The village of Smižany was first mentioned in writing in a document of King Belo IV dated 24 March 1254 under the name "Sumug" (Šumug), "Villa Canis" and "Villa caniferorum" - the municipality of hound handlers. Today it’s the most populous municipality of the Slovak Republic – with 8000 inhabitants. At the same time, Smižany is also a gate to Slovak Paradise National Park, only 1 km from the village. The ethnographical museum in Smižany (branch of the Spiš Museum in Spišská Nová Ves) is an important cultural institution in the village.
In 1971, Birthhouse of Captain Ján Nálepka exhibition was opened to the public in Smižany - a war hero who was the only Slovak awarded the highest honor of World War II: "Hero of the Soviet Union in memoriam."
The ethnographical exhibition entitled Folk Culture of Lower Spiš was established and opened to the public in 1991 in the museum complex in Smižany. In an area of approximately 300 square meters are exhibited up to more than 600 items documenting tangible and intangible culture from the second half of the 19th century to the first half of the 20th century, representing the developmental peak of traditional Slovak culture.