Lutheranism is a major branch of western Christianity that identifies with the teaching of Martin Luther, a 16th century German reformer. Luther's efforts to reform the theology and practice of the church launched the Protestant Reformation; the reaction of the government and church authorities to the international spread of his writings, beginning with the 95 Theses, divided Western Christianity. The split between the Lutherans and the Catholics was made public and clear with the 1521 Edict of Worms: the edicts of the Diet condemned Luther and banned citizens of the Holy Roman Empire from defending or propagating his ideas, subjecting advocates of Lutheranism to forfeiture of all property, half of the seized property to be forfeit to the imperial government and the remaining half forfeit to the party who brought the accusation; the divide centered on two points: the proper source of authority in the church called the formal principle of the Reformation, the doctrine of justification called the material principle of Lutheran theology.
Lutheranism advocates a doctrine of justification "by grace alone through faith alone on the basis of Scripture alone", the doctrine that scripture is the final authority on all matters of faith. This is in contrast to the belief of the Roman Catholic Church, defined at the Council of Trent, concerning authority coming from both the Scriptures and Tradition. Unlike Calvinism, Lutherans retain many of the liturgical practices and sacramental teachings of the pre-Reformation Church, with a particular emphasis on the Eucharist, or Lord's Supper. Lutheran theology differs from Reformed theology in Christology, divine grace, the purpose of God's Law, the concept of perseverance of the saints, predestination; the name Lutheran originated as a derogatory term used against Luther by German Scholastic theologian Dr. Johann Maier von Eck during the Leipzig Debate in July 1519. Eck and other Roman Catholics followed the traditional practice of naming a heresy after its leader, thus labeling all who identified with the theology of Martin Luther as Lutherans.
Martin Luther always disliked the term Lutheran, preferring the term Evangelical, derived from εὐαγγέλιον euangelion, a Greek word meaning "good news", i.e. "Gospel". The followers of John Calvin, Huldrych Zwingli, other theologians linked to the Reformed tradition used that term. To distinguish the two evangelical groups, others began to refer to the two groups as Evangelical Lutheran and Evangelical Reformed; as time passed by, the word Evangelical was dropped. Lutherans themselves began to use the term Lutheran in the middle of the 16th century, in order to distinguish themselves from other groups such as the Anabaptists and Calvinists. In 1597, theologians in Wittenberg defined the title Lutheran as referring to the true church. Lutheranism has its roots in the work of Martin Luther, who sought to reform the Western Church to what he considered a more biblical foundation. Lutheranism spread through all of Scandinavia during the 16th century, as the monarch of Denmark–Norway and the monarch of Sweden adopted Lutheranism.
Through Baltic-German and Swedish rule, Lutheranism spread into Estonia and Latvia. Since 1520, regular Lutheran services have been held in Copenhagen. Under the reign of Frederick I, Denmark–Norway remained Catholic. Although Frederick pledged to persecute Lutherans, he soon adopted a policy of protecting Lutheran preachers and reformers, the most significant being Hans Tausen. During Frederick's reign, Lutheranism made significant inroads in Denmark. At an open meeting in Copenhagen attended by the king in 1536, the people shouted. Frederick's son Christian was Lutheran, which prevented his election to the throne upon his father's death. However, following his victory in the civil war that followed, in 1537 he became Christian III and advanced the Reformation in Denmark–Norway; the constitution upon which the Danish Norwegian Church, according to the Church Ordinance, should rest was "The pure word of God, the Law and the Gospel". It does not mention the Augsburg Confession; the priests had to understand the Holy Scripture well enough to preach and explain the Gospel and the Epistles for their congregations.
The youths were taught from Luther's Small Catechism, available in Danish since 1532. They were taught to expect at the end of life: "forgiving of their sins", "to be counted as just", "the eternal life". Instruction is still similar; the first complete Bible in Danish was based on Martin Luther's translation into German. It was published with 3,000 copies printed in the first edition. Unlike Catholicism, the Lutheran Church does not believe that tradition is a carrier of the "Word of God", or that only the communion of the Bishop of Rome has been entrusted to interpret the "Word of God"; the Reformation in Sweden began with Olaus and Laurentius Petri, brothers who took the Reformation to Sweden after studying in Germany. They led elected king in 1523, to Lutheranism; the pope's refusal to allow the replacement of an archbishop who had supported the invading forces opposing Gustav Vasa during the Stockholm Bloodbath led to the severing of any official connection between Sweden and the papacy in 1523.
