HistoryNeolithic age. There is evidence of a prosperous society that was familiar with copper mining and processing. When the Celts arrived they brought with them advanced iron technology. Celtic coins have been found in the region. During the 6th century, the period known as the Great Migration, Slavic tribes appeared in the Spiš region. During the 10th century the structure of their settlements stabilized and important communication roads were established. The settlement was included within the state of Great Moravia. By the 12th century at the latest a Slovak settlement had been established known as Iglov, situated between Mlynská street (Mill Street) and the Reduta, in the centre of the present town. The settlement suffered greatly from the invading Tartars in the 13th century. Saxon (Carpathian German) colonists were settled here in the 13th century and their settlement became known as "Villa Nova” ("New Town" in Latin) or "Neudorf" ("New Town" in German), covering the area of the present town. Iglov and Neudorf were amalgamated into one town in the second half of the 13th century. The town received market rights in the 14th century and grew to become an important market town. It became an official mining town in 1380 and had the largest street market in Slovakia. Copper mining was an important activity. The metal was processed in furnaces, which were fuelled with wood from the surrounding forests. A Gothic bell foundry was established by Konrád Gaal who made a large hanging bell for Louis I of Hungary, and was consequently knighted in 1357. The bells made by Konrád Gaal are still hanging and form an important conlegacy of European Gothic metal foundry. In 1412 Spišská Nová Ves, along with several other Spiš towns, was pawned as loan security by the Hungarian king Sigmund to the Polish king Vladislaus II Jagiełło. This pledge lasted for 360 years. Blacksmiths were the first local craftsmen to unite into a guild, which was given royal privileges in 1436. They smelted their own ore, or built water-driven forges along the rivers Hornád and Dubnica. Coppersmiths made kettles of a specifically defined weight because kettles were widely used as a means of payment. There were charcoal burners and even resin pickers who collected resin from trees to produce tar for greasing wagons. There were wheelwrights, coopers, weavers, joiners, gunsmiths, basket-makers, bakers, furriers, tanners, cooks and millers, hunters, fishermen and beekeepers. There were many Germans living in Spiš and through their influence the town became Lutheran in the 1540s. Between 1569 and 1674 Catholic services were forbidden in the pawned towns. There were many contacts with Poland and this helped to stimulate the national consciousness of the Slovak people. The pawned towns were returned to the Kingdom of Hungary in 1772. In 1778 Spišská Nová Ves became the capital of the "Province of 16 Spiš towns". In the 19th century the manufacture of stoneware was important in the town. The products all bore a trademark formed from the word “Iglo” with two crossed miners’ hammers. Other industrial activities included oil production and a weaving plant as well as agricultural machines. The railway provided an important means of communication from 1870. A power station was built in 1894 and living conditions improved. In July 1929 the Podtatranská výstava (Sub-Tatras Exhibition) showed results of economic growth and made the town famous in Slovakia.
 Spišská Nová Ves todaySlovak Paradise mountains. The core of the town is a lens-shaped square (a square with bulging sides), typical of medieval towns. It is a cultural, administrative and business centre of the Spiš region, and is rich in art and historical monuments. Foremost is the three-naved Gothic church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. The relief on the tympanum on the south side of the church is considered to be amongst the most beautiful in the Spiš region. The tower is 87m high, the highest church tower in Slovakia. Another valuable architectural monument is the Province House, now housing a museum. It has a baroque façade, but the basement dates from the 13th century. The Town Hall was built between 1777-1779 in the Classical style, and was reconstructed in the mid 1990s.
 DemographicsAccording to the 2001 census, the town had 39,193 inhabitants. 94.21% of inhabitants were Slovaks, 1.93% Roma and 0.51% Czechs. The religious makeup was 69.81% Roman Catholics, 16.95% people with no religious affiliation, 3.17% Lutherans and 3.05% Greek Catholics.
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