1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Késmárk

KÉSMÁRK (Ger. Käsmark), a town of Hungary, in the county of Szepes, 240 m. N.E. of Budapest by rail. Pop. (1900), 5560. It is situated on the Poprad, at an altitude of 1950 ft., and is surrounded on all sides by mountains. Among its buildings are the Roman Catholic parish church, a Gothic edifice of the 15th century with fine carved altars; a wooden Protestant church of the 17th century; and an old town-hall. About 12 m. W. of Késmárk lies the famous watering-place Tatrafüred (Ger. Schmecks), at the foot of the Schlagendorfer peak in the Tatra Mountains. Késmárk is one of the oldest and most important Saxon settlements in the north of Hungary, and became a royal free town at the end of the 13th century, In 1440 it became the seat of the counts of Szepes (Ger., Zips), and in 1464 it was granted new privileges by King Matthias Corvinus. During the 16th century, together with the other Saxon towns in the Szepes county, it began to lose both its political and commercial importance. It remained a royal free town until 1876.