Martin is 9th biggest Slovak town situated in northern Slovakia, right on the Turiec river, between the Malá Fatra and Veľká Fatra mountains. The population numbers approximately 55 000. It is the center of the Turiec region and heart of Slovak national heritage.
From the second half of the 10th century until 1918, it was part of the Austrian-Hungarian empire. The first recorded reference about Martin in written sources is dated to 1284 under the name of Vila Sancti Martini.
In the turbulent 15th century, Martin suffered from many disasters, for example from the attack of the Hussites in 1433, when the town was burned down. Just 10 years later, it was destroyed again by an earthquake and Martin started to be slowly degraded from royal to the privileged town and under direct influence of the Révay family.
Since the 18th century, Martin became center of the Turiec county.
The town became the foremost Slovak cultural center in the 19th century. Several cultural institutions (including Slovak Matica and Slovak National Museum) were founded there. Most political activities leading to the Slovak national emancipation in the 19th and early 20th centuries were organized in or from Martin. The town was also industrialized at this time. For Example: the first printing works were established in 1869, the furniture factory Tatra nábytok in 1890, etc.
The town lost some of its importance after Pressburg (today's Bratislava) became the capital of Slovakia in 1919. Today, it is the seat of the Slovak National Library and Matica Slovenska.
National Council of the Slovak Republic declared the town of Martin as center of national culture of Slovaks on August 24, 1994.
This article uses material from the Wikipedia article