Older history

Category: History

Vyšná Pisaná ranks among the youngest villages of Makovica estate. It was founded in the second half of the 16th century in its forest-rich north-eastern corner, during the last wave of settlement.

The earliest mention of Vyšná Pisaná can be found in a tax register Regestrum domorum et taxarum nobilium et rectificationum comitatus Saaros from 1600 ( MOL E158, A2655, s.328 ). The register differs from most of the older and newer ones in that it includes a number of taxed houses.

From the contents of the report on 19 new villages of the estate it is clear, that peasants in Vyšná Pisaná had only recently built their households and started to cultivate land to arable fields and meadows. First inhabitants had been exempt from paying taxes to the king.

The village was built by settlers using acquisition law and led by hereditary mayor – šoltýs. It was registered as Felsö Pisana, and belonged to Ruthenian villages of Makovica estate. In 1600 it included 5 peasant households, as well as the šoltýs (mayor’s) one.

Judging from the then-possible tax exemption period for the new settlers, we can safely estimate that the village was founded sometime during the last two decades of 16th century. Historian Prof F.Uličný even assumes that it had been founded by serfs from Nižná Pisaná, the indication for that being the similarity in names.

In later periods we can find several forms of the village name: Felsö Pisana (r.1618), Wisna Pisana (1773), Felschö – Piszana (1786), Horní Písaná (1808), Visnya Piszana (1838), Ober-Piszana (1850), Felsö Piszána (1869), Felsöpiszána (1900), Felsöhímes (1910), Vyšnia Pisana (1921), Vyšná Pisaná (1950).

Interesting is the translation of name Pisaná to Hungarian language, which was forced during the Hungarisation of village names in the beginning of 20th century. It was translated as hímes (pronunciation heemesh), which means Easter egg in standard and exercise book in colloquial language. Back then, the villagers were indeed known for producing beautiful Easter eggs by tie-dyeing with pins.

Due to the area’s adverse natural conditions and scarce possibilities for crops growing, Vyšná Pisaná was included in 4th and lowest class during the evaluation (Kapišová made it to 2nd). Urbár Law, which was intended to improve the serfs´ conditions, was introduced in Vyšná Pisaná on 19th March 1773.

A public administration reform of 1850 introduced districts as the smallest administration units. Vyšná Pisaná belonged to Svidník district, which, in 1861, reverted to using the name Makovický, permanent before 1850. As of 1908, districts were again named after its resident towns ( Vyšný Svidník – Felsövízköz ).

The village was administrated by municipal government headed by mayor, who had the most power and duties. He was responsible for observance of laws and ordinances, tax collection, fire protection, cleanliness of village itself and wells in particular, he solved villagers´ problems and kept the village seal.

The oldest of the village symbols dates back to 1787. At the turn of the centuries, Vyšná Pisaná was a poor agrarian village. Infertile land, backward cultivation methods, primitive tools and low-yielding crops all contributed to the low living standard, poor housing conditions, spartan diet and meagre clothing of its inhabitants.

Houses in particular were very poor, made of wood, with floors of trampled yellow clay and straw-covered roofs. Kitchen served also as a dining room and bedroom and during hard winters, young domestic animals and poultry would be taken inside to provide some more warmth. Consequently, hygiene was neglected and epidemic diseases abundant.