It is a bit strange in the fast-paced and dynamic 21st century to find the peace and quiet pastoral rhythm of life in the heart of Europe. That is why I recommend you to visit Slovakia.
The inhabitants of this country have managed to carry over the centuries the calm rhythm of life, to preserve their rich nature, and to preserve their cultural monuments for future generations.
Slovakia is a relatively small country with an area of less than 50,000 square kilometers and a population of just over 5 million. Its nature is incredibly pristine and diverse. About 45% of the country is covered with forests, mainly coniferous. Much of its territory is occupied by the Western Carpathians, whose highest peak is Gerlahovski Shield – 2655 m. Around the Danube and its two tributaries – Vakh and Hron are located lowlands. To the east is a small part of the Tisza Valley.
On the territory of Slovakia there are nine national nature parks, occupying 18% of the country, 1200 thermal springs, 3800 famous caves, lakes and cultural monuments tracing the history of its people.
The High Tatras National Park is the oldest, established in 1948. This is the area of the highest peaks of the Carpathians and is characterized by traces of glaciers, glacier lakes, native plant and animal species. There are 300 peaks in this small space. There are many huts, rehabilitation and rest stations. The UNESCO-listed Polish-Slovak Bioreserve belongs to this park. Belianska jaskyna is the only cave open to tourists.
Going to Slovakia and not seeing its castles is simply unforgivable. In western Slovakia are the castles:
– Beckov Castle is located about 20 kilometers from Trencin. Its ruins rise above the rocks of Brechkov. Here is a museum that has stored the documents of the castle.
– Bojnice Castle is the most famous and beautiful monument in Slovakia. It rises with its pyramidal structure and round towers. It hosts art and history exhibitions throughout the year. As an attraction, you can participate in falconry, see the oldest linden tree in Slovakia and attend the International Festival of Spirits and Spiritualism.
“Cachtice Castle has a grim reputation.” It rises ominously above the rocks. In the early 17th century it belonged to Countess Elizabeth Bathori. According to legend, she bathed in the blood of young virgins to preserve her youth. More than 600 girls from the surrounding area are said to have fallen victim to it. To admire the Gothic, take a trip on the “Slovak Gothic Street”. The region of Spissko-gemersky kras is famous for its monuments of Gothic architecture and is called “Gothic Street”. It is 267 km long and passes through the Route Spissky Stvrtok – Dravce – Hrabusice – Levoca – Spisska Kapitula – Zehra – Spisske Vlachy – Spisska Nova Ves – Markusovce. You can enjoy the frescoes in Zehra and Dravce, the castles Spissko and Markusovce, the churches in Zehra and Dravce and more.
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