Itinerary

Specific samples of sacral architecture in Slovakia are wooden churches. Their folk builders expressed the perfect harmony of the human soul with nature and the effort to disengage from earthly worries. Among the oldest are Gothic wooden churches (Hervartov, Tvrdosin). Evangelical "articled" churches are other types of wooden churches (Svaty Kriz, Lestiny, Kezmarok, Hronsek). The construction of "articled" churches was under the article of the law issued by Emperor Leopold I at the end of the 17th century. The third type of wooden churches built in eastern Slovakia originates mainly from the 18th century. First, they belonged to the Greek Catholic denomination, and later some of them transformed into Orthodox churches.
The unique features of the East Christian rite are visible in the interior decoration and furniture. Typical Carpathian icons fitted into iconostases ornamented in the Baroque and Rococo styles dominate the churches.

Wooden churches of the Slovak part of the Carpathian Mountain Area were listed on UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2008, possessing an extraordinary worldwide value. The churches include Roman Catholic churches in Hervartov and Tvrdosin, Evangelical articled churches in Kezmarok, Lestiny and Hronsek, and Eastern-rite churches in Bodruzal, Ladomirova, and Ruska Bystra.
While discovering the wooden churches of Slovakia, we will visit many monumental places during this tour.
Among the most popular are Monument Reserve of Folk Architecture in Vlkolinec, Orava Castle, Museum of the Orava village in Zuberec, Kezmarok town, Bradejov town, and Kosice city.

  1. Day 1 Arrival in Zvolen, Slovakia.

    - Arrival in Slovakia; Zvolen town
    - Accommodation
    - Free time

  2. Day 2 UNESCO sights: wooden articled churches in Hronsek and Lestiny villages.
    Optional program: Folk architecture in Vlkolinec village (UNESCO) or Orava castle.

    - Breakfast
    - Visit wooden church in Hronsek
    - Visit wooden church in Lestiny
    - Transfer to Zuberec, accommodation

    Wooden articled church in Hronsek is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List since 2008. The wooden church and wooden belfry originate from 1726. The capacity of the church is 1,100 chairs.
    In early November 2000, Prince Charles from British Royal Family visited the church.

    The wooden articled Evangelical church in Lestiny has lavishly painted interior decoration dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries. Visitors are especially captivated by the main altar from the beginning of the 18th century, church pews with coats of arms, and Renaissance baptistery from the 17th century.

    Options:
    1. Monument Reserve of Folk Architecture in Vlkolinec village (UNESCO)
    2. Orava Castle in Oravsky Podzamok

  3. Day 3 Visit to open-air Museum of the Orava Village in Zuberec, wooden church in Tvrdosin (UNESCO), wooden church in Kezmarok (UNESCO).

    - Breakfast
    - Open air museum of the Orava Village in Zuberec
    - Wooden church in Tvrdosin
    - Wooden church in Kezmarok
    - Accommodation in Kezmarok

    A unique open-air Museum of the Orava Village covers an area of about 20 hectares. Typical folk buildings moved here from various regions of Orava. Visitors can see authentic peasant houses, larders, lumber rooms, farmsteads, shepherd's huts, haylofts, sacral buildings (a wooden church, cemetery, and belfry), and the craftsman's and linen makers houses (a Wallachian mill and sawmill, a potter's furnace and fulling mill).

    The pride of Tvrdosin and its oldest preserved building is the Gothic wooden Roman-Catholic church of All Saints situated in the local cemetery. Its origins date back to the second half of the 15th century. Later in the 17th century, the church was reconstructed in Renaissance style. The Baroque altar with the painting of All Saints dominates the interior. The magnificent dome paintings co-create the Gothic mysticism of the premises.

    One of the best-preserved Slovak wooden sacral buildings is the articled Evangelical church in Kezmarok. The church originates in 1717, built next to an older sacral stone building from 1593, which is a sacristy today. This unique wooden building is of yew and red spruce wood without using a single metal component. The Baroque interior of the church and the organ are also of wood.

  4. Day 4 UNESCO heritage: wooden church in Hervartov village and Bardejov historic town.

    - Breakfast
    - Wooden church in Hervartov
    - Bardejov town sightseeing
    - Accommodation in Bardejov

    The Roman Catholic wooden church of St Francis of Assis in Hervartov originates from the end of the 15th century. It is the oldest and best-preserved wooden church in Slovakia. Gothic pictures and wall paintings from 1655 and 1805 are the most valuable parts of its interior.

