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Slovakia: Liptovský Hrádok - The Smallest Town Of Liptov County

Published: 10.3.2011
The town of Liptovský Hrádok is situated in east part of Liptov Valley, Žilina Region. This tourist as well as economical centre of Upper Liptov County, surrounded with charming nature, is placed under north headlands of Low Tatra Mountains, at the confluence of Váh and Belá-rivers.

The origin of Liptovský Hrádok community is dated to 18th century, when local forest and  dominion public officials established, close to salt, copper and iron stocks, a village Mrovnik. Later, at the end of 19th century, this locality became privileged small town with its market and fair laws. Small community of Belsko (the existence of which was confirmed just from 13th century) was a predecessor of Liptovský Hrádok. Moreover, inside the area of Liptovský Hrádok, there was discovered prehistoric burial place from Lusatia culture time period.

Anyway, the name of the town undergone many changes in the course of centuries. So, in 1341, the town was mentioned as Ujwar, or later as Haraduk (1360), Novum Castrum (1476), Castrum Hradek (1503), Hrádek (1808), Hrádok (1920), and finally actual name Liptovský Hrádok (1927).

The Castle and its History

Hrádok Castle forms an undivisible part of old history of Liptovský Hrádok. As far as the foundation of this complex is concerned, several versions are existing. The first notice comes from a document of 1341, mentioning Novum Castrum. At the beginning of 14th century, Mr. Donč, Zvolen administrator, constructed a castle. He let it built on estates, confiscated to more country-squires. They did their best, in order to carry out the justice at Esztergom chapter. However, this act had no sense, as Donč was a trustee of King Charles Robert. This county administrator constructed the castle on five metres high limestone rock, despite the fact that high fortification and water ditches surrounded castle interior. However, the building was finally conquested and damaged several times. In general, the castle guarded well merchant way. One legend says that the complex was connected. by means of subterranean corridors, with fortifications at Liptovský Ján and even with Likava Castle. Till 15th century, the castle served as dominion administrative seat of Hungarian Kings. Later, the complex became an ownership of Zapolsky, Thurza, Ballaš and other Parentages. Finally, Mrs. Magdalena Zayova let completely re-built the building into Chateau in Renaissance style, and another small building (kaštiel) was added.

However, at the end of 17th century, during Estates´ riots, the castle was hardly damaged, and, after big fire in 1803, later (in 1930) a small kaštiel was re-newed only. In the course of past century, another renovation works were effected, but, at present, the complex will require another reconstruction works.

Historical Monuments

Except local castle, which is the greatest and most ancient local monument, you can visit and admire another sightseeings, such as:

The first agriculture school building

This building was constructed in 1799 and was open for public on 12th January 1871, as the only one of its type in Hungary. The lessons of forestry, with Slovak language as an instruction method, was taught there. However, later, the school was transferred to Rimavská Sobota, and the building served as huntsman´s school. The complex served for school lessons till 1952.

Bielovska Building

This building was constructed in 17th century as an agricultural complex, as a part of small kaštiel. However, at present, only old brewery chimney remains as past fame of brewery activities. Inside, in the courtyard, there were several buildings which served as lodging place for carriers or as butcher´s trade or an inn. Later, the building was used as a cinema. Apart of this, local rooms served as place for recruits´ meetings from the environs, before these persons went for military service. However, the building was hardly damaged during inundation in 1934.

A Chapel

On a rock, running out from small lake, a chapel is rising. Inside, St. John Baptist Statue is to be found. The statue was made at the end of 18th century, nevertheless, its creator remains unknown.

Rare Organs and St. Frank of Assisi Statue

The organ (a work of Andrew Pažitny of 1799) is placed inside Roman Catholic Church, constructed in Neo-Classical style (consecrated to St. Martin of Tours in the second half of 13th century). This sightseeing is registered into survey of protected monuments. A statue of St. Frank of Assisi is also placed in this church. Master Strobel is marked as its author. This work was manufactured in 1900, and it is also registered in survey of protected monuments.

The Administrative Building of Former Magazine of Salt

In 1728, this building was constructed by King´s Court Chamber, on base of permission of Prince Liechtenstein. Since 2004, the building serves as a dignified seat of Ethnographical Museum.

The Weigh-House (Vážnica) and Maša Bell-Tower

In 1792, a blast furnace, destined for iron ore melting (so called „Maša“) was constructed in an area „Podjakové“ (among communities of Liptovský Hrádok and Králova Lehota). It is true that this raw material was excavated in the environs, but, in general, it was imported there from Spiš County, too. This Weigh-House served for weighing of transported iron ore. All complex was renovated within 1964-1965. Close to this, a small bell-tower (klapačka) was erected there. The sound (tone) of this informed the persons regarding beginning and finish of the shift. Both buildings were declared as monuments of the second stage.

Leisure Time

Thanks to excellent nature conditions, sightseeings of cultural - historical character and preserved people architecture, Liptovský Hrádok and its environs belong to most beautiful and most popular regions for tourist activities in Slovakia.

The visitors of Liptovský Hrádok could obtain very pleasant experience and memoires for all visited places. So, to one of those belongs, no doubt, Loděnica Boarding House, offering different palette of services, including a chance of perfect adrenalin activities of watermen, especially confessionists of rafting and river drifting (Váh, Belá), skiers, ski-alpinists or mounteneers. Even tourist walking lovers can find their favourite routes, or good entertainment possibilities or warm thermal waters. In the surroundings, several thermal parks with outfits, open for public all year round, are available. Anyway, you can find there your activity topics during any year season!  

Text: Zuzana Megerssová
Translation: ing. Jan Jonáš

Photo: wikimedia.org





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