SK: Spisska Bela – A Glimpse of the Past
Spisska Bela town is located in the north of Poprad Basin, below the huge Belianske Tatras, at the crossroads to Kezmarok, Stara Lubovna, Zamagurie and the High Tatras. In today's journey across Slovakia we will explore the beauty of this amazing town.
In the last article we were talking about our experiences from the visit of the castle in Strazky. In the present, it and surrounding sights are part of Spisska Bela. Our journey today will continue. This time we went to the historical center of Spisska Bela. It enchanted us instantly because it offers an unusual glimpse of the past on several square meters. The history of this town began in 1263. Spisska Bela received privileges of the city and since then there were built many marvels of architecture. Also many important figures known not only in Slovakia but also in other countries.
Historical Center of the Town
In 2005, the town center of Spisska Bela was declared municipal historical reservation . No wonder. There are located original settlements that have kept their groundplan. It consists of two lines of houses, the so called summer and winter sides. The landmark of this area is a church with a bell tower . The houses were adjusted to foot or carriage traffic. Originally they had only a ground floor where its inhabitants live and the first floor was a storage or granary. The back part of the house was for agricultural purposes and also it was something of a defense line for an outside threat. Also roofs are characteristic for their high refracted shields visible from the street and covered with shingles. It’s a pity that their owners made some insensitive touches on the buildings and that the buildings were declared reservation so late, because it could avoid unnecessary damage
We still wanted to get closer and explore particular landmarks. We started by the church of St Anthony the Pilgrim . It was built in the 13th century mostly by German settlers. There are rare altars, plastics and late-Gothic baptistery. The dominant part of the church, a national cultural heritage sight, is a high clock tower.
Right next to the church, there is a Renaissance bell tower . In eastern Slovakia it is a symbol of the reformation spreading. The bell tower has a square ground plan. In the upper part, sound windows split it. These are apertures without sgraffitti. The tower ends with a plate antique motif, a specialty of east-Slovakian renaissance. There are three bells in the bell tower. The last but not least is the Marian Column of Assumption of Mary or the Evangelical church in Spisska Bela.
All sights are documented along a historical tour pathway: a historical road through Spisska Bela. Its information boards are done in two languages, Czech and German. Even here historical origin of the people is reflected.
Notable personas of the town
We can’t forget important personas of the town. The most known around the world is certainlyJozef Maximilian Petzval, who was born here and worked here. He is known as a university professor, mathematician, physicist and, predominantly, as a inventor of better camera optics. The house he was born in was rebuilt into Petzval’s Museum . Near the museum there is another museum devoted to Michala Greisigera, a physician that made landmarks discoveries on prehistoric settlement and folk culture in the Tatranian area. We could go on and on… Simply put, Spisska Bela is a town of many glimpses of the past.
Tipy na výlety do okolí
Those of you who prefer active tourist tips we recommend you to visit Beliansky Pond, a relatively new recreation area adjacent to the city. Also a bike trail running from Spisska Bela to the Tatranska Basin is unusual because it offers beautiful views of the High Tatras. .
Near Spisska Bela (ca. 11 km) there is a national nature reservation of the Bielanske Tatry . The reservation is a part of the Tatranian National Park. Every year tourists not only from Slovakia but also from abroad ocme here to admire rich flora and fauna and supremely beautiful limestone massives . There are 100 caves in this rock formations. But only one of them is opened to the public, the Belianska Cave . We will write more about it soon. Also cottage Plesnivec is worth visiting. It is located in Dolina Sedmi pramenu.
Text and photo: Oskár Mažgút
Today our steps are directed to eastern Slovakia. To the royal city of Kezmarok that is not only a significant historical center of the region of Spis but it is also a place of cultural variety and unique personalities.
With our camcorder we move to Spisske Podhradie town. Above on a cliff lures one of Slovakia’s largest castle compounds – Spissky Castle. The castle is actually administered by Zehra despite Spisske Podhradie is sort of an entrance gate to the castle. This is one of many interesting facts you will learn in this article.
