The Town of Gölnicbánya in the Árpád Era
Research Centre for the Humanities
Hungarian Historical Review Volume 11 Issue 3 (2022):545–569 DOI 10.38145/2022.3.545
In this article, I describe the emergence and early development of Gölnicbánya (today Gelnica, Slovakia) from a settlement-historical and historical-geographical approach, mainly based on the diploma material of the Árpád and the early Angevin Eras concerning the settlement and its region. I examine the origin of the town in the context of the northern expansion of the royal forest-estate of Torna and the economical upgrading of Szepes, which dates to the beginning of the thirteenth century. I show how Gölnicbánya became the primary center of the county’s southern part in the second half of the thirteenth century thanks to mining and holding markets. I offer a detailed analysis of the provisions of the privilege charter from 1287, emphasizing that the border description covered a larger area far beyond the original extent of the settlement. I contend that although the charter refers the donations of two predecessor kings, the points set new provisions. Finally, I show how the economic importance of Gölnicbánya became apparent during the internal wars following the extinction of the Árpád dynasty and the consolidation that was underway in the early fourteenth century.
Keywords: Settlement history, urban history, historical geography, regional social history, economic history.