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SK: Spisska Bela – A Glimpse of the Past

Published: 24.10.2013
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.

Kostel sv. Antonína Poustevníka a zvonice

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.

Spišská Belá – historické centrum Spišská Belá – historické centrum
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.

Mariánský sloup Nanebevzetí Panny Marie
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.

Evengelický a.v. kostel ve Spišské Belé

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.

Petzvalovo muzeum

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. .

Belianský rybníkCyklostezka

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



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