Four years at the Diet of Västerås, the king succeeded in forcing the diet to accept his dominion over the national church. The king was given possession of all church properties, as well as the church appointments and approval of the clergy. While this granted official sanction to Lutheran ideas, Lutheranism did not become official until 1593. At that time the Uppsa
Bebra is a small town in Hersfeld-Rotenburg district in northeastern Hesse, Germany. Bebra lies some 45 km south of Kassel on the Fulda; the town is easy to find on most maps thanks to its prominent location on the Fuldaknie. Ranges surrounding the town are the Stölzinger Gebirge in the north, the Richelsdorf Hills in the east, the Seulingswald in the southeast and the Knüllin the southwest; the biggest neighbouring places are Bad Hersfeld. Frankfurt is about 150 km southwest of Bebra. Within Bebra's town limits, the Bebra, Solz, Lüder and Ulfe empty into the Fulda, while the Iba empties into the Ulfe. Clockwise from the north, these are Cornberg, Ronshausen and Rotenburg. Bebra's 11 Stadtteile are, in alphabetical order, Blankenheim, Breitenbach, Iba, Imshausen, Lüdersdorf, Rautenhausen and Weiterode. Imshausen and Solz are the Trott zu Solz family's seat; the name Bebra came from Biberaho. This became first Bibera, today's name Bebra. In 786, the town had its first documentary mention in an estate directory of the Hersfeld Abbey, confirmed as having been built in 769.
The reason for the mention was that Bebra was donated to the Abbey to cover food demands, thus leading to the conclusion that the directory itself, thereby Bebra's existence as well, go back a few years further than that. For the next several centuries the settlement was a big farming village though important used roads met at this spot quite early on. For one, there was the road to the east leading by way of Eisenach to Halle. For another, there was the postal road running along the Fulda valley linking the region with southern Germany. At that time the area was dominated by Rotenburg, lying 6 km away, which enjoyed status as a small residence town. An upswing came Bebra's way when the railway network in Germany was expanded, reaching this region by the mid 19th century. Towards the end of the century, the town was one of Germany's most important railway junctions. On the one hand, the town's population thereby grew over about 70 years from some 1,300 to 5,063 by 1946. On the other hand, the town lost its exclusively rural character with trade and businesses settling in town, among which the old Deutsche Reichsbahn was the biggest employer.
Town rights were granted Bebra on 20 September 1935 by the Chief President of the Province of Hesse-Nassau, Prince of Hesse. The town's growth kept up – interrupted only by the Second World War – into the 1970s. Given the good transport connections, a large industrial area arose in town. During the time of the division of Germany, there was a border checkpoint in Bebra to handle both people and goods crossing between the postwar occupational zones and between West and East Germany. Before the fall of the Berlin Wall, Bebra was the largest border checkpoint for rail transportation across East German territory between West Germany and Berlin; as of the mid-1980s, Bebra was losing importance as a railway junction, which led to a noticeable decline in goods traffic and thereby to fewer jobs at Deutsche Bahn. In Bebra's main town and its outlying centres stand 12 Evangelical churches, one Catholic church, one Evangelical Methodist church and one Syriac Orthodox church, with Free Evangelical and State Church communities represented in town.
All constituent communities named above were amalgamated with municipal reform in 1972. The municipal election held on 26 March 2006 yielded the following results: The town executive is made up of 8 councillors, with 5 seats allotted to the CDU and three to the SPD. Mayor Horst Groß was reelected on 14 October 2001 with 71.6% of the vote, again on 14 October 2007 with 63.2%. The town's arms might be described thus: Gules a beaver rampant, in the base two bendlets, thereover two bendlets sinister, the whole argent. Bebra's arms symbolize the town's change from a village to an important railway junction; the tinctures recall the Hersfeld Abbey’s coat of arms, Bebra having belonged to the Abbey’s oldest holding. The crossed bendlets are an heraldic way of representing a railway junction, the town's main function when the arms were conferred in 1930, had been since the middle of the foregoing century. Friedrichroda, Thuringia since the early 1990s Knaresborough, North Yorkshire, United Kingdom since 1970 The railway museum in the historic watertower shows the railway history, so important to Bebra.
