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Terchová (Hungarian: Terhely) is a large village and municipality (population 4,073) in the Malá Fatra mountains in the Žilina District in the Žilina Region of northern Slovakia.

Names and etymology

In the 16th century, the village was known as Kralowa alias Tyerchowa (1598). The first name means in Slovak royal and refers to royal meadows. The second name comes from the appellative of the Hungarian origin terhe (burden) borrowed to the Slovak language before the 12th century as tärcha > ťarcha but later also as tercha with Slovak possessive suffix -ova. It refers to legal obligations of the citizens.


The village was established in 1580, but the area was inhabited even before its establishment. Originally a Vlach settlement from the period of Vlach colonization, it slowly began to change to an agricultural settlement, as many new settlers in the 17th century came to the village. In the 19th century, several droughts and plagues depopulated the village, as many emigrated to the US, Canada and Argentina. Near the end of World War II, half of the wooden part of the village was burned down. During the first post-war years, it was reconstructed as part of two-year plan. The village is most famous for being the birthplace and town where Juraj Janosik grew up. In 2013 Music of Terchová was inscribed on the UNESCO's Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.


The municipality lies at an altitude of 514 metres and covers an area of 84.542 km2. It has a population of about 4,073 people. The village lies in a valley in the Malá Fatra mountains, about 25 km east of Žilina. The tourist resort of Vrátna dolina belongs to the village.
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