Most interesting wonders of Slovakia
Below are listed the most amazing natural and man made landmarks of Slovakia.
- Dunajec River Gorge – Prešov and Lesser Poland in Poland. Border river between Slovakia and Poland, with up to 300 m tall cliffs in both sides. Here are growing endemic plant species.
- Okno Ohniste – Žilina. Largest natural arch in Slovakia, 20 m high and visually impressive.
- Demänovská cave – Žilina. Most visited show cave and longest cave in Slovakia. Total length of cave system is 40,380 m and only small part is available to tourists. Cave is very beautiful, with up to 41 m high cave rooms. Contains gours and many other very impressive cave formations.
- Dobšinská ice cave – Košice. Impressive ice cave with ice thickness reaching up to 26.5 m. Length of the cave is 1,483 m.
- Baradla (in Slovakia – Domica) – Košice and Hungary, Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén. 26,065 m long cave system. Domica cave part is 5,140 m long. The beautiful cave contains also gours with water.
- Gombasek cave – Košice. 1,525 m long cave with beautiful cave formations. Especially interesting are thin stalactites -just a few milimeters in diameter and up to 3 m long.
- Jasovská cave – Košice. Beautiful cave with countless amazing cave formations, 2,148 m long. People have been living here since the Paleolithic age.
- Krásnohorská Cave – Košice. 1,350 – 1,450 m long cave system. This cave has especially beautiful speleothems (cave formations) including the world’s largest stalagmite – 32.7 m tall and some 12 m in diameter.
- Ochtinská Aragonite Cave – Košice. The best known aragonite cave which is covered with very unusual crystals. Cave is only 300 m long.
Other natural landmarks
- Herlany Geyser – Košice. Temperate water geyser which erupts every 24 – 32 hours up to 15 m high. Geyser is coming from 404.5 m deep well and has been shaped to look like a man made fountain. When the well was made in the 1870, it erupted water up to 112 m high.
- Šútovský Falls – Žilina. Possibly the most impressive (but not the tallest) waterfall in Slovakia – beautiful, weil-formed falls with a height of 38 m.
Man made landmarks
- Havránok cult site – Žilina. Cult site of Celts in an important oppidum – prehistoric hill fort. In the 1st century BC here was built wooden shrine and very tall wooden column. At least seven people have been sacrificed here during Druid rituals.
- Vráble (Fidvár) prehistoric settlement – Nitra. Largest Bronze Age settlement in the Bronze Age of Europe, from around 2000 BC. This settlement was some 20 ha large and had some 1,000 inhabitants. People built buildings along the streets and the settlement was protected with a system of three ditches.
Historical cities and towns
- Banská Štiavnica – Banská Bystrica. Historical city in caldera of an ancient volcano. The medieval center of the city has been preserved completely, without significant changes and includes impressive Renaissance palaces. Under the city are located ancient mines which can be visited also today. Around the town was developed sophisticated water supply network with a network of channels.
- Bardejov – Prešov. This town has very well preserved medieval core and Jewish district. Most buildings in the town are in Gothic and Renaissance styles. Old town is surrounded by fortification walls – some of most sophisticated city walls in the 14th – 15th century.
- Kremnica – Banská Bystrica. Well preserved medieval city in mountains, built above gold mines. Here is located the oldest acting mint in the world, working since 1328 or earlier. Important structure in the city is the enormous castle which includes numerous buildings. 20 km long aqueduct was built in the 15th century.
- Levoča – Prešov. Historical city with exceptionally well preserved medieval center. Here are located many outstanding buildings in Renaissance style. Most of the fortification walls have been preserved. Levoča St.James Church (14th century) contains the largest and tallest Gothic altar in the world – 18.62 m high.
- Spišská Kapitula – Prešov. Group of ecclesiastic buildings – Spišsk St. Martin’s Cathedral, former monastery buildings and other structures, all surrounded by a wall. The cathedral is one of the best examples of Romanesque style in Slovakia, with many details in Gothic style.
- Spišská Sobota – Prešov. Historical center of a town with a group of fine Renaissance buildings.
- Brhlovce – Nitra. Rural village where many buildings have been excavated in the soft volcanic rock in the 16th – 17th centuries.
- Čičmany – Žilina. Oldest folk architecture reserve in the world, protected since the 1977. Traditional wooden houses here are adorned with specific white patterns creating unique sights of the built environment.
- Vlkolínec – Žilina. Historical village with well preserved planning and folk architecture. Village is known since the 1376 and has more than 45 log houses as well as wooden belfry from the 18th century.
- Bojnice castle – Trenčín. Visually impressive "fairy tale" castle, originally built in Gothic style in the 12th century and rebuilt in the 19th – 20th centuries.
- Bratislava castle – Bratislava. Massive castle on the cliff above Danube. Construction of stone castle started here in the 9th century. Castle towers are up to 47 m high. Building of huge historical importance.
