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Beautiful cities

If you decide to visit the Eastern Slovakia, do not forget to discover Kežmarok town with the most extensive set of monuments in the Spiš region, from which an unrivalled Renaissance bell tower comes. The Spišská Kapitula village can be called as the Slovak “Vatican”. The robust Cathedral of Saint Martin plays an important role in it. The small streets of Levoča town with Church of Saint Jabub and its world-known highest wooden altar in the world, from a workshop of Master Paul, will bring you to the unforgettable experience. You must not also forget about Bardejov town having the most well-preserved medieval defensive system. The third biggest city of Slovakia is Prešov and its most valuable monument is the Rákóczi’s Palace, in which the Municipal Museum is situated here nowadays. You cannot also miss a metropolis of the Eastern Slovakia and it is Košice with its monumental Gothic Saint Elisabeth Cathedral, which is the biggest church in Slovakia. The valuable of which is its main altar of Saint Elisabeth with the most extensive European set of 48 Gothic table paintings.

Moving from the Eastern part of Slovakia to the Central part, you can admire the urban conservation area in Banská Bystrica with lots of churches and atypical long line look Clock Tower providing you with a beautiful view of the whole town. Only for a short hop from it, there is an ancient Banská Štiavnica town situated with the oldest Mining School, which was upgraded to the Mining Academy in the year 1762, which was the first University of its kind in Europe. Walking along its ancient streets, many other monuments are waiting for you hiding the well-preserved secrets of the past.

On the other hand, Trenčín town in Považie region gives an evidence of the Roman’s legions visit on its territory and a dominant of which is Trenčín castle with the Well of Love of depth up to 80 m woven stories around the tragic love of Omar and Fatima. The ancient Nitra town is again the oldest residence urban unit in Slovakia. And when deciding to finish the visit of urban reservation areas, do not miss Bratislava with its Bratislava castle towering above the city on the top of detached mass. Using stairs you can go down to Saint Martin Cathedral, in which the Empress Maria Theresa was crowned here.  

However, this is only a small enumeration, what all Slovakia can offer from its history to its visitors. To discover much more of Slovakia, the one thing you should do and it is to manage to just visit it.  

Historical monuments

If you wish to meet a history, the best place for such meeting is Slovakia. Here, you can find the castles, chateaus, mansion houses, and well-preserved ruins, as well. The proud cathedrals, small churches, popular open-air museums and picturesque villages with wooden small houses remembering the past centuries can be found here, as well.

It can be found more than 180 castles and chateaus and approximately 400 mansion houses. They tower mostly in the high detached masses, because their owners had to protect themselves against the enemies’ raids in the past and they served them as strongholds. A history of which falls into the Middle Age and most of them was built in the thirteenth century. Due to the influence of battles and aggressive wars, many of those were burnt out, however, it was mostly successful to refurbish them and nowadays they offer to their visitors an unrepeatable touch with the ancient times.

The most attractive and the most visited ones include Orava castle, Spiš castle, Bojnice castle, Devín castle comes from the Great Moravian Empire period, but also Trenčín castle and Zvolen castle.   From the long line of castles, the following cannot be omitted, and it is Beckov castle and Strečno castle woven stories around it, and Červený kameň castle, and from the view of architecture a unique Bratislava castle, or Betliar and Krásna hôrka castles.

However, if you wish to discover a historical jewel, you must not miss Spiš castle. It is classified as among the most extensive castle complexes in Europe and it is the biggest castle in Slovakia. The area of which is a unique – more than 41,000 m2. And construction of which began already in the twelfth century and it gained its huge area during the next 600 years. In the year 1993 it was listed in the List of the World Cultural Heritage UNESCO. The area, on which it is spread, can go back to existence of the Neanderthal man and the first site of an ancient settlement thereof occurred already in the fifth century before Christ. It can remember the Celts, the royal stock of Arpád, and the raids of Tartars as well, who, however, were not managed to conquer it.