    Bardejov town, one of the oldest Slovak towns, rightly awarded the European award, the gold medal of ICOMOS Foundation of UNESCO in 1986.
    The buildings in the historic center create the Town Monument Reserve (UNESCO). Bardejov is known as the Most Gothic town in Slovakia. Its center consists of historical buildings arranged in the area limited by a belt of town fortifications.
    The most significant monument of the square is the Roman-Catholic Basilica of St Egidius from the 15th century, located in its northern section

  5. Day 5 UNESCO sights: wooden churches in Bodruzal and Ladomirova villages. Transfer to Snina.
    Optional program: The Museum of Ukrainian Culture in Svidnik.

    - Breakfast
    - Wooden church in Ladomirova
    - Wooden church in Bodruzal
    - Transfer to Snina
    - Accommodation in Snina

    Greek Catholic wooden church of St Michael the Archangel in Ladomirova is from 1742, built without a single metal nail. Independent belfry with column construction stands by the church. Valuable iconostasis and altar are from the mid-18th century.
    It is a five-row wooden architecture filled with icons partially destroyed in World War II.

    Greek Catholic wooden church of St Nicolas in Bodruzal dates to 1658. The log building consists of three parts. Its shingle roof is dissected and has three little towers. Preserved remains of wall paintings from the 18th century decorate its interior. The iconostasis and several icons are from the end of the 18th century.
    The church underwent a complete reconstruction in 2004.

    Option:
    Museum of Ukrainian Culture in Svidnik - documents the fundamental phases of cultural, historical, political, and social development of Ruthenians - Ukrainians in Slovakia from earliest times to the present.

  6. Day 6 Greek Catholic wooden churches in Topola, Rusky Potok, Ulicske Krive and Ruska Bystra. Transfer to Kosice.

    - Breakfast
    - Visit wooden churches in Topola, Rusky Potok, Ulicske Krive, Ruska Bystra
    - Transfer to Kosice
    - Short walking in Kosice city center
    - Accommodation in Kosice

    The Church of St Michael the Archangel in Topola is from the end of the 17th century. The church is a log structure on a low stone foundation with three interior premises. Its massive roof in the shape of a truncated pyramid is ended just by one tower. The iconostasis from 18th-century architecture has four rows. Especially notable is the icon Deesis on the choir banister.

    In Ruska Bystra is the Greek Catholic wooden church of St Nicolas the Bishop. The log building originates from the beginning of the 18th century, consists of three interior parts, and has a shingle roof. The interior in the Baroque and Rococo style is from the beginning of the 18th century.

    Kosice city, as the first in Slovakia, gained the prestigious title of European Capital of Culture. Kosice is known for its rich history and interesting cultural life.
    Almost all city monuments concentrate in historic town center making it the largest Town Monument Reserve of Slovakia.
    Dominant of the main square and the city itself is the monumental Gothic Cathedral of St Elisabeth, the largest church in Slovakia and the easternmost situated Gothic cathedral of western type in Europe.

  7. Day 7 Farewell.

    - Breakfast
    - End of the tour

Overview

from €1146 per person

date_range7 days

todayAll year, best start is Monday

Sightseeing and cultural discovery tour

Easy

languageEnglish, French, Deutsch

flagPick up/drop off on your request

Book this Tour
Articled Protestant Church in Lestiny UNESCO heritage The Articled Protestant Church in Hronsek UNESCO heritage The Articled  Protestant Church of Holy Trinity in Kezmarok UNESCO heritage Zuberec Orava Village The Church of All Saints in Tvrdosin UNESCO heritage The Church of St. Francis of Assisi in Hervartov UNESCO heritage Bardejov medieval main square The Church of St Nicholas in Bodruzal UNESCO heritage The Church of Archangel Michael in Ladomirova UNESCO heritage Kosice The Church of St Nicholas in Ruska Bystra UNESCO heritage Topola wooden church

Included

  • Trip transport
  • Accommodation with breakfast in stylish comfortable hotels and guest houses:
    - 1 night in Zvolen
    - 1 night in Zuberec
    - 1 night in Kezmarok
    - 1 night in Bardejov
    - 1 night in Snina
    - 1 night in Kosice
  • Services of a private guide-driver for 5 days

Excluded

  • Meals (except for breakfast)
  • Admissions to proposed sites (amount of entries to churches is mostly voluntary)
  • Airport transfers on arrival and departure day (can be arranged for an extra fee).
    It is required to book the transfers at least two weeks in advance.