The town Sečovce lies in the central western part of East Slovak Lowlands. It is surrounded by eastern slopes of Slanes Hills and located on hill with north – south direction with the peak on Albinov Mountain (177 m above sea level). From the south the ridge is cut through by the brook called Trnávka. Near the western edge of town s part named Kochanovce runs the boundary between Podslanec Hills and Trebišov Plain as a subsection of East Slovak Lowlands.
The town territory has already been inhabited in the period (5,000 – late 4,000 BC). The existence of Neolithic culture has been evidently proved in the very town centre (articles discovered building up structures or doing ground works). Several thousands secret of one of the most important beech – mountainous habitation in the East Slovak Lowlands has been probably covered by various buildings of nowadays town centre. In the territory of Sečovce (near Koscelok – northern part of Vinica and Dobrošňa) were also found some rests of Slavic habitations which existed in the 9th century AD. These and other ones in the larger surroundings were doubtless part of Great Moravian Empire.
The oldest direct written information about the town occurs in the document of Hungarian king Belo IV. From 1245 about the property sale between noblemen Ján, son of Andronik and Peter, son of Peter (new property owner in Sečovce). In the 13th – 15th centuries the town was registered under the name Zeech (Hungarian from originally Slovak Seč). Seč – Sečovci – Sečovce has existed continuously since 9th century and belongs to the oldest settlements nearby. Its town parts are Kochanovce (east, the oldest in information from 1321) and Albinov (north, 1240). In the 14th – 16th centuries both of belonged to Zemplín district administrated by district mayor who was appointed by Hungarian king.
In 1321 Sečovce becomes property of Bokša´s noble family. The biggest possessed Gál, whose name was added to the name of the town. In the middle of 15th century the inhabitants got into touch with “Bratriks” (rests of Husits army in the Slovak territory). The military camp was situated near the town, where captain Talafúz temporary dwelt. In the end of 15th century the noblemen from other clans also became joint owners of the town (coming from Perín or Humenné). In the 16th century territory of Sečovce also consisted of 7 neighbouring villages (Albínov, Zbehňov, Dargov, Trnávka, Hriadky, Kravany, Kochanovce). Its geographic position was very advantageous, as in had been a crossroad of regional roads for many years (proved in writing since 14th century), what was the condition for organizing fairs.
Those became the economic basis for further development of Sečovce as a small town, having received the title by king Žigmund in 1437 to organize two fairs a year. Since 1322 Sečovce also received title to levy toll, which was connected with duties like looking after good roads condition, security of commercial caravans, etc. The main kind of inhabitants livelihood was agriculture, supplemented by wine – growing. In the 14th – 16th centuries some crafts also developed. In 1600 the small town had about 280 inhabitants (peasants, craftsmen, tradesmen). They were entitled to vote the mayor and members of town council (first known mayor by name was Gregor Horvát, 1455). The substantial part of town history is connected with religious life, too. The Christian missionaries arrived to this region in the 2nd half of 9th century, with the period of Method s activity as an archbishop. Since 11th century, as we learn from preserved written information, there was a church here, since 14th century there are various parsonage matters known. During the period of reformation the evangelic parsonage of Sečovce belonged to the oldest ones in Central Zemplín. School was also part of parsonage and church life.
In he 17th century Sečovce was already developed small coutry trown, the biggest owners were the Drugeths. Town s character was expressly agricultural, but there was also craft production developed. At the head of the town there were 12 members of town council, who used their own coat – of – arms and seal (silver female eagle on blue shield, silver moon in the right lower and silover little atar in the left top corners. Beside Catholics, Calvinists and Greek Catholics had their own parsonages here.
Since 1664 the larger parts of town territory Sečovce came into property of Semere family, who were biggest town owners in the 18th century as well. However, by inheriting the property got smaller and smaller (during one century the total number of owners rose from 18 from 40). According to census during Joseph s reingn (1784 – 87) Sečovce had 1,352 inhabitants at that time. It became the most developed small town in Southern Zemplín and even surpassed Trebišov with its economic importance (21 crafts, trade). After 1777, as Zemplín region was divided into 4 larger and 16 smaller districts (later 5 and 15), Sečovce became center of one larger district (later it was centre of “Slúžnovský” district continuously until 1928).
