After few days in Bratislava we hit the road again and decided to make a road trip through Slovakia with the speed of light. Believe us, this trip should take much longer, as the things that you can see on the road are really amazing. So please treat this blog entry as a sketchbook, the painting you have to paint on your own 🙂
How to plan road trip through Slovakia
From the beginning Slovakia was not our final destination, we were travelling to Poland and tried to see the most amazing places on the road. So if you are planning a similar route, here are the places you definitely should not miss on the way:
The capital of Slovakia is a very beautiful and easy to visit city. You don’t need to waste time on driving from one tourist attraction to the other, as majority of places you should visit in Bratislava are close to each other and could be reached on foot. More about visiting Bratislava.
Vlkolínec is a village in the middle of Slovakia, around 270 km from Bratislava. Why should you visit it? Well, first of all, it’s not a regular village. It is a folk architecture reservation listed by UNESCO. There are ten villages in Slovakia that have been given this status. The village consists on more than 45 houses that are the examples of folk countryside architecture of the Northern Carpathians. Two of the houses are turned in a museum, in the others there are still people living. And that’s what makes Vlkolínec so special.
- Wooden churches of the Slovak Carpathians
There are nine wooden churches constructed between the 16th and the 18th centuries in the Slovak Carpathians. Three of them are Protestant (so-called Articular churches in Hronsek, Leštiny, and Kežmarok), three are Greek Catholic churches (in Bodružal, Ruská Bystrá, and Ladomirová), two are Roman Catholic (in Hervartov and Tvrdošín) and there is as well a belfry in Hronsek.
On our trip we visited Leštiny and Tvrdošín. When we arrived to Leštiny, the church was closed but there was as well a group of some Slovakians, so we called a tour guide taking care of this church. She opened the church for us and gave a great lecture about the church’s history. As I am Polish, I could easily understand Slovakian and translate the information to my husband. However, I’m not sure if the tour guide knows other languages, so make sure you figure this out before the tour.
The truth is the history of the wooden churches is one of the most fascinating I’ve heard. They were built under the articles of the laws issued by Emperor Leopold I. He thought he could prevent the construction of the churches, if he issues the set of laws, which name the conditions that have to be met by all new constructed non-Catholic churches. Here are just a few I remember: churches couldn’t be built with nails or contain any other metal material, or that the top of a church could not be seen from the distance. Well, his initial plan on preventing the construction of non-Catholic churches, resulted in creation of some of the most unique religious buildings in the world.
The Roman Catholic church in Tvrdošín was unfortunately closed when we were there, so we were able to see it only from the outside.
If you are looking for more places worth visiting in Slovakia, we can recommend: slovakia.travel
Tips if you are travelling with a baby:
- Forget about baby stroller, carrier is the only thing that will work! This is a region of the Carpathians, and mountains with a baby stroller don’t usually go together. Moreover, many roads are getting muddy after the rain, so unless you want to spend your trip on digging out your baby stroller, better take a carrier from the beginning.
- Although we were travelling through Slovakia during summer, we took with us some warm baby clothes. In the mountains it is usually rainier and the temperatures are lower than in the other parts of the country. We had in plans as well a small trekking to one of the Polish mountain lakes but there was snowing there and the temperature was below zero at the end of June!