Right next door is found a 600 mm narrow-gauge railway that runs on some days from April to September. The toy museum in the outlying centre of Solz offers a glimpse of toys from forgotten times. Besides the old town hall, various timber-frame houses, the town's parks and the Friedrichshütte are worthy of mention. There are a Catholic and an Evangelical church as well, the latter of, restored after the Second World War. Early in the year there is an Easter Market, in autumn there is a harvest and homeland festival. A Christmas Market is held not long before Christmas. Besides the town festival, a fishermen's festival and a kite festival are held in the summer; every other year there is a trade show. In the late 1980s, Bebra was losing its importance as a railway junction as German reunification loomed and the town lost cross-border traffic; this led to widespread job loss among the inhabitants, as the railway had long be
The Slovaks are a nation and West Slavic ethnic group native to Slovakia who share a common ancestry, culture and speak the Slovak language. In Slovakia, c. 4.4 million are ethnic Slovaks of 5.4 million total population. There are Slovak minorities in Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary and sizeable populations of immigrants and their descendants in the United States and the United Kingdom, collectively referred to as the Slovak diaspora; the name Slovak is derived from *Slověninъ, plural *Slověně, the old name of the Slavs. The original stem has been preserved in all Slovak words except the masculine noun; the first written mention of adjective slovenský is in 1294. The original name of Slovaks Slovenin/Slovene was still recorded in Pressburg Latin-Czech Dictionary, but it changed to Slovák under the influence of Czech and Polish language; the first written mention of new form in the territory of present-day Slovakia is from Bardejov. The mentions in Czech sources are older; the change is not related to the ethnogenesis of Slovaks, but to linguistic changes in the West Slavic languages.
The word Slovak was used later as a common name for all Slavs in Czech and Slovak language together with other forms. In Hungarian "Slovak" is Tót, an exonym, it was used to refer to all Slavs including Slovenes and Croats, but came to refer to Slovaks. Many place names in Hungary such as Tótszentgyörgy, Tótszentmárton, Tótkomlós still bear the name. Tóth is a common Hungarian surname; the Slovaks have historically been variously referred to as Slovyenyn, Sclavus, Slavus, Winde, Wende, or Wenden. The final three terms are variations of the Germanic term Wends, used to refer to any Slavs living close to Germanic settlements; the early Slavs came to the territory of Slovakia in several waves from the 5th and 6th centuries and were organized on a tribal level. Original tribal names are not known due to the lack of written sources before their integration into higher political units. Weakening of tribal consciousness was accelerated by Avars, who did not respect tribal differences in the controlled territory and motivated remaining Slavs to join together and to collaborate on their defense.
In the 7th century, Slavs founded larger tribal union: Samo's empire. Regardless of Samo's empire, the integration process continued in other territories with various intensities; the final fall of the Avar Khaganate allowed new political entities to arise. The first such political unit documented by written sources is the Principality of Nitra, one of the foundations of common ethnic consciousness. At this stage in history it is not yet possible to assume a common identity of all Slovak ancestors in the territory of eastern Slovakia if it was inhabited by related Slavs; the Principality of Nitra become a part of a common state of Moravians and Slovaks. The short existence of Great Moravia prevented it from suppressing differences which resulted from its creation from two separate entities, therefore a common "Slovak-Moravian" ethnic identity failed to develop; the early political integration in the territory of present-day Slovakia was however reflected in linguistic integration. While dialects of early Slovak ancestors were divided into West Slavic and non-West Slavic, between the 8th and 9th centuries both dialects merged, thus laying the foundations of a Slovak language.
The 10th century is a milestone in the Slovak ethnogenesis. The fall of Great Moravia and further political changes supported their formation into a separate nation. At the same time, with the extinction of the Proto-Slavic language, between the 10th and 13th centuries Slovak evolved into an independent language; the early existence of the Kingdom of Hungary positively influenced the development of common consciousness and companionship among Slavs in the Northern Hungary, not only within boundaries of present-day Slovakia. The clear difference between Slovaks and Hungarians made adoption of specific name unnecessary and Slovaks preserved their original name, used in communication with other Slavic peoples. In political terms, the medieval Slovaks were a part of the multi-ethnic political nation Natio Hungarica, together with Hungarians, Germans and other ethnic groups in the Kingdom of Hungary. Since a medieval political nation did not consist of ordinary people but nobility, membership of the privileged class was necessary for all these peoples.
