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Slovakia Heritage - Tour of Slovak Folk Heritage

In this high tech modern age we can hardly imagine how our ancestors used to live without cell phones, modern vehicles and intenet. We can only assume that they lived a practical life in harmony with nature. But was this way of life such ideal as we think now? On this tour when visiting open air museums of folk architecture and traditional villages still inhabited we will have opportunity to find answer on this question.

Come and see with your own eyes that once it was possible to live without electricity, computers and other conveniences of our modern life.

Itinerary

Day 1:

- arrival in Slovakia; Bratislava town
- accommodation
- free time to leisure

Overnight in Bratislava

Day 2:

Cicmany After breakfast meeting with guide in hotel lobby.

Car transfer to Martin, on the way stop in Cicmany village surrounded by the mountains Strazovske vrchy and Mala Fatra. The unique and characteristic element of log houses in Cicmany are their exteriors ornamented in geometrical pattern. The authors of ornaments, as rule, were women who originally adorned only the corners of houses first with mud and later with lime. The best-preserved ones include the building of Radenov dom and the neighbouring Gregorov dom, which shelters the ethnographic exhibition where visitors can learn something more about the history and folklore of this region.

Our further stop will be The Museum of the Slovak Village - the largest ethnographic open-air exposition in Slovakia. The museum, located in Jahodnicke haje in the southeastern part of the town of Martin, has been built by the Slovak National Museum in Martin since the 1960s. It provides a picture of traditional folk architecture, housing and the way of life of people who lived in northwestern Slovakia in the latter half of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century.

Overnight in Martin

Day 3:

Oravsky Castle On this day we will visit the open-air museum of Orava region, wooden church is Lestiny village and the Orava castle.

Museum of Orava region in Zuberec
Over an area of about 20 hectares, and on both sides of the crystal clean Studeny brook, is a village containing the typical folk buildings moved here from various regions of Orava. A visitor can see here all kinds of buildings - peasant houses, larders, lumber rooms, farmsteads, shepherd's huts, haylofts, etc.; sacral buildings (a wooden church, cemetery and belfry); and the craftsman's and linen-maker's houses (a Wallachian mill and sawmill, a potter's furnace and fulling mill, etc.).

The wooden church in Lestiny village
is the articled Evangelical church of 1688 with wooden belfry was included in 2008, along with seven wooden churches of the Slovak part of Carpathian Mountain Area, on the UNESCO Word Heritage List. Visitors are attracted especially by the main altar from the beginning of the 18th century, church pews with coats of arms, Renaissance baptistery of the 17th century, a copy of the burial flag of J. Zmeskal, and an epitaph of M. Meska of 1753.

the Orava Castle - most attractive tourist sight of the northern Slovakia
The castle, much like others in Slovakia, stands on the site of old wooden forts and it was constructed after the Tatar invasion in 1241. Originally, it was built in the Romanesque and Gothic styles and later reconstructed in the Renaissance and Neo-Gothic styles. In the Castle itself Oravske muzeum (the Orava Museum) was established with numerous series of expositions. In the oldest part of the upper castle, an archaeological exposition documenting the oldest history of the Orava settlement is installed. Natural history exhibition is installed on the bottom floors of the central castle with samples of fauna and flora. On the upper floor of the central castle, an ethnographic exposition is placed. Historical exposition consists of a group of medieval and Renaissance buildings with their original furniture. Seeing the castle also includes short performances due to which it belongs among the most attractive in Slovakia.

Overnight in Martin

Day 4:

Spania Dolina On this day we will visit the village of Vlkolinec where people still live in traditional lifestyle. We will learn of the lifestyle of miners in the past and we will visit another wooden church insribed on the UNESCO list.

Vlkolinec - a monument reserve of folk architecture is extraordinary and remarkable oasis of folk architecture. It was included in the List of the World Cultural and Nature Heritage of UNESCO in 1993. The community was first referred to in 1376. Its unique compound of original folk buildings remained untouched by modern construction. Based on comparative study of ICOMOS (International Council for Monuments and Settlements) it was classified as the best-preserved settlement of this time within the Carpathian Architecture. Originally it was the settlement of loggers, shepherds and farmers.

The Monument Reserve of Popular Architecture in the central Slovakia commune Spania Dolina consists of a unique set of miner houses built of wood and stones. The former mining village is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful in Slovakia. Copper and silver ores were mined here in the past. Along with the walled structures once owned by the mining administration a substantial part of local architecture is formed by houses of miners mostly built of logs on stone foundations. Both the stone or wooden walls were plastered with mud and painted with lime. The saddle roofs with gables were originally covered by shingles. The majority of preserved houses are from the 19th century.

The wooden articled church in Hronsek, along with seven wooden churches of the Slovak part of Carpathian Mountain Area, was included on the UNESCO's Word Heritage List in 2008. The wooden articled church from 1726 is set in the wonderful environment of big lime trees. There are 1,100 chairs in this church. Its organ was fitted in 1764. Four bulky lime trees stand in its yard. Fine wooden belfry from 1726 stands nearby.

Overnight in Banska Stiavnica

Day 5:

Banska Stiavnica We will do sightseeing in Banska Stiavnica and afternoon we will depart for Bratislava.

Banska Stiavnica lies amid the forests of the Stiavnicke Mts. and is included on the List of the World Cultural Heritage of UNESCO. The former mining town is one of the most beautiful and in historical terms one of the most interesting towns in Slovakia. Banska Stiavnica progressively became the biggest mining centre in the Habsburg Monarchy in the 18th century. Silver ore prevailed among the mined metals and Banska Stiavnica won the attribute of “silver town”. In 1735, the oldest mining school in the Kingdom of Hungary was founded here, which was promoted to the Banska akademia (Mining Academy) in 1762, the first university of its kind in the world. The buildings in the historic centre are included in the Town Monument Reserve. The Banska Stiavnica reserve comprises as many as 360 structures. Together they present a unique set of high cultural and historical value, which is set into the wonderful environment of the Stiavnicke Mts.

Overnight in Bratislava

Day 6:

Farewell and departure.