Tour of Slovak Folk Heritage
In the age of computers and fast cars we can think about how our ancestors used to live. They lived a practical life in harmony with nature.
We can see this with our own eyes in the museums of folk architecture still inhabited by people – Cicmany and Vlkolinec or we can just visit the open-air museums which have not only traditional houses,
furnishings and equipment but which offer also the Slovak handicrafts demonstrations.
The biggest outdoor exposition in Slovakia is the Museum of the Slovak Village in Martin. It presents all the types of rustic dwellings with their traditional equipment, wooden beds and puffy duvets as well as folk costumes
and embroidery displayed on the tables. The Museum of the Liptov Village in Pribylina offers not only a rich programme but also its own exposition of animals, including the original Carpathian animal breeds.
The inseparable part of the Museum of Kysuce Village in Nova Bystrica – Vychylovka is a historical logging back swath railway which once used to connect Kysuce and Orava regions.
Nowadays it is the only functioning historical logging back swath railway in Europe and one of the few in the world.
Come and see with your own eyes that once it was possible to live without electricity, computers and other conveniences of our modern life.
Arrival to Bratislava, accommodation in 3* hotel in city centre, free time.
After breakfast meeting with guide in hotel`s lobby.
Our first stop will be in Modra - an old vineyard town in the vineyard region of the Little Carpathians.
Except basic sightseeing in Modra, we will visit Manufacture of majolica. In the past, also various crafts, apart from wine growing, developed and the potters became the most outstanding of them. Although Modra has no railway what lead to decay of crafts, vine growing and production of majolica still thrived.
In 1883 workshop for production of pottery and a school was founded in Modra. The Slovak Folk Majolica still maintains the old tradition. The local produce, so typical for Modra, is sold in the local plant. It is much sought for both by Slovaks and foreigners.
Our second stop will be place where the time stopped. You will explore traditional forms of settlement, customs and life of Slovak people in the distinctive area with scattered farm dwellings (kopanice) of the surroundings of the Myjava town.
First day ends in Trencin town, famous for its castle, which is along with those of Spis and Devin one of the biggest in Europe. It was the royal castle from the 11th century. It had an important role above all in time of Turkish attacks. It was property of several aristocratic families while Matus Cak of Trencin was the best known owner of the Castle. He also owned other Slovak castles, which won him the nickname of the Lord of the river Vah and the Tatras.
This day starts in Cicmany 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.
This day we will explore 2 unique open air museums which represent folk architecture, customs and crafts of Kysuce and Orava regions.
Museum of the Kysuce Village- The outdoor ethnographic exposition presents the "kopanice" type of scattered settlements in hilly areas which was typical of the Kysuce region. The main reason for the establishment of the Museum of Kysuce Village was to save rare objects of folk architecture from the villages of Riecnica and Harvelka that would have otherwise been inundated due to the construction of Nova Bystrica dam. In situ constructions – seasonal shelters for shepherds, so called "cholvárky" have also been preserved in the open-air Museum. The centre of the village comprises the Chapel of Virgin Mary - Lady of the Rosary from Zborov nad Bystricou, an inn from the village of Korna and the oldest dwelling house from 1806 from Oscadnica. The quiet environment, spacious area of the exposition and beautiful natural surroundings stimulate the interest of its visitors.
Forrest Railway of Vychylovka passes through the area of the museum. The railway uses switchbacks to overcome the local steep inclination and the altitude difference of 217 metres. It began to operate in 1926 after two separate forest railways were connected. Today it is main tourist attraction in the region.
On the way to the next Open air museum we will stop in Oravsky Podzamok to visit 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 in 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.
Museum of the Orava region.
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.).
We will will raft down the river Dunajec on the traditional wooden rafts in National Park of Pieniny and we will visit Lubovna Castle and Spis Castle.
Unforgettable is a ride on wooden rafts through a Dunajec river canyon- largest in Central Europe, in the magnificent scenery of the Pieniny National Park. Raftsmen dressed in traditional goral costumes talk during a raft ride about local history,rare fauna and flora, as well as legends and tales connected with surrounding rocks. Rafting starts at the quay bellow the village of Majere on the way to Cerveny Klastor. Slovak rafts, steered by two experienced raftsmen, finish their ride at the Slovak-Polish state border in the village of Lesnica. The rafts are actually wooden structures consisting of five small boats tied together. The sail on the winding river is 11 km long, takes 90 minutes and carries ten passengers at a time.
On a limestone cliff of 711 m over Stara Lubovna in the north-east of Spis stands Lubovna Castle. Rulers met here in the past, it is the place where Polish coronation jewels were hidden and where famous adventurer, noble man and King of Madagascar, Moric Benovsky was imprisoned. An independent museum exhibition is presented by an open air museum in the area at the foot of the castle hill. It consists of a set of folk buildings that form a picturesque settlement around the Castle.
In the eastern horizont of Spisske Podhradie towers the Spis Castle. As a National Cultural Monument, Spis Castle with its area of more than four ha, and partially in ruins, is one of the largest castle compounds in Central Europe. Spis Castle was included in the UNESCO list of monuments belonging to the world cultural heritage in 1993.
This day you will see wooden churche, which is inscribed in list of the UNESCO heritage, you will visit village Vlkolinec where people still live in traditional lifestyle and you will explore life of miners in past.
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 in comparative study of ICOMOS (International Council for Monuments and Settlements) it was classified as the best-reserved 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.
We will do sightseeing in Banska Stiavnica and then 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.
Farewell and departure.
TOURS IN SLOVAKIA
- Tour of Slovak Folk Heritage
- Wooden Churches Tour
- UNESCO Sights Tour
- National Parks Tour
- Sheep Breeding Country Tour
- Walking & Hiking Tours
- Backpacking & Trekking Tours
- Cycling and Mountain Bike Tours
- Horse-riding Tours
- Crafts and Nature Eco Holiday
- Bird Watching Tours
- High Tatras Tours
- Self-guided Walking Tours
CENTRAL EUROPE TOURS
- Grand Tour of Czechoslovakia
- Slovakia & Prague Tour
- Central Europe Tour
- Tour from Vienna to Krakow
- Tour from Budapest to Krakow
- Jewish Heritage Tour