- Devín castle – Bratislava. Castle ruins on 212 m tall cliff rising over Danube. First fortifications were built here in the Bronze Age but the present one – in the 13th century. This castle has important role in the history of Moravia and Slovakia. Most impressive is the secluded Maiden Tower.
- Orava castle – Žilina. One of the most impressive castles in this region, built on the top of cliff in the 13th century.
- Spiš castle – Košice. Ruins of one of the largest castles in Europe. This castle was built in the 12th century in the site of earlier fortification.
- Strečno castle – Žilina. Impressive castle ruins in the top of 103 m tall cliff. Stone castle in this site is mentioned since the 1316.
- Trenčín castle – Trenčín. Massive, well preserved castle on the top of mountain. Stone rotunda in castle might be preserved since the times of Great Moravia (7th – 8th century) but most of the castle was built in the later centuries.
- Bratislava church of St. Elisabeth – Bratislava. Beautiful church in Art Nouveau (Hungarian Secessionist) style. The ornate, light blue church was built in 1907-1908.
- Hervartov church – Prešov. This wooden church was built around 1500 and is the oldest wooden church in Slovakia. One of the rare wooden structures with Gothic features.
- Hronsek church – Banská Bystrica. Unusual wooden church, built in 1725 – 1726. Structural design of this church shows some Scandinavian influences although it is not clear how it reached this region.
- Kalvária Banská Štiavnica – Banská Bystrica. Very impressive calvaria, built in late Baroque style. This complex of religious structures includes 3 churches and 22 chapels with huge art values – frescoes, furniture. Constructed in 1744 – 1745.
- Kežmarok church – Prešov. Beautiful wooden church, built in 1717. Church has beautiful frescoes and woodcarvings. It is spacious and can host more than 1500 people.
- Kopčany church of St. Margaret of Antioch – Trnava. One of the oldest churches in Slovakia, standing since the 9th or 10th century – times of Great Moravia. The simple building has pre-Romanesque architecture.
- Košice St. Elisabeth Cathedral – Košice. One of the easternmost Gothic cathedrals in the world and the largest church in Slovakia. Construction of the present church started in the late 14th century – 1508.
- Kostoľany pod Tribečom church of St. George – Nitra. Small and simple stone church, built in the times of Great Moravia, in the late 9th or early 10th century.
- Tvrdošin church – Žilina. Iconic building – old wooden church which was built in the second half of the 15th century and the rebuilt in Renaissance style in the 17th century. Interior is adorned with frescoes – there is painted sky with stars.
- Žehra church – Košice. Picturesque and old church, built in 1275. Church is adorned with wall paintings, the oldest – from the 13th century. Walls paintings show some Byzantine influence.
Other man made landmarks
- Kamzík TV Tower – Bratislava. 196 m tall TV-tower with unique design. Constructed in 1975.
- Most SNP – Bratislava. Iconic bridge – world’s longest cable-stayed bridge with one pylon. This pylon is slanted, with an UFO-like structure on the top, 84.6 m high above Danube. Built in 1967 – 1972.
- Rusovce Mansion – Bratislava. Large and beautiful palace in Neo-Gothic style. The structure incorporates older medieval castle.
Described wonders of Slovakia
This little and charming country has a good share of beautiful landmarks – both natural and man made. Most interesting ones are:
- Historical towns – Slovakia has many picturesque towns with well preserved medieval centers. Some of the most impressive ones are Levoč and Bardejov. Not less impressive are the smaller villages with traditional architecture such as Čičmany.
- Castles – in Slovakia are located several very impressive and enormous castles, such as Spiš and Orava castles.
- Caves – few caves in the world can compare in their beauty to Slovakian caves. There are many caves in the country and it is hard to single out the most beautiful ones but some are unique, especially Ochtinská Aragonite Cave.
Featured: Ochtinská Aragonite Cave
There are some caves in the world which are adorned with very unusual crystals formed from aragonite. The best known aragonite cave is Ochtinská Aragonite Cave in Slovakia. It is only some 300 m long but its beauty is admired by more than 30,000 visitors per year.
Slovakia is one of the last of Central Europe’s secrets to be discovered by travelers, and having joined the European Union in 2004, is now in a better position than ever to show what it has to offer. Impressively situated on the Danube, the capital, Bratislava, boasts stunningly restored Baroque, Rococo, and Art Nouveau buildings.
Slovakia has struggled with a low international profile. Often overlooked as the Czech Republic’s little sister, it is a young country with an old culture and history, and a people who are proudly Central (not Eastern) European. Although for much of the twentieth century Czechs and Slovaks lived together in one state, there are important differences between them, differences that ultimately contributed to separation in 1993 and the rebirth of a sovereign Slovak state.