence of shepherd colonization from the Carpatho-Ukraine by the so-called Walachians (Ruthenes, Poles and Romanians).

The most significant town monument, a Renaissance castle, was built on the place of an original stone castle in about 1610. The castle came to be an indispensable characteristic feature of the city and serves for museum and cultural purposes at present.

In 1613, during the Recatholicization period, a Jesuit college was established as the first seondary school in the history of Humenne. The Drugeth line died out in 1684 and new feudal lords moved in, notably the Csakys and the Wandernats.

The abolition of some feudal duties and the reforms of Maria Theresa promoted the development of crafts, and Humenne became the seat of the so-called "salt office". The town's population consisted of Slovaks, Ruthenes, Hungarians and Jews. Latin was used as the administrative language, which appeared to be a stabilizing factor in such a mixture of nationalities.

The Andrassy family from Transylvania started to influence the history of Humenne in the 19th century, a period characterized by economic growth. Moreover, many new buildings were erected at that time. The main fields of activities of town inhabitants were agriculture, crafts and trade. The first train appeared in Humenne in 1871, stimulating the development of trade and wood cutting. In 1899(?) the first business academy in Austria-Hungary was established in Humenne. Toward the end of the 19th century, Humenne counted 4 000 inhabitants.

The 20th century brought along a cultural revival. Humenne was famous for its markets and fairs. This promising, though timid, development was interrupted by World War I. A short period of the existence of Czechoslovakia between the two world wars proved to have positive effects upon the life of Humenne. As a corollary of World War II, however, all the effort had to start from the very beginning.

Until 1956 Humenne was an administrative rather than an economic centre. Then the construction of a plant for the production of textile polyamide fibres, the present CHEMLON company, triggered a real chain effect on the town's growth. Humenne was gradually becoming a centre of chemical, building, food and mechanical engineering industries. This had a positive impact on the development of technical colleges. The industrial development entailed large-scale housing projects, and the city area was completed by new housing estates. While there were 7 000 inhabitants living in Humenne in 1948, the population now amounts to over 36 000.

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Humenne".

This city is also known as: Humenné.

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