Archive for the ‘High Tatras’ Category

Tatranská Lomnica and Štrbské Pleso

Located in the High Tatras Mountains, Lomnica is known mainly as the ski resort, but its worth visiting also in summer. The city offers the easy access to the Tatra National Park, with several hiking routes including the Main Tatra Route. The hiking can start also in Štrbské Pleso, city connected with Tatranska Lomnica with a railway. It is the best starting point for one of the most popular routes – on Rysy and Kryvan.
In winter the tranquil town changes into bustling, vivid ski resort. The wide range of routes, would satisfy both the beginners and experienced skiers. There are no waiting in the long lines – six cableways and two chair-lift can operate more than eight thousand people per hour.
Independenty of the season works the biggest attraction of Tatranska Lomnica – one of the sweepest cable cars in Europe. The amazing ride is the only way (there are no hiking route) to the Lomnica peak, rising 2632 meters a.s.l..

Stara Ľubovňa

First mentioned in 1292, in the middle of 14th century gain a rights of Free Royal Borough. The city flourished under the Polish rule, later, when it came back to the Hungarian Empire, it lost its importance.
The city main square is surrounded by a middle class houses. One of them houses interactive exhibition about 19th century city life, with reconstructions of middle class house and some workshops.
High above the city rises the Ľubovňa Castle, built in 13th century on a Hungarian border. It protected not only the lands close to the border, but also the merchants, who travelled north, to Poland. In 1412 Hungarian ruler met here with Polish king, and pledged the castle and cities in region Spiš to the Polish crown.
In 1553 the fire destroyed big part of the castle, and reconstructions was taken mainly in renaissance style. Shortly later, the Spiš region came back to Hungarians and importance of castle lessen. For long it lied in ruins, but now is renovated and a museum is settled inside.
A group of rural buildings rounding castle is an open air museum, and add the charm to the view of the castle hill.

Kežmarok

Kežmarok is located really close to the Tatra Mountains, which make it important holiday resort, both winter and summer. It consist of three separate settlements, which was joined together in 13th century, and in the 14th century was surrounded by a city walls.
Historical centre of Kežmarok is declared as a Town Monument Reserve. From the long periods of history it was a rich town with a fluorishing trade and handicraft. The most famous articles was linen and other textiles, but that was not all – in 17th century in Kežmarok works twenty one different guilds.
The city’s central point is a Town Hall on a main square, and the most unique building is a wooden evangelical church, made without single metal piece. Even church organs have wooden pipes.
But with no doubts the most important monument in Kežmarok is a city castle. Built in 15th century and reconstructed in 16th and 17th, to be more a palace than a defensive fortress. For a six years, the castle was a prison for princess Beata Laska. She is considered as a first real tourist in central Europe, because she was hiking mountains for three days without any particular reason. When she come back, her husband decided of imprisoning her – in the middle of 17th century her behaviour was highly improper.

Červený Kláštor Monastery

In 1319 the Carthusian monks get some lands from a ruler master Kakas, and built a monastery in a valley of st. Anton. This localisation in a picturesque Pieniny Mountains, made it later one of most visited Monasteries in Slovakia. Originally, the walls of the complex was made from a bricks, and that is how it get a name Red Monastery (Červený Kláštor).
The central building is obviously the 14th century Church of st. Anton, unusual one-nave church, renovated in Baroque style, and with Baroque altair. The rest of the monastery was also rebuilt, but some of Gothic features are still visible. One of them is a wall painting in the refectory, dating back to 1520.
The huge part of exhibition in a monastery is a herbarium of monk Fray Cyprian, known for interest in medical usage of plants. Next to the complex grow the very old lime trees, which are declared the protected area Pieninské Lipy.

Spiska Sobota

Nowadays district of Poprad, was for a long time separated town, and in some periods of history one of the most important in region. The historical centre is well preserved in its complete shape, creating a city heritage reserve. The triangle main square of the city is surrounded by a burgher houses, in a specific, Slovakian style. The best example of it are the tanners houses on a north-eastern end. One of city’s landscapes is the church of st. George, firstly Romanesque, later rebuilt as Gothic. The treasures of the church’s interior are five Gothic altarpieces, and the external shape is dominated by a Renaissance belfry. The other interesting buildings are the town hall, which was built in 18th century as a palace, and the Evangelical church, with altar painting of Christ on the Mount of Olives from 1852.

Poprad

The biggest city of High Tatras region is also a gateway to the best known Slovakia mountains, and all attractions located between them. This cultural and economical centre was for long only one of many similar towns, located at the river Poprad. Only in 18th century it started to develop, and finally, after realizing the railway Kosice – Bohumin, it even absorb the neighbouring town Spiska Sobota.
The main square of the city, Namestie sv. Egidia, take the untypical shape of a spindle, and is surrounded by a Baroque and Classicist houses. In the centre of the square, lies a Roman-Catholic church of st. Egidia from 13th century, which gave its name to the square.
In Poprad is located the Podtatranske Museum, which include all information of the region. The part of it is a Tatra Gallery, with large collection of art, and in the building of old power plant there is a contemporary art gallery.
From 1945, one of Poprad districts is Spiska Sobota, which was before the separate city.