14. Guilds and crafts

In the past, Kežmarok was situated on an important trade route connecting the Orient with the north of Europe what endowed the Kežmarok citizens with immense benefits in trading and exchanging goods. The number of craftsmen was growing and so to avoid conflicts, the crafstmen belonging to the same or affiliated crafts began to merge into guilds.

Zvolávacia tabuľka zámočnického cechu Kľúč a zámok

The guild of locksmith, firstly mentioned in 1443, is regarded to be the oldest one in Kežmarok and the oldest one of its kind in Slovakia. From the 15th till the 19th century there existed more than 40 guilds in Kežmarok, e.g. the fishermen, the millers, the drapers, weavers, the hatters, the furriers, the goldsmiths, the blacksmiths, the needle-makers, the dyers, the cartwrights etc. Hereby Kežmarok ranked among the first eight Slovak towns with the biggest number of guilds.

Hodiny - výrobok zlatníckeho cechu Modrotlačová forma

The Guilds and Crafts Exposition, one of the most unique Slovak expositions of its kind, displays not only products of particular food-, wood-, metal-, leather- or textile-processing but mostly their working tools and articles of inventory, namely guild laws, so-called artikula, signboards, chests used for storing documents and money, assembly signboards used for guilds´ members meetings, journeymen´s reports, vocational certificates, ceremonial chalices etc.

Bicykel tzv. kostitras

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