|Košický kraj||Košice region|
Medzev is situated at an elevation of 313 m on the upper Bodva river in the southeastern part of the Slovak Ore Mountains (Slovenské rudohorie), about 36 km west of the regional capital Košice. The municipality has a population of about 4,400 (2018).
Nižný Medzev (in German: Untermetzenseifen, in Hungarian: Alsómeczenzéf) and Vyšný Medzev (in German: Obermetzenseifen, in Hungarian: Felsőmeczenzéf) most probably were founded in the 13th century when King Béla IV invited german settlers as part of his recolonisation efforts after the Mongol invasions. The oldest known document that has survived mentioning Mechenseuph dates from 1359. From the 15th century onward, the two villages were distinguished as 'Upper' and 'Lower' Medzev/Metzenseifen/Meczenzéf. Up until the Reformation period, when the monastery was closed, the area was in possession of the monastery of Jasov. The struggle for power continued throughout the Counter-Reformation and eventually resulted in the rebuilding of the monastery under the supervision of Maria Theresia, Archduchess of Austria and Queen of Hungary and Croatia. During the Industrialisation period of the 19th century, Metzenseifen became a centre of blacksmiths and the production of agricultural tools. Before 1920 (when Hungary was partitioned due to Treaty of Trianon) German was the official language of the town, and 95% of the population was German. After 1920, when the area was already part of Czechoslovakia, Slovaks moved into the town but the town was still predominately German until the end of World War II. After the war, teaching of the German language was prohibited and today only a minority still speaks German.
The Catholic church of the Nativity of our Lady [left] originated as a
Gothic construction in the 15th century. In 1732–1735 it was remodeled in Baroque style. A renovation was carried
out in 1891.