Erby Slovenska (Erbs of Slovakia)

I have recently discovered this interesting site, which lists all the “erby” of all the towns in Slovakia!

An “erb” is an official symbol used by a particular village or town.  Every municipality in Slovakia has one, and each one refers to a story, product, or idea that is particularly important to that community.  As a cartoonist, I especially enjoy finding the erb of each new town I visit and trying to figure out what it says about the history of that town.

For example, the erb of Lipany (where I lived for two months this Fall) shows the seven linden trees which once grew on the site where the town was originally founded.   The original name of the town was “Sieben Linden”, which of course is German for “Seven Linden Trees”.  The descendants of these original seven trees still tower over Lipany’s downtown church…

Here is a small gallery of a few erby from the towns around Lipany, in the Sabinov region of eastern Slovakia:

Astute readers will also note the erb of Sabinov, which is basically a head on a plate.  (This erb is what led to the St. John mini-comic.)


4 thoughts on “Erby Slovenska (Erbs of Slovakia)

  1. i love these little erbs! but when you have them all lined up they sort of look like an odd version of the 12 days of christmas!

    • Hmmm… I think you’re onto something there, Jeane….
      “For the twelve towns of Upper Torysa,
      My true love gave to me:
      One maid with milk and beer,
      One martyr with geese,
      One tree on a river of blood,
      And a man with a wheelbarrow.”

  2. I think it is the same for most if not all Europe towns. I know that Britain has a bunch of erbi, erby, erbs! My home town of Worcester has a quartered background with three pears in the top left hand corner over a castle splitting up the lower two quarters with its tower entering the upper two quarters.
    “There has been much confusion about the City’s arms, with two shields in various combinations, and three mottos, in use at various times. The “ancient” arms doubtless commemorate Worcester Castle, of which nothing remains. The “modern” arms, in fact more than three hundred years old, are said to have been adopted to mark Queen Elizabeth I’s visit to Worcester in 1575. Tradition has it that during her procession through the streets of Worcester the Queen saw a black pear tree which had been planted in the Foregate in her honour. She was so pleased at the appropriateness of the tree growing right in the heart of a fruit growing region, that she bade the city add the emblem of pears to its arms. At various times the modern arms have been placed on a canton on the ancient arms, and appears as such on a map of Worcester by J. Roper in 1806.” from: city

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