At the turn of 18th and 19th centuries the biggest owners in Sečovce became the earl families of Čáky and Vandernath, in the lst half 19th century baron Fischer and Ján Pongrácy, the number of little owners was increasing all the time. In 1869 Sečovce had 3,404, inhabitants, most of them were craftsmen, as for religion most of citizens were Jews (the oldest written document concerning them comes from 1669), Roman Catholics, Greek Catholics and Protestants of both confessions. Nationally Slovak dominated, beside them German (ortodox Jews), Hungarian and Gipsies lived here. The number of inhabitants decreased a bit (intense emigration, mostly to the USA).
Establishment of Czechoslovak republic was declared on 6th November 1918, as the troops of Czechoslovak legionaries entered the town. The first mayor (until 1921) was Martin Thuróczy, the first written minutes of town council in Slovak language comes from August 1921. The number of inhabitants was 3,380, Slovak and Czech nationalities prevailed. “Slúžnovský” office transformed into district office in Sečovce. However, almost at the same time, the political struggle for the district seat between Trebišov and Sečovce arose and lasts during the whole recent town history (since 1928 Trebišov has been the district seat).
Sečovce was also an important market centre of Zemplín before 1938 (regional and weekly fairs) with concentrated craft and agricultural production as well as trade with branches of Danube and Tatra banks. However, the economic crises in 30 s meant rising of unemployment as well as activity of communists. In the politics there were also many other political parties, cultural – social, sports professional organizations and associations active. In the end of 30 s there were 4 elementary (state and church) schools and Secondary Economic School here.
After establishing of Slovak state Sečovce became part of Šariš – Zemplín region (1939). The main source of town incomes were henceforth won by organizing annual fairs (8 times a year), the town s character was trade – agricultural. Several paradoxes were significant for Sečovce (just like for other towns) in this period (e.g. guite favourable general development and gradual persecution of Jewish population – deportation of 1,040 Jews from Trebišov, district, mostly of them lived in Sečovce). Hard war years culminated in 7 weeks front line fights at Dargov and town liberation on 2nd December 1944 by Red army troops which meant fights culmination for east Slovak Lowlands. At Dargov front line about 800 ha ground were mined, in Sečovce the property injuries were estimated to 60mil. Crowns, about 1,500 citizens of Sečovce were deported and evacuated, beside other victims. Consolidation of proportions after war was realized very slowly (lack of shops, school classes, flats, offices, food – supply problems, etc.).
In 1948 fusion of Sečovce and Kochanovce was ratified and after territorial re – organization (1949) the town became seat of new district. Finally, after 20 years, though only until another re – organization in 1960, when it lost the privilege again. This has been seen as a big injury until nowadays. According to census (1961) the town had 5,493 inhabitants and all features of “socialist town” – service, 3 Unified Farmers Cooperations, metal factory construction in progress, hospital with 2 medical districts, 2 elementary and 2 secondary school, mussic school, library, cinema, cultural – social and sporting collectives, gradually another small production services were added, etc. Some personalities lives like poet Mikuláš Kasarda (still lives in Sečovce) or Alojz Schronk – teacher, founder and long time conductor of town firemen brassmusic, are connected with our town history.
(Source: The book Secovce, 1997,reprint 2009)
Last update: 27.03.2012
After November 1989 the town´ve got by political, economic, cultural social changes such as all the country. According to census (1991) the town had 6 705 inhabitants mostly of Slovak origin (more than 97%). In 2011year the town had about 8 200 citizens. From 1990 year till 2002 year acted as The Mayor of Secovce Mr. JUDr. Vlastimil Ondrejka, from 2002 year till 2010 year this assignment carried on Mrs. RNDr. Monika Bérešová. Nowadays the Mayor of the Town is Mr. MVDr. Jozef Gamrat. There are in the town three elementary schools, one secondary school and two elementary schools of arts. To the most important plants belong SoNaP, Silometal, Slovtransgaz, VSE.
Last update: 30.03.2012