Hnilec (river)

Palcmanská Masa Reservoir

The Hnilec (Slovak older also " Gelnický creek "; German Göllnitz; Hungarian Gölnic ) is a 90 km long river in eastern Slovakia and the name of a place along its course. The eastward Hnilec is a tributary of the Hornád - but almost the same length as this - and also originates on the eastern flank of the Low Tatras (Slovak Low Tatras ), ( rudohorie Slovenské ) to the foothills of the Slovak Ore Mountains.

Also its upper reaches, the more affected but only the " Slovak Paradise" ( Slovenský raj ) is similar as varied as that of the main river. In the mountains flanking the valley several mineral deposits (gold, silver, copper and mercury) have been exploited since the Middle Ages to the late 20th century, the eastern Slovakia have helped earlier to some wealth ( see the works of the Carpathian German Spis region).

The Hnilec runs almost parallel to the Hornád, between them about 1500 m high mountain range, and flows into this at Margecany in the form of the 20-km long dam Ružín. Then the combined flow from the Erzgebirge in a wide plain in the eastern Slovak city Košice steps out and crosses against the northern part of the Great Hungarian Plain of the broad river Tisza.


  • Geographic Institute de Agostini, Big World Atlas, Munich / Novara 1985
  • Sketch from a dam at Gelnica to the Hungarian border