English Français
Help preserve sites now!

Bardejov Town Conservation Reserve

Bardejov Town Conservation Reserve

Bardejov is a small but exceptionally complete and well-preserved example of a fortified medieval town, which typifies the urbanisation in this region. Among other remarkable features, it also contains a small Jewish quarter around a fine 18th-century synagogue.

Réserve de conservation de la ville de Bardejov

Petite mais exceptionnellement complète et bien conservée, Bardejov est un exemple de ville médiévale fortifiée, illustrant admirablement l'urbanisation de cette région. Elle comporte également un petit quartier juif, construit autour d'une superbe synagogue du XVIIIe siècle.

محمية مدينة بارديجوف

بارديجوف مدينة صغيرة لكن مكتملة ومحفوظة بصورة ممتازة، وهي مثال للمدينة المحصنة العائدة الى القرون الوسطى والتي تجسّد بشكل رائع تمدّن هذه المنطقة، كما انها تحتضن حياّ يهودياً صغيراً بني حول سيناغوغ رائع من القرن الثامن عشر.

source: UNESCO/ERI

巴尔代约夫镇保护区

巴尔代约夫是中世纪筑防城镇的一个例子,虽小但十分完整,保存也相当完好,代表了该地区的城市化进程。除其他显著特点外,在一处精美的18世纪犹太教堂周围还保有一小片犹太居民区。

source: UNESCO/ERI

Город-заповедник Бардеёв

Бардеёв – это небольшой, но исключительно целостный и хорошо сохранившийся укрепленный средневековый город, типичный для этого региона. Среди разнообразных достопримечательностей в нем также находится небольшой еврейский квартал, сложившийся вокруг синагоги XVIII в.

source: UNESCO/ERI

Reserva de conservación de la ciudad de Bardejov

Pequeña, pero excepcionalmente completa y bien conservada, Bardejov es un ejemplo de ciudad medieval fortificada que ilustra admirablemente la urbanización de esta región. Posee un pequeño barrio judío, construido en torno a una soberbia sinagoga del siglo XVIII.

source: UNESCO/ERI

バルデヨフ市街保護区

source: NFUAJ

Bardejov stad conservatiegebied

Bardejov is een klein maar zeer compleet en goed bewaard gebleven voorbeeld van een middeleeuwse vestingstad, typerend voor de verstedelijking in deze regio. Vanaf het eerste kwartaal van de 18e eeuw kwamen er grote aantallen Slowaakse en chassidische joden naar Bardejov. Ze herbouwden de poortershuizen of pasten ze aan in overeenstemming met de toen geldende architecturale mode. Er kwam een Joodse wijk met de Grote synagoge, een slachthuis, rituele baden. Daarnaast werden er nieuwe kerken en bruggen gebouwd.

Source: unesco.nl

  • English
  • French
  • Arabic
  • Chinese
  • Russian
  • Spanish
  • Japanese
  • Dutch
Bardejov Town Conservation Reserve
Justification for Inscription

Criterion (iii): The fortified town of Bardejov provides exceptionally well preserved evidence of the economic and social structure of trading towns in medieval Central Europe.

Criterion (iv): The plan, buildings, and fortifications of Bardejov illustrate the urban complex that developed in Central Europe in the Middle Ages at major points along the great trade routes of the period

Long Description

The fortified town of Bardejov provides exceptionally well-preserved evidence of the economic and social structure of trading towns in medieval Central Europe. The plan, buildings and fortifications of the town illustrate the typical urban complex that developed in Central Europe in the Middle Ages at major points along the great trade routes of the period.

Bardejov is situated on a floodplain terrace of the Topl'a River, in north-eastern Slovakia in the hills of the Beskyd Mountains. There is evidence of human settlement there as early as the Palaeolithic period, but there was certainly Iron Age settlement in the area, in contact with the Roman Empire. Information is emerging of early medieval occupation, to be expected in view of its location of Bardejov on a major trade route across the Carpathians. The importance of this position on the main trade route into Poland from Hungary led to its being made the site of a customs office, to levy tolls on materials being exported. In the mid-14th century Ludovit I ordered the citizens to fortify the town. The entire defensive circuit was completed, with three gates on the main routes and bastions at strategic points. There was a second phase of fortification between 1420 and 1474. On the western side is the Moat Gate, one of the three entrances through the fortifications, which was demolished in 1906. The stretch of walls between here and the Upper Gate (built on the site of the fortified medieval customs station) has three strong medieval forts, the four-storey School Bastion, the three-storey Monastery Bastion, and the four-storey Powder Bastion; its wooden bridge was replaced by the present stone structure in 1770.

