Dear guests, we are proud that our shop is located on one of the oldest preserved sites of Košice, where the history meets the present. Therefore, we would like to at least briefly introduce the history – and mainly the reason for naming the wine bar VILLA CASSA. We hope that you will feel comfortable and will spread the word of the mouth not only in Slovakia, but anywhere you come from.

1230

Significant settlement of Košice in the valley of Hornad existed even before the first preserved written sources. The first known written mention of Košice, according to Lubinsky charter of Jagerska Capitol from 1230, reports on the sale of land by people from Košice. The record mentions that “Simon, son of priest Gregory of settlement Košice and Peter, son of Paul thereof ” sold land to other owners for 9 hryvnia.

The charter refers to Košice by term Villa Cassa, i.e. market settlement of Košice. The document mentions a priest, which indicates the existence of a church therein.

1290

Košice, as the metropolis of Upper Hungarian Region, neighbouring Poland, and as the seat of a branch of the royal chamber became a natural place for merchants to leave goods on their long-haul routes. Hence, the market nature of the settlement Villa Cassa with established business population. The settlement received its city rights in 1290.

Exports from Košice included mainly agricultural products and raw materials. The most important commodities were wood, pitch, honey, leather, precious metals and ores (copper), cattle and horses, meat, wine, cloth and fustian. Especially copper, furs and wine were sold even into Pomerania (Stralsund, Szczecin), the Netherlands and England. Goods were transported up the river Hornad on rafts. Overland transport of goods was carried out by means of large wagons, called also maze or fúra.

In relation to nearby towns of Upper Hungary, Košice represented the main warehouse of goods (depositio generalis mercium). In practice, the merchants came from Poland, Russia and Prussia to unload the goods of their choice, either here or in the towns of Levoča, Kežmarok, and Bardejov. These developed Upper Hungarian towns had, unlike Košice, only partial right of storage. On the other hand, the merchants coming from the south of Tisza, from Transylvania, Moldavia, Wallachia and Turkey, were already subject only to the General Storage in Košice.

1390

Under the privilege from 1390, Košice merchants could export goods through Krakow to Russia and Prussia. They went to Bohemia and Moravia as well. They also tried to penetrate in the opposite direction into Romania, but in Transylvania they met with very competitive local merchants.

1342

Louis I the Great of Anjou ascended on the Hungarian throne in 1342. He favoured Košice extraordinarily. During his reign it gained many economic and legal privileges that made ​​it a flourishing medieval metropolis.

1342

Already in 1342, King Robert had expanded the legal scope of Košice judge – mayor – on the cases that were previously under royal competence. In 1347, his son, King Louis I the Great, granted Košice a great privilege, under which the city ranked second in the rank order of the royal cities immediately after the capital Buda with equal rights. Comprehensive list enumerates a number of advantages which included, inter alia:

  • Exemption from the tithe from their own vineyards
  • Until Pentecost, only wine from Košice vineyards was permitted to be sold

1369

A unique expression of esteem of the citizenry of Košice in the eyes of the royal court was the issue of armorial deed in 1369. The coat of arms of Košice is thus the oldest coat of arms documented in writing in Europe.

History of wine making in Košice

Wine and wine growers formed an integral part of economic and social functions of Košice in the Middle Ages and modern times alike. It was a valuable commercial item, which was intended not only for Spiš and Polish cities, but also for their own use. Wine has been a part of life of people of Košice. The city itself was surrounded by vineyards. In the surroundings, vineyards interfered with municipalities Ťahanovce and Myslava. Majority of vineyards was owned by the townspeople. Those rich, bought vineyards in Tokay region too: in Szanto, Szikszo, Tallya, Garadna and Tolcsva.
The importance of wine to the city is shown in the royal privileges granted to Košice townspeople to protect their wine business. The most important is the so called Great privilege of King Louis I of October 1347, which stipulated that only Košice townspeople were allowed to sell wine in Košice until Pentecost.

The Archive of the city of Košice contains between the books of urban and extra-urban economies the inventory of wines from 1521, which is also the oldest inventory. Each entry consists of a name, surname, the type of wine (K – Košice, L – Tokay) and the number of wine barrels. This inventory was created in Košice city office for the needs of the city government, it was written by an official who was in charge of running the city agenda. It is clear from the inventory that the employees of the city, hospital staff, and day labourers working for townspeople and mayor at each election of the mayor were allocated wine as an addition to their earnings. Price of wine was between 12-15 gold per barrel, so we can assume that the wine was owned by the city’s elite, which included merchants, craftsmen, doctors, pharmacists, notaries and clerics.
A separate report of Košice vineyards is prepared in 1700 together with the report of Tokay vineyards. Vineyard that belonged under the Košice authority included: Varanajka, Bornemisza, and Červený breh, Chotar, Dluha and Kriva. Citizens had vinyards on Hradova, Rovna, Chrast, Medzvedza, Chotar, Vysny Heringes and on Úzka, tithe of which was given to the city.

Central Administration of Tokay vineyards of the city of Košice was located in Szanto. Under the administration of the vineyard were: Szanto, Tokaj, Forro, Garadna with vinyards Sator, Suranka, Fekete, Gelentsér, Patots, Gorbe, Hasznos, Nagy Haszno, Bohomaly and Nyirjes.

Public drawing of wine was an important commercial activity and constituted an important revenue for the city. In Košice, this was done in Levoca house.

"Not to like wine is a pity, not to drink it is a tragedy."

− Canus

"When wine enters, secret leaves"

− Armenian proverb

"An optimist leaves his best wine for better occasion, a pessimist drinks it rather now. A realist will leave his best wine as a present for his superior."

− Gabriel Laub