Like other nations, the Slovaks began to transform into a modern nation from the 18th century under the idea of national romanticism. The modern Slovak nation is the result of radical processes of modernization within the Habsburg Empire which culminated in the middle of the 19th century; the transformation process was slowed down by conflict with Hungarian nationalism and the ethnogenesis of the Slovaks become a political question regarding their deprivation and preservation of their language and national rights. In 1722, Mich
Yellow Cab Company
The Yellow Cab Company was a taxicab company in Chicago, founded in 1907 by John D. Hertz. In 1920 the Yellow Cab Manufacturing Company was formed to manufacture taxicabs. During the 1910s and 1920s the company was involved in considerable illegal activity relating to mobsters and in particular to the Chicago Outfit. Yellow Cab was involved in a bitter rivalry with Checker Taxi at the time which led to a number of shootings and firebombings. By 1925 the company was a subsidiary of the Chicago Yellow Cab Company, a public holding company with shares divided between Hertz, Parmelee and a small group of other investors. Hertz sold the Yellow Cab Manufacturing Company to General Motors in 1925, he sold his remaining interest in the Yellow Cab Company in 1929. Yellow Cab Co. was bought by Morris Markin, who had established Checker Cab Manufacturing Company, with the Checker Taxi, a driver's cooperative. In 1929 he sold his remaining share of Yellow Cab to concentrate on car rental; the sale was prompted by the violence associated with the business that culminated in 1928 in his racing stables being destroyed in a $200,000 fire in which 11 thoroughbred horses were burned.
Yellow Cab Co. was sold again in 1996 to Patton Corrigan, who in turn sold controlling interest in 2005 to Michael Levine, a third-generation taxicab operator from New York City. The Levine/Corrigan group has purchased the Checker Taxi Affiliation in Chicago, to reunite the two companies once again. In 2015, Yellow Cab of Chicago filed for bankruptcy. Yellow Cab Co split into multiple companies across the nation bearing the Yellow Cab name. In January 2016, San Francisco's Yellow Cab filed for bankruptcy protection
Salgótarján is the capital of Nógrád county, north-eastern Hungary, making it the second smallest county capital based on population. At the foot of Karancs mountain, in the Cserhát hills, 250 meters above sea level, 120 km north-east from Budapest, 70 km west from Miskolc. Salgótarján is surrounded by beautiful forests and hills topped with castle ruins, which are accessible by bus that may be taken from the center of town; the town existed in the Middle Ages, but information on it is scarce because it was a small settlement. The word salgó means "shining" in Old Hungarian, while Tarján was the name of one of the Hungarian tribes conquering the area; the castle of Salgó was built in the 13th century on a mountain of volcanic origin. In the 13th century the town had a church. After the 1682 siege of the nearby Castle of Fülek the town was deserted, new settlers arrived only ten years but remained a small village. Development came in the mid-19th century; the job opportunities provided by the mine and the developing industry began to attract people.
The village grew and was granted town status in 1922. Today visitors can see the remains of the mining industry by visiting the Mine Museum, located next to the main entrance of the mine. In 1950, Salgótarján became the capital of Nógrád county instead of the previous county seat Balassagyarmat, although the county offices did not move there until 1952. In the next twenty years several villages were annexed to the growing city; the coal mines closed years ago. In 1994, Salgótarján was granted the rank of city with county rights, in accord with a new law stating that all county seats are cities with county rights.. The town is near two ruined contains two museums, among other places of interest. Plébániatemplom, located opposite the County History Museum, is the main church in the town. Nógrádi Történeti Múzeum is the town's principal museum with exhibits about the history of the county. There is a special exhibit on the Romany poet and painter who lived in the city. Nógrádi Történeti Múzeum Bányászati Kiállítóhelye, is the main mining museum in the country, with exhibits about the history of mining in the region.
Visitors can see mining equipment. Somoskő Castle in the suburb of Somoskő is the better preserved of the two castles, it is situated atop a 526 meter tall hill. One of the three original towers is restored; the castle lies on the Slovak side of the border, but it's accessible from the Hungarian village of Somoskő. Salgói Castle Ruins, in the suburb of Salgóbánya, is 625 meters above sealevel, giving it a panoramic view of the area; the city has an association football club. Salgótarjáni BTC competed in the Nemzeti Bajnokság III. Salgótarján is twinned with: Doncaster, United Kingdom Gliwice, Poland Banská Bystrica, Slovakia Lučenec, Slovakia Vantaa, Finland Vigarano Mainarda, Italy Nacka, Sweden Valenciennes, France Kemerovo, Russia Official site in Hungarian and English Tarjáninfó.hu informations, events. Some pictures of the castle Aerial photography: Salgótarján Family friendly guesthouse, accommodation in Salgótarján
Slovakia the Slovak Republic, is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is bordered by Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east, Hungary to the south, Austria to the west, the Czech Republic to the northwest. Slovakia's territory spans about 49,000 square kilometres and is mountainous; the population is over 5.4 million and consists of Slovaks. The capital and largest city is Bratislava, the second largest city is Košice; the official language is Slovak. The Slavs arrived in the territory of present-day Slovakia in the 6th centuries. In the 7th century, they played a significant role in the creation of Samo's Empire and in the 9th century established the Principality of Nitra, conquered by the Principality of Moravia to establish Great Moravia. In the 10th century, after the dissolution of Great Moravia, the territory was integrated into the Principality of Hungary, which would become the Kingdom of Hungary in 1000. In 1241 and 1242, much of the territory was destroyed by the Mongols during their invasion of Central and Eastern Europe.
