Kežmarok was a well-known free, royal town in the past. Today it is one of seventeen urban historical areas in Slovakia. It is also a district town, a center of cultural life in the Spiš region and a tourist resort in the foothills of the High Tatras.

The Town hall


The Evangelical Wooden Church was built in 1717 in the folk baroque style. It is considered a national monument of culture.

It was erected in 1894 in an eclectic style. Its plans were drawn by the most famous architect of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy Theophil Hansen, the designer of the magnificent Austrian parliament buildings in Vienna. The Mausoleum of Emmerich Thököly, the chief leader for religious liberty in a rebellion against the emperor, was added in 1909.


The Roman Catholic Basilica of the Holy Cross was originally built in the late Romanesque style in the middle of the 13th century. Its magnificent Gothic reconstruction was carried out in the15th century.
The Renaissance belfry was built in 1591 and it is the oldest and most beautiful belfry of the Spiš.





Thefirst references to the existence of the school in Kežmarok date back to the 14th century. There are more than 150 000 historical books.

The castle was first mentioned in 1463. The Thököly family rebuilt the originally gothic fortress during the 16th and 17th century. A baroque styled chapel was added to the beautiful renaissance castle in 1657-1658. This chapel houses a museum, which depicts the town history from ancient times to present days.

The castle belongs to the so-called town castles. It was built directly on the territory of the town to protect the town from enemies. The building of the castle is connected with the family Zápoĺský. In the year 1528 it became the property of the Polish noble family Laský. It was acquired unlawfully by the family Thököly in the year 1579. Four generations of this family lived in the castle till the year 1684. During this time the Thökoly family rebuilt the originally gothic fort into an elegant renaissance residence.
During the second half of the 19th century the decision was made to open a museum in the castle, which was declassified in the year 1931. Today the whole area is a town museum with different exhibitions which give evidence of the historical developments from its beginning to the 20th century.


The story has it that, one day, in this castle, the king married a woman, who was much older than he was... The king knew that she had an enormous fortune.
We should know that the castle was situated near the mountain "The High Tatras".
Then, a few years after their wedding, the king asserted that his wife had cheated on him, with an unknown man, during her numerous so-called "solitary" rides in the "High Tatras".
He decided to lock her up in one of the castle's towers, until she lost her mind, and committed suicide.
The king remarried a rich and, of course, much younger woman!!!


The Castle Lords of the Thököly family and the emperor were never in love. Imrich Thököly - the last male descendant of his family led the uprising against the emperor. Although, at first he succeeded, he finally lost his battle and had to escape to his patron - a Turkish Sultan.
But first of all, he wanted to stop at his home, Kežmarok castle, and take valuables hidden there. The servants of the castle had already left as they had heard about the failure of their master and people thought that the castle and the town would be occupied by the victorious emperor's soldiers.
While he was on his way to the castle, only an older woman called, the Lady of the Keys had stayed in the castle. According to the custom she was dressed in a long black dress. She was also called Lady Black. She was walking in the rooms and corridors of the castle and making sure that the rooms were locked so that it was not possible for anybody to get in.
In fact, SHE wanted to find the treasure. She suspected her lord had immured the treasure somewhere in the castle. But where? The castle had several towers - Tower Gateway, where the Castle Lord lived, then the Starving Tower - in which only the bones of poor convicts were left, the East Tower, where the Castle Lady lived. But there were two other towers that stood side by side: the Watchtower and the Treasure Tower.
She asked herself: "Where could the treasure be ? In the Treasure Tower? But where? Under the floor? Barely. In the walls? "
After a long search she found a hollow space behind one of the beautiful paintings decorating the wall in the Treasure Tower. And she found what she was looking for. It was fantastic! A lot of silver and gold! She decided to take it all and leave Kežmarok. She wanted to be rich; But Lady Black suddenly found out that the gold and silver could be only taken away in several parts.
"But where to hide it ? It cannot stay here," she thought. She had the key of the castle chapel. There, in the underground crypt, the young mother of Imrich Thököly was buried. And it was a place from where the corridor led to Kežmarok dark forest. She decided to hide the treasure there. So she did. At the same moment somebody knocked at the castle door. Lady Black opened the door and she couldn't believe her eyes. It was the Lord of the castle! He hurried to the Treasure Tower and wanted to take the treasure. But he only found an empty place. He looked for the treasure everywhere, in all the towers, in the whole residential apartments and even in his mother's tomb. The door to the corridor was locked and protected with an iron gate.
He understood at once who had taken the treasure. Unfortunately he had no time to look for it because the emperor's soldiers were chasing him. Therefore he cursed this tricky Lady Black (the Lady of the Keys) not to be in peace and quiet ever, while living but also after her death.
Today we can hear Lady Black and the sound of her steps in the castle during silent nights.


The region surrounding Kežmarok is rich in natural beauty. The High Tatras, the Bielanske Tatras and the Slovak Paradise surround the town. Nearby are the hills of the Pieniny and the river Dunajec. The district provides all kinds of tourism, thermal swimming pools in summer and skiing slopes with artificial snow in winter.

The High Tatras