THE CITY LEADERSHIP
Mayor: Peter Fiabáne
Deputy Mayor: Vladimír Randa, Barbora Birnerová
City Council: 19 to 31 members (currently 31)
The first mention of the settlement that is now Žilina dates back to 500 AD. The town was founded before the year 1300, and in the year 1321 the town was granted the privilege of a free royal city.
The town experienced a boom in the 19th century when the Bratislava-Košice railway was completed and the first big industrial companies were based here e.g., today’s Slovena Company.
The city has many historical monuments.
The historical core of the city was declared an urban conservation area in 1987. The most historically and architecturally valuable part ot the city is the area around the 100x 100-meter Marianske square. There are many buildings on the square with gothic pubs in their cellars and Renaissance upper floors from the 16th and 17th century. The Žilina Town Hall, also on the square, was first mentioned as early as 1433. On the west side of the square is St.Paul’s Baroque Church and Jesuit monastery.
GEOGRAPHY AND DEMOGRAPHY
LOCATION: The city of Žilina is the center of north-western Slovakia. It is located in the Žilina Valley, at the confluence of the rivers Vah and Kysuca Rajčianka.
SIZE: about 80 km2
POPULATION: about 85,000
CLIMATE: Central European
Žilina, along with the Žilina Region, consistently ranks no.2 or 3 in the Slovak Republic in gross domestic product per capita.
The main industries in Zilina are: machining, automobile production (Žilina is home to a modern KIA automobile plant), metallurgy, construction, wood processing, paper, as well as the chemical, electrical, electronics, textile, food processing, and energy industries.
Tourism is developing rapidly.
The city is an important railway junction and is located on a major highway network. There is also an international airport with regular flights to Prague.
University of Žilina (until 1996 called the University of Transport and Communications)
- seven faculties, over 12,000 students
- many fields of study, of which information technology and telecommunications are the most important
- 5 schools
- 16 secondary technical and vocational schools
- language school (number of students and the quality of teaching make it one of the largest of its kind in the Slovak Republic)
Since 1989, a number of private and religious schools have been established.
CULTURE AND TOURISM
Považské Museum in Zilina – Exposition on the Zilina region
Museum of Jewish Culture - an exhibition on Jewish culture
Dom Lombardini - a private museum
Považská Gallery of Art in Žilina - permanent exhibit of works by Vincent Hloznik
Gallery M - primarily the sale of works of art
Municipal Theatre Žilina - aimed mainly at adult audiences
Žilina Puppet Theatre - the oldest professional puppet theater in the Slovak Republic
Regional Library in Žilina
Žilina State Chamber Orchestra - a music institution for listeners of classical music
OTHER CULTURAL INSTITUTIONS
Station Žilina-Záriečie - independent cultural institution
Regional cultural center in Žilina
Považská observatory in Žilina
Dom Matica Slovenska
Playing surface 4.500 m2, capacity up to 6000 seats
Three Fifty-meter olympic-sized pools -1 indoor and 2 outdoor
FOOTBALL STADIUM MŠK ŽILINA
Stadium with a total capacity of 10,000 seats as a result of several reconstructions and is expected to be one of the best football stadiums in the Slovak Republic.
Due to the geographical location of Žilina (it is a gateway to four national parks - Low Tatras, United Fatra, TANAP and NAPANT) tourism and winter sports options, e.g., cross country and downhill skiing sports, are plentiful.
TRADITIONAL EVENTS CONNECTED WITH ZILINA
CARNIVAL OF SLOVAKIA ŽILINA (February) - An annual Lent celebration
OLD TOWN FESTIVAL FESTIVAL (May) - focuses on the presentation of folk crafts and open-air concerts of all genres
ZILINA MIDSUMMER NIGHT (June) - an international street theater festival
ZILINA CULTURAL SUMMER (July, August) - a two-month marathon of cultural events - concerts, theater, film screenings, workshops, a carving symposium, exhibitions and international festivals
EUROPEAN CULTURE DAYS (August) - a festival presenting Žilina’s sister cities, their culture and traditional crafts
ZILINA LITERARY FESTIVAL (October) - festival of literature, music, theater and film
MIKULÁŠ IN THE CITY CHRISTMAS MARKETS
CITY PARTNERS ŽILINA
- Blagoevgrad (Bulgaria)
- Bielsko-Biala (Poland)
- Czechowice-Dziedzice (Poland)
- CORBY (Great Britain)
- Dnepropetrovsk (Ukraine)
- ESSEN (Belgium)
- Ferrara (Italy)
- FRÝDEK - MÍSTEK (Czech Republic)
- CHANG-CHUN (China)
- Chania (Greece)
- KIKINDA (Serbia and Montenegro)
- Koper (Slovenia)
- Nanterre (France)
- Pilsen (Czech Republic)
- Prague 15 (Czech Republic)
- COTONOU (Benin)
- Grodno (Belarus)
HISTORY OF PILSEN – ŽILINA RELATIONS
In September 2010, a partnership agreement was signed for an indefinite period.
There have been numerous mutual events such as performances by musical ensembles and bands, theater performances (both classical and puppet), presentations of traditional crafts, workshops, meetings of representatives of both municipalities for the purpose of sharing experiences, organizing cooperation between schools and other institutions, etc.
Traditional annual events include The Days of European culture in Žilina (an international summer festival presenting the culture and art of the sister cities of Zilina) and Czech-Slovak day in Pilsen (a presentation of culture and traditional crafts).
- Official website of Žilina: www.zilina.sk