Polish Spiš Pledge - Medieval Big Money Story

Slovak lands have 900 year common history period with Hungary (11th century - 1918), but 16 Spiš towns don’t. This is because of a deal between the Polish and Hungarian kings that took place in 1412. Sigismund borrowed money from Władysław but to guarantee the return of money he had to deposit 16 towns to the Polish King. Easy to borrow, hard to give back. The lands remained within Polish borders until… 1772. No, no money was returned at that time. The Austrian Empire (included Hungary as well) invaded Poland and conquered these lands. The 360 year long situation was actually an advantage for the towns concerned because they did not have to submit themselves to the comitatus or nobility and had a neutral position in turmoils between Poland and Hungary. If you look at the map of Poland or Hungary before 1772 you will see these towns as a group of “islands” outside “mainland” Poland. But… the question is still the same: Where is that money?! :-)

To sum up, when visiting Poprad, Vrbov or Kežmarok, remember you visit Slavic settled lands, resettled by Germans (Saxons) that used to belong to the Kingdom of Hungary with some exceptions that were deposited to the Polish Kingdom, before being (re)conquered by Austria/Hungary and finally became a part of Czechoslovakia. What a mix!