The layout of the town is an irregular chequerboard, based on three parallel streets, intersected by four narrower ones; there are also roads encircling the defences on the interior and exterior. In the town centre is the rectangular main square, closed on three sides by 46 burgher houses with typical narrow frontages. On the fourth side is the parish church of St Egidius, together with the town school.The church was reconstructed and expanded progressively, a system for water distribution was installed, and large houses were built by the increasingly prosperous merchants. Among the churches pride of place goes to the parish church of St Egidius, originally a Gothic three-aisled basilica with a polygonal sanctuary, sacristy and tower. The monastery Church of St John the Baptist was built by the Augustinians around 1380 and the monastery buildings from the early 15th century onwards. Bardejov also has a Protestant church in classical style, built when part of the walls in the northern part of the town was removed, and an Orthodox church in eclectic style outside the line of the fortifications.

The Town Hall was built in 1505-9, the first building in Slovakia with Renaissance stone moulding. The public buildings include the late Gothic Humanistic Grammar School, built on the site of a medieval school, modified in Renaissance style and again in classical style. The municipal wine house of the early 15th century was a storehouse for wines from the vicinity of the town and from the Tokai region. The burghers' houses on their deep narrow plots have undergone many modifications as the result of repeated fires. This type of building was introduced by German traders from Silesia in the early 13th century. The Renaissance saw the addition of ornate facades to the two-storey merchants' houses, converting them into luxurious houses. The most significant Jewish element in Bardejov is the Great Synagogue, built in 1725-47. The complex also contains ritual baths, a kosher slaughterhouse and a meeting building, now a school.

From the first quarter of the 18th century, Slovaks and Hassidic Jews came into Bardejov in large numbers. The burghers' houses were rebuilt or modified in keeping with current architectural fashion, a Jewish quarter with a synagogue, slaughterhouse, and ritual baths developed in the north-western suburbs, and new churches and bridges were built.

Following the establishment of the first Czechoslovak Republic the town became a backward farming region. The Second World War saw a worsening in the economic situation. However, since that time it has benefited from its designation as a town conservation reserve in 1950.

Source: UNESCO/CLT/WHC
Historical Description

There is evidence of human settlement at the site of Bardejov as early as the Palaeolithic period, and Bronze Age materials have been found in the centre of the present town. There was certainly Iron Age settlement in the area, in contact with the Roman Empire, and information is emerging of early medieval occupation, to be expected in view of the location of Bardejov on a major trade route across the Carpathians.

The first documentary reference to Bardejov, in an account of a journey on the main route from Old Hungary to Poland, dates from 1241, by which time the settlement appears to have been in existence for some time. Thereafter references to the town, in various forms of its name, become frequent. It is known to have belonged to the kings of Old Hungary from the 11th century to the beginning of the 12th century, when it was donated to a Polish Cistercian monastic community. Around this time Germans from Prešov settled in Bardejov, as a result of which the Cistercians in due course left the town and it reverted to the Hungarian state.

The importance of Bardejov's position on the main trade route into Poland from Hungary led to its being made the site of a customs office, to levy tolls on materials being exported. The Hungarian king Karol Róbert encouraged the development of the town, with an eye to acquisition of Polish lands, granting it the right to hold an annual market on 1 September, the feast day of St Egidius, patron saint of the town.

In the mid 14th century Ludovit I ordered the citizens to fortify the town. The entire defensive circuit was completed, with three gates on the main routes and bastions at strategic points. There was a second phase of fortification between 1420 and 1474, when more towers were added, along with other features that incorporated contemporary military architectural principles.

Within the walls, there were many improvements. The church of St Egidius was reconstructed and expanded progressively, a system for water distribution was installed, and large houses were built by the increasingly prosperous merchants. There was a growth of significant crafts, most importantly that of linen production, for which monopoly rights were granted in 1455. The early 16th century saw more development: the town hall was rebuilt and a school was built alongside the church. The final phase of fortification took place in the early 16th century, with the modernization of the bastions and digging of a water-filled moat.

Unrest within the Old Hungarian kingdom during the first half of the 16th century saw Bardejov entering into a period of recession, especially in its craft industries. This was to continue into the 18th century, when a number of fires took place, that of 1686 being particularly disastrous. Plague and cholera epidemics further ravaged the town during this period.

From the first quarter of the 18th century the situation began to improve. In 1530 the large German element had secured the right to restrict settlement by Slovaks and Poles, and the Jewish inhabitants were expelled. This policy came to an end and Slovaks and Hassidic Jews came into Bardejov in large numbers. By the end of the century the population of the town had regained the level of the 16th century. The burghers' houses were rebuilt or modified in keeping with current architectural fashion, a Jewish quarter with a synagogue, slaughterhouse, and ritual baths developed in the north-western suburbs, and new churches and bridges were built.

Despite further fires in the last quarter of the 19th century, the town continued to thrive, thanks to major industrialization projects in the region. However, it declined again following the establishment of the first Czechoslovak Republic and became a backward farming region. World War II saw a worsening in the economic situation, though little damage from bombardment. However, since that time it has benefited from its designation as a town conservation reserve in 1950, and from the recreational facilities offered by neighbouring Bardejovské Kúpele (Bardejov Spa) and the Čergov and Ondavské vrchy Mountains.

Source: Advisory Body Evaluation