History of the town (page 2)

20th century - continue

1961 On 1st January, a new energy distribution company Stredoslovenské energetické závody (Central Slovakia energy plant) was established in Žilina. The company builds on the rich history of this industry in the town. Already in 1893, an electrical plant named Helios was founded in Žilina. Later, Účastinná spoločnosť Spojené elektrárne severozápadného Slovenska (Joint stock company United power plants of northwest Slovakia) was created in Žilina. From 1941 until 1943, its headquarters were built on Republiky street. Later on, they were transferred to Bratislava and in 1951 a new decentralization followed, which culminated in 1961. Since then, the enterprise has been significantly affecting the economy of the town.
1963 Žilina is the first town in Slovakia that received a covered, 50 metres swimming pool. At that time, it met the stringent Olympic criteria. According to the publication Mesto Žilina (The Town of Žilina) dated 1997, that swimming pool virtually eliminated swimming ignorance and not only among the younger generation in the town.
1968 On 21st August, the Soviet occupation units occupied Žilina and the original airport Vlčince became their headquarters. Russian tanks patrolled the streets, artillery men were ready on the Dubeň hill. Most of the city condemned the occupation. The citizens, however, kept their cool after a radio call, so serious incidents were avoided.
1970 On 30th September, the villages Bánová, Bytčica, Považský Chlmec, Strážov and Trnové were annexed to the town. They were villages, more or less, which ended up being close to the sprawling area of dynamically developing Žilina. The town at that time already had more than 54 000 inhabitants and was the fourth largest in Slovakia.
1974 On 2nd November, the Slovak Sinfonietta Žilina was founded. It became one of the most important Czechoslovak orchestras and has spread out the glory of the town all over the world.
1975 On 1st April, passenger air transport to Prague and Bratislava was established from the new town airport in Dolný Hričov. Žilina thus became connected by air with virtually all continents.
1976 The villages Lietavská Lúčka and Porúbka became parts of the town. In 1980, the villages Brodno, Mojšova Lúčka, Rosina, Teplička nad Váhom, Turie, Višňové, Vranie, Zádubnie, Zástranie and Žilinská Lehota joined Žilina. The town thus reached a population of almost 90 000 inhabitants.
1978 The Government of the Socialist Republic of Slovakia approved the Municipal plan of Žilina with resolution Nr. 352/78 of 29th November. The plan, completed in 1980 by Ing. arch. Stuchla, defined the further development of the town. It was a master plan designed to ensure a harmonious development in all areas of life. It defined precisely the different town zones and specified building codes.
1981 In July, the town opened the first four-star hotel Slovakia. Its opening was preceded by an unfortunate event when the middle part of the building collapsed during construction. Despite that accident, the hotel created for that time accommodation well above standard that stood out in the greyness of real communism.
1987 On 11th September, the government of the Slovak Socialist Republic declared the historic core of the town concentrated around today's St. Mary´s Square to be an Urban Protected Area. The historical centre has maintained its original medieval layout. The declaration was made by resolution No. 194/1987. The Protected Area is approximately bounded by the streets of Horný and Dolný val. In that area, there are 57 cultural monuments that cannot be removed. That Protected Area has its own Principles of care specific to Žilina.
1987 Construction of the last large housing project in Žilina - Hájik started. After completing, up to 15 000 people were supposed to live here. After Hliny, Vlčince and Solinky, Hájik was the last great so-called communist housing project. However, more flats are still being built there to this day.
1988 Žilina joined the call of Catholics from Moravia to end the discrimination of religious life in Czechoslovakia. The town collected more than 8,000 signatures. In the same year, the most important and well-known religious activist and "Žilina’s dissident", as he was often called, father Gabriel Povala died.
1989 On 21st November, on V. I. Lenin Square - later Ľudovít Štúr Square, now the business centre Aupark - students of the University of Transportation and Communications held a demonstration, which was joined by several local citizens. Demonstrations were then held in this place daily and culminated on 27th November in a three-hour strike of employees of most of Žilina's enterprises. Žilina joined the calls for democratic changes in the country.
1990 On 27th February, at a special meeting of the Municipal National Committee, the local authorities were changed. A new chairman, Emil Lacko was appointed and thus became the mayor of the town.
1990 On 21st March, the Association of Towns and Villages of Slovakia was established in Žilina’s Dom Odborov (House of Unions), an organization which has represented the interests of towns and especially villages in Slovakia until today.


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