Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Slovakia's UNESCO Heritage Sites

Majestic Castles and Historic Towns
24 Apr 2015 | From Zuzana of Slovakia

Despite its rather small size, Slovakia offers great diversity of landscapes, untouched nature, numerous magical castles, charming historic towns - many of which are on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Shown in the postcard are Levoča, Bardejov, Žehra, Vlkolínec, Spišská Kapitula, Lukov-Venécia, Banská Štiavnica, and Kežmarok.

Levoča  is a town in the Prešov Region of eastern Slovakia. The town has a historic center with a well preserved town wall, a Renaissance church with the highest wooden altar in the world, carved by Master Paul of Levoča, and many other Renaissance buildings. Another Slovak town inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage List is the historic Bardejov, one of the oldest Slovak towns. Bardejov is spoken of as the “most Gothic of towns in Slovakia”. Its centre consists of a set of historical buildings arranged in the area limited by an almost continuous belt of town fortifications.

Žehra is a village and municipality in the Spišská Nová Ves District in the Košice Region of central-eastern Slovakia. The Žehra Church  was declared a Czechoslovak National Monument in 1985, and in 1993 was listed as a World Heritage Site together with the nearby Spiš Castle, Spišská Kapitula, the National nature reserve of Dreveník (a travertine formation).

Vlkolínec, situated in the centre of Slovakia, is a remarkably intact settlement of 45 buildings with the traditional features of a central European village.  It is a remarkably well preserved rural medieval settlement featuring wooden architecture typical of hillside and mountain areas.

A unique church dedicated to Saint Kosmos and Saint Damian stands on the top of a hill at the edge of the village of Lukov-Venécia in north-eastern Slovakia.  It is the log structure consisting of three parts built on stone masonry. The architectural particularity of this church is the overhanging attic on pillars around the building. It is also the only church in Slovakia with a cellar. Another wooden church listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site is the Evangelical articular churches in Kezmarok. These “articled” churches are built under the article of the law issued by Emperor Leopold I at the end of the 17th century, and possess an extraordinary worldwide value.

Banská Štiavnicais a town in central Slovakia, in the middle of an immense caldera created by the collapse of an ancient volcano. For its size, the caldera is known as Štiavnica Mountains.  It is a completely preserved medieval town. Because of their historical value, the town and its surroundings were proclaimed by the UNESCO to be a World Heritage Site.

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