This time we visit the east of Slovakia. Our destination aUNESCO landmarks. We are going to make our trip about history as well as tourism. We start at Spisska Nova Ves.
On our trip we saw Spisske Podhradi last week. Also we climbed up castle hill to magnificent Spissky Castle. There we walked onto a yellow trail which akes us through unique nature around and also the town of Zehra.
Summer is getting closer. It is the best time for tourism. We take you to a paradise, a Slovakian one actually. We start our trek in Smizany village. There also starts a nature trail.
There are many beautiful towns and villages in east Slovakia. We visit one of them today. This one is situated between Branisko, the Levoccske hills, the Hornadska basin just several kilometers from Spissky Castle. The village is called Polanovce. There are interesting buildings as well as beautiful nature.
Today we visit an ancient town with a complext of the most valuable landmarks in Slovakia. It is part of UNESCO (since 2009) with Spissky Castle and Spisska Kapitula. We talk about beautiful town of Levoca.
We visited the town of Master Paul last week – Levoca. We move 11 kilometers to the south to Spisska Nova Ves. This town is considered the gateway to the national park of Slovensky Raj.
Last week started an autumn in the town of Svit, and we will continue in it even today. We told you some basic facts about the foundation of one of Slovakia’s youngest towns. We walked among its typical brick houses and found there a mark pointing to a nature trail.
Today we head back along the eastern Slovakia. In our two-part series, we are going to visit one of the most technical monuments in the Slovak Republic - Prešov Solivar.
After quite a long time we set off to nature again. This time we take you to Kysel gorge in Slovensky Raj national park.
Today we head to eastern Slovakia in the former village Strážky, which is currently part of the local Spišska Bela. Strážky lies on the main route between the Royal City Kežmarok and the previously mentioned city Spišska Bela. Known for its spectacular castle, an English park and a unique bell tower. And for these unusual sights pointed our steps.
In the last part we briefly introduced you to rich history of Kezmarok Castle. Today we will visit a unique museum. It is located in the castle and we recommend you to visit it very much.
The village of Litmanova is not only well-known for appearance of the Virgin Mary that happened there on Zvir in the years 1990 to 1995. Thanks, to skiing resort there, that except local skiers there are many skiers from abroad, mostly from Poland.
Autumn is the most colorful season of the year and it is ideal for family trips. During one sunny day we set off to the town of Svit. We know about it that it is one of the youngest towns in Slovakia.
Today in our wonders across Slovakia we move in Poprad to Spisska Sobota, a protected area of historical landmarks. We will explore its history which experienced rises and falls. Despite uneasy fate its artistic value didn’t vanish. It offers a unique look on lives of our ancestors in the Spis region.
No doubt, a church tower belongs inseparably to typical silhouette of historical town of Spišská Nová Ves. Its gallery was open for public couple of years ago. So, when favourite weather allows, it would be worth to burn some calories and to mount several stages upstairs, in order to enjoy such unique outlook.
Eight hundred years ago, there was started to be built,on travertine hill, big stone building, named as Spiš Castle. However, in 1780, a big fire destroyed this construction, but the damage was contributed even by owners alone. Despite this fact, the castle is not only usual ruin but also popular architecture of Romanesque-Gothic style.
Eastern Slovakia: Šariš Region – Castle of Šariš I.
Since immemorial time grew up in strategic positions, almost near all major trade routes and waterways, stone castles, watch towers and even the palace. From many, the once dreaded power seats, today is preserved only ruins shrouded in legends. Today we will visit together the unique ruins of the Šariš region - Šariš Castle.
In the 13th century began the history of the national cultural heritage, Krásná Hôrka castle, which is today part of the SNM - Museum Betliar. In 2011 the castle underwent reconstruction of the premises and visitors had the opportunity to see an extremely valuable collection.
Christmas and New Year, we celebrated with my husband´s parents in the Eastern Slovakian town Sabinov. Because Mark's mother is a great chef, there is no surprise I had a problem to close my jeans after two days. But on the table were more and more goodies every day. And so we agreed that we'll have except candy, a small excursion to the surroundings every day to little move at least.
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