The area was recovered thanks to Béla IV of Hungary who settled Germans which became an important ethnic group in the area in what are today parts of central and eastern Slovakia. After World War I and the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Czechoslovak National Council established Czechoslovakia. A separate Slovak Republic existed during World War II as a totalitarian, clero-fascist one-party client state of Nazi Germany. At the end of World War II, Czechoslovakia was re-established as an independent country. A coup in 1948 ushered in a totalitarian one-party state under the Communist regime during whose rule the country existed as a satellite of the Soviet Union. Attempts for liberalization of communism in Czechoslovakia culminated in the Prague Spring, crushed by the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia in August 1968. In 1989, the Velvet Revolution ended the Communist rule in Czechoslovakia peacefully. Slovakia became an independent state on 1 January 1993 after the peaceful dissolution of Czechoslovakia, sometimes known as the Velvet Divorce.
Slovakia is a developed country, with a high-income advanced economy and a high Human Development Index, a high standard of living and performs favourably in measurements of civil liberties, press freedom, internet freedom, democratic governance and peacefulness. The country maintains a combination of market economy with a comprehensive social security system. Citizens of Slovakia are provided with universal health care, free education and one of the longest paid parental leave in the OECD; the country joined the European Union on 1 May 2004 and joined the Eurozone on 1 January 2009. Slovakia is a member of the Schengen Area, NATO, the United Nations, the OECD, the WTO, CERN, the OSCE, the Council of Europe and the Visegrád Group. Although regional income inequality is high, 90% of citizens own their homes. In 2018, Slovak citizens had visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 179 countries and territories, ranking the Slovak passport 10th in the world; as part of Eurozone, Slovak legal tender is the world's 2nd-most-traded currency.
Slovakia is the world's largest per-capita car producer with a total of 1,040,000 cars manufactured in the country in 2016 alone and the 7th largest car producer in the European Union. The car industry represents 43% of Slovakia's industrial output, a quarter of its exports; the first written mention of name Slovakia is in 1586. It derives from the Czech word Slováky; the native name Slovensko derives from an older name of Slovaks Sloven what may indicate its origin before the 15th century. The original meaning was geographic, since Slovakia was a part of the multiethnic Kingdom of Hungary and did not form a separate administrative unit in this period. Radiocarbon dating puts the oldest surviving archaeological artefacts from Slovakia – found near Nové Mesto nad Váhom – at 270,000 BCE, in the Early Paleolithic era; these ancient tools, made by the Clactonian technique, bear witness to the ancient habitation of Slovakia. Other stone tools from the Middle Paleolithic era come from the Prévôt cave in Bojnice and from other nearby sites.
The most important discovery from that era is a Neanderthal cranium, discovered near Gánovce, a village in northern Slovakia. Archaeologists have found prehistoric human skeletons in the region, as well as numerous objects and vestiges of the Gravettian culture, principally in the river valleys of Nitra, Ipeľ, Váh and as far as the city of Žilina, near the foot of the Vihorlat and Tribeč mountains, as well as in the Myjava Mountains; the most well-known finds include the oldest female statue made of mammoth-bone, the famous Venus of Moravany. The statue was found in the 1940s in Moravany nad Váhom near Piešťany. Numerous necklaces made of shells from Cypraca thermophile gastropods of the Tertiary period have come from the sites of Zákovská, Podkovice and Radošina; these findings provide the most ancient evidence of commercial exchanges carried out between the Mediterranean and central Europe. The Bronze Age in the geographical territory of modern-day Slovakia went through three stages of development, stretching from 2000 to 800 BCE.