If you wish to breathe the ancient past, it is worth climbing to Bratislava castle rock and to make a walk through the courtyards and chambers of the time-honoured Bratislava castle. From its fortifications it can be seen far behind the Danube up to the neighbouring Austria and Hungary. And when going down the stairs after a couple of steps, you will feel yourself directly in front of the altar of the Saint Martin Cathedral belonging to the one of dominants of the capital of Slovakia. The most famous periods of the Saint Martin Cathedral are the years 1563-1830, when it was the coronation temple of the Hungarian Kingdom. Nineteen coronations took place here and eleven kings were crowned here including the Empress Maria Theresa and eight kings’ wives.

Churches and small churches of various architectural styles, however, can be found in every town, but also in the smallest village of Slovakia. Probably, they were started to be built in the nineteenth century and they fall into the Great Moravian Empire. The oldest sacral monuments include the pre-Romanesque Church of Saint George in Kostoľany comes from the half of the eleventh century.

The unique representations of wooden architecture are the wooden churches of the Eastern Slovakia. The oldest ones come from the Gothic period and they can be found in Hervartov and Tvrdošín. They were the Greek Catholic Churches originally, and later many of them were changed to the Orthodox Churches. They are decorated by the unique Carpathian wooden icons in the Baroque and Rococo style.

Wooden architecture is characteristic also nowadays especially for the Eastern part of Slovakia, but also for the Northern part of Slovakia. You can visit the open-air museums with typical folk buildings remembering the past by the cultural-social events. Besides the open-air museums, you can admire the things of interest in the Monument Reservations of folk architecture.  The most known Monument Reservation includes Čičmany with its wooden houses and white ornamental decoration. The valuables include also the world-known “wooden village” Vlkolínec listed into the World Heritage UNESCO in the year 1993.

Architecture is represented by all its styles in Slovakia. Because buildings underwent gradually to the various reconstructions, according to the just various fashionable styles, several styles can be also seen at some buildings. The Romanesque style is characterized especially by the sacral monuments. The unique objects are the Romanesque chapels and they can be found in Skalica and Bijacovce. If you decide to see more monumental objects, it is recommended you to visit the Saint Martin Cathedral in Spišská Nová Ves and basilicas in Hronský Beňadik, Diakonce, but the Romanesque architecture can be seen on the main towers of Spišský and Trenčiansky castles as well. The Gothic is represented mainly by the Saint Elisabeth Cathedral in Košice, churches of Saint Egidium in Bardejov and Saint Mikuláš in Prešov. Traces of Gothic can be also found in the coronation Cathedral of Saint Martin in Bratislava. The most beautiful Renaissance constructions can be discovered in Spiš region in Kežmarok, Podolínec, Poprad, and the valuables are the town-halls in Bardejov, and Levoča. The Roman Catholic Church of Saint Jakub in Levoča belongs to the most important sacral constructions in Slovakia. Its wooden main altar of Saint Jakub is the biggest of such kind in the world. The originally Gothic Church was built in the fourteenth century on the place of an older church. At the same time the Gothic Chapel of Saint George was also built here. The high slender tower of Saint George Church from the first half of the nineteenth century is the most characteristic element of the town silhouette. The late Gothic main altar of Saint Jakub with its height of 18.6 m is the highest one of such kind in the world. It is made of the lime wood and it was built in the years from 1507 up to 1517 in the workshop of Master Paul from Levoča. The wood-carving works made by Master Paul from Levoča have got the extraordinary artistic value.

From the view of tourism, the one of the most interesting things is the town Banská Štiavnica, which was listed in the List of UNESCO in the year 1993. 191 cultural monuments and 1 cultural monument are situated on the territory of this town. The following includes the Mining Academy, the Old Chateau, the New Chateau is the dominant here and it is the Renaissance stronghold, and the Calvary, natural mining museum and many other unrivalled monuments.

You can find also Bardejov town in the List of UNESCO, which is one of the oldest towns in the central Europe. If you decide to discover of any part of the history of Slovakia, and to visit any town, or village here, you can be sure that it will remain for you the most beautiful experience.  


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