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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
スロバキア北東部、カルパティア山脈の南麓に位置する中世の要塞都市。ポーランドとの交易路に位置したこの都市は、14世紀に自由都市としての特権を獲得し、14~16世紀の中欧東部における都市化の典型的な例証になっている。15~16世紀に文化的な最盛期を迎え、スロバキア初の公設図書館やラテン語学校、印刷所が設立された。小規模ながら例外的なほど完全で良好に保存された都市で、小さなユダヤ人地区が残されていることも特筆される。

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

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Bardejov Town Conservation Reserve
Outstanding Universal Value

Brief synthesis

The town of Bardejov is located in north-eastern Slovakia, on a floodplain terrace of the river Topľa near the Polish border. Due to its proximity to the major trade route that stretches across the Carpathian Mountains, from Hungary into Poland, Bardejov was able to develop into an important medieval town.

The town’s surviving urban plan, with a regular division of streets around a spacious market square, is an indication of European civilization from the 13th to 14th centuries. Burghers’ houses, dating from the first half of the 15th century, surround three sides of the square and document the highly developed burgess culture. The fourth side of the square is closed by the Roman Catholic Church of St. Giles, a three-naved Gothic basilica with a precious collection of eleven late Gothic altars. The Renaissance town hall occupies the centre of the square. The historic core of the town is encircled by the fortification system which was, at the time of its construction, one of the most advanced in Central Europe. The area of the town’s historic core was declared a Town Conservation Reserve in 1950. Bardejov also has a well-preserved small Jewish suburb. This quarter, developed over the 18th century around a synagogue (1725-1747), still contains a unique set of surviving buildings from that era: a kosher slaughter house, some ritual baths, and a meeting building (Beth Hamidrash).

Bardejov provides exceptionally well-preserved evidence of the economic and social structure of trading towns in medieval Central Europe. Its surviving building stock represents a developed burgess culture and Jewish community, thus illustrating a multi-national and multi-cultural society.   

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 along the great trade routes of the period. 

Integrity

The delimitation and size of the property are appropriate and all the important elements necessary to convey the Outstanding Universal Value of the property are contained within its boundaries. The historic town core has retained the key characteristic attributes of a medieval trade town especially with regards to its urban plan, its original building lot divisions (parcels), its central square, its streets, most of its open spaces, public buildings, fortifications, and its townscape. Outside the fortifications, the Jewish suburb survives relatively intact with its original layout and component parts such as the synagogue, baths, and slaughter house.

The town-planning structures of the property are stabilized but there is, as in all living towns, a risk of development pressures, especially in the buffer zone. 

Authenticity

Bardejov Town Conservation Reserve has preserved a high level of authenticity. Despite several major fires, mainly in the 16th and 17th centuries, its medieval urban form has been retained. Moreover, the housing stock has survived with no major demolitions or additions. The dynamics of the town’s roof landscape, destroyed in the last fire, has been restored by the systematic reconstructions which begun after 1967. Although some buildings have undergone alterations, most have retained their authentic interiors. Traditional uses for burghers’ houses have also been retained or restored with business and service functions combined with residential use on the upper floors. The buildings, with their original materials, openings, decorations, and fittings, are well preserved. The Jewish suburb has also retained high authenticity, as reflected in its early 18th century road network, urban plots, buildings and open spaces. Parts of the fortifications have been demolished or, in the case of the moat, filled in. However, more than half of the fortifications are still intact and well maintained, and some of the towers are still in use.

A special value of the property lies in its present-day vitality and contemporary activities which do not compromise the historic substance, yet it needs to face the challenge of finding an appropriate use for the Jewish suburb as the town’s Jewish population has diminished. 

Protection and management requirements

The 24-ha property has the highest form of monument protection enabled by the national legislation. The Slovak Republic has adopted the special Act No. 176/2002 Coll. on the protection and development of the town of Bardejov that refers to the whole property. The Ministry of Culture and the Monuments Board of the Slovak Republic have the overall responsibility for the property’s protection.

The property‘s protection is legislatively secured by the provisions of the Act No. 49/2002 Coll. on the protection of monuments and historic sites that refers to the protection of all cultural monuments and protected areas within the World Heritage property. In the sense of this act, the historic core of the town has been declared a town conservation reserve and most of the buildings, in both the historic centre and the Jewish suburb, are protected as national cultural monuments. The property’s protection is strengthened by the declared buffer zone of the town conservation reserve that covers 13 ha and corresponds with the World Heritage buffer zone.

Property ownership includes a variety of religious institutions (such as Catholic, Protestant and Greek-Orthodox churches and the Central Union of the Jewish Religious Communities in Slovakia), government (municipal and State), and private individuals.

A regular system of monitoring has been established according to which the Outstanding Universal Value of the property is assessed and monitored, whilst measures for avoiding identified threats are taken.

All planned activities within the property must comply with the legally binding Principles of Conservation of Bardejov Town Conservation Reserve (2009) and are liable to strict assessment of the project documentation by the regional monuments office. The Principles of Conservation are respected by the provisions of the urban planning documentation as well as by the property’s management plan. The management system is updated in order to create an efficient and coherent system of the property management. Bardejov Town Council conducts the property management in close cooperation with the local representative of the respective national authority, Regional Monuments Board Prešov.

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
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