Major cultural and political development can be attributed to the significant growth in production of copper in central Slovakia and northwe
Žilina is a city in north-western Slovakia, around 200 kilometres from the capital Bratislava, close to both the Czech and Polish borders. It is the fourth largest city of Slovakia with a population of 85,000, an important industrial center, the largest city on the Váh river, the seat of a kraj and of an okres, it belongs to the Upper Váh region of tourism. The name is derived from Slavic/Slovak word žila - a " vein". Žilina means "a place with many watercourses". Alternatively, it is a secondary name derived from Žilinka river or from the name of the local people, Žilín/Žiliňane; the area around today's Žilina was inhabited in the late Stone Age. In the 5th century, Slavs started to move into the area. However, the first written reference to Žilina was in 1208 as terra de Selinan. From the second half of the 10th century until 1918, it was part of the Kingdom of Hungary. In the middle of the 13th century, terra Sylna was the property of the Cseszneky de Milvány family; the city started to develop around 1300, according to records in 1312, it was a town.
In 1321, King Károly I made Žilina a free royal town. On 7 May 1381, King Lajos I issued Privilegium pro Slavis, which made the Slav inhabitants equal to the Germans by allocating half of the seats at the city council to Slavs; the town was burned in 1431 by the Hussites. During the 17th century, Žilina gained position as a center of manufacturing and education, during the baroque age, many monasteries and churches, as well as the Budatín Castle, were built. In the Revolutions of 1848, Slovak volunteers, part of the Imperial Army, won a battle near the city against Hungarian honveds and gardists; the city boomed in the second half of the 19th century as new railway tracks were built: the Kassa Oderberg Railway was finished in 1872 and the railway to Bratislava in 1883, new factories started to spring up, such as the drapery factory Slovena and the Považie chemical works. It was one of the first municipalities to sign the Martin Declaration, until March 1919, it was the seat of the Slovak government.
On 6 October 1938, shortly after the Munich Agreement, the autonomy of Slovakia within Czechoslovakia was declared in Žilina. During World War II, Žilina was captured on 30 April 1945 by Czechoslovak and Soviet troops of the 4th Ukrainian Front, after which it again became part of Czechoslovakia. After Second World War, the city continued its development with many new factories and housing projects being built, it was the seat of the Žilina Region from 1949–1960 and again since 1996. Today, Žilina is the third largest city in Slovakia, the third most important industrial center and the seat of a university, the Žilinská univerzita. Since 1990 the historical center of the city has been restored and the city has built trolleybus lines. Žilina lies at an altitude of 342 metres above sea level and covers an area of 80.03 square kilometres. It is located in the Upper Váh region at the confluence of three rivers: Váh, flowing from the east into the south-west, flowing from the north and Rajčanka rivers from the south, in the Žilina Basin.
The city is surrounded by these mountain ranges: Malá Fatra, Súľovské vrchy, Javorníky and Kysucká vrchovina. Protected areas nearby include the Strážov Mountains Protected Landscape Area, the Kysuce Protected Landscape Area, the Malá Fatra National Park. There are two hydroelectric dams on the Váh river around Žilina: the Žilina dam in the east and the Hričov dam in the west. Žilina has a continental climate with four distinct seasons. It is characterized by a significant variation between cold, snowy winters; the average temperature in July is 18 °C, in January, −4 °C. The average annual rainfall is 600–700 mm. Snow cover lasts from 60 to 80 days per year; the coat of arms of Žilina is a golden double-cross with roots and two golden stars on an olive-green background. The double-cross stems from Cyrillic-methodic tradition; this is one of the oldest municipal coat of arms, not only in Europe. It has been used as the city's symbol since 1378. Žilina has a population of 85,302, with the population of the urban area of 108,114 and the population of the metro area of 159,729.
According to the 2001 census, 96.9% of inhabitants were Slovaks, 1.6% Czechs, 0.2% Romani, 0.1% Hungarians and 0.1% Moravians. The religious makeup was 74.9% Roman Catholics, 16.7% people with no religious affiliation, 3.7% Lutherans. Žilina is the main industrial hub of the upper Váh river basin region, with a fast-growing economy as north-west Slovakia's business center with large retail and construction sectors. By far the biggest and most important employer is Korean car maker Kia Motors. By 2009, the plant had up to 3,000 employees. Kia Motors' direct investment in the Žilina car plant amounts to over 1.5 billion USD. In 2009 the Žilina car plant produced Kia Sportage and Hyundai ix35 car models. Kia Motors is further upgrading its capacity to be ready to produce engines for a sister company, located near Ostrava in the Czech Republic with a planned investment of 200 million USD. Žilina is the seat of the biggest Slovak construction and transportation engineering company, Vahostav. The chemical industry is represente