Written by Wildcat Dianne on 02 Oct, 2007
Hlohovec, Slovakia is located in Western Slovakia about 30km from the spa town of Piestany. It has seen numerous foreign armies run through there, and it has been occupied by many foreign powers and undergone several name changes in its 900-year history. When…Read More
Hlohovec, Slovakia is located in Western Slovakia about 30km from the spa town of Piestany. It has seen numerous foreign armies run through there, and it has been occupied by many foreign powers and undergone several name changes in its 900-year history. When Hlohovec was under Austrian rule, it was known by its German name of Freistadt an der Waag in reference to it being located on the Vah River. When the Hungarian Empire took over the area in the 19th century and during World War II, Hlohovec was known as Galgoc.
Hlohovec's history in writing and physically dates back from 1113 when the town of Galgoc was mentioned in The Second Zabor Document, but it wasn't until 1362 that Hlohovec became a town and obtained privileges. Hlohovec has been a crossroads for many of Slovakia's bigger towns and cities such as Piestany, Trnava, and Nitra.
Hlohovec had its heyday from the 18th to 19th century and several of its buildings that you see today in the town date from this time and are in the Baroque or Rococco style of architecture. The Castle Gardens, however, are in French and English style.
The end of World War I was also the end of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and Hlohovec became part of the newly formed Czechoslovakia. After March 15, 1939, Slovakia became a puppet state under the Slovak Hlinka or Nazi, Josef Tiso, a defrocked priest, who was very eager to please Hitler. Hlohovec became part of Hungary again and Hungarian troops and fascist Arrow Cross occupied Hlohovec, which was once again name Galgoc. According to the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Vienna, Austria and other sources, the Jewish population of Hlohovec before the war numbered about 1,000, but between 1942-1944, over 90% perished at Auschwitz/Birkenau, and today, the Jewish population is no longer there.
The Soviet Red Army liberated Hlohovec in May 1945, and it began a reign of terror on the people of the town by executing or deporting anyone who stood in the way of making Czechoslovakia a Communist State and Communist rule saw most of the city overtaken by stark high rises on the outskirts of town and heavy industrialization.
Today, Hlohovec is a small industrial city numbering about 23,000 people and known for its production of Christmas ornaments and pharmaceuticals. It is also known as "The City of the Roses" for its beautiful rose gardens near the castle.