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Brezno, Slovakia

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, December 13, 2009 at 07:28:46 :: Slovakia

Brezno (German: Bries(en), Hungarian: Breznóbánya) is a town in central Slovakia, with a population of 22,279 (2005).

It lies in the beautifully natural surroundings in the centre of the Horehronie valley of the inner Breznianske basin. The town is protected from the north by the Nizke Tatry range and from the south by the Slovenske Rudohorie range. The country side has been formed for a long length of time by the upper part of the Hron river.
The town of Brezno is called the gate-way to the touristic surroundings of the Nizke Tatry, Cierny Hon and Horehronie areas.

Fountain on M.R.Stefanik Square, town center of Brezno, Banská Bystrica, Slovakia

The place has been inhabited since prehistoric times, but the current town arose from an old Slovak settlement, next to which newly arrived German miners erected a typical square market in the early 13th century. The first written evidence of the town's existence is dated 1265 when King Béla IV of Hungary issued a charter for the hunters from the area of Liptov allowing them to use woods around the settlement, known as Berezuno. The name is derived from the Slovak word "breza" for birch. In the nineteenth century Brezno was a typical almost purely Slovak town and was one of the centres of the Slovak national movement. Since Second World War it has developed into an industrial town.

Brezno is twinned with the towns of Meudon in France, Nový Bydžov in the Czech Republic and Ciechanów in Poland.

Places of interest in Brezno:

The town hall: this renaissance building was built in the 16th century. During the period of 1779-1780 it was rebuilt in a late barok style. Today, it is the seat of the Information Centre and the Horehronie Museum, where the permanent exposition about the life and culture of the people of Horehronie is exhibited.

Plague column with Hotel Dumbier behind, Brezno, Slovakia

One of the most interesting attractions of the museum is the "Treasure of Brezno", which dates back from the Late Bronze Age, and was discovered in the year of 1882. Parts of the treasure are exhibited there. In the old town house of the 16th century is the seat of the permanent exhibition of "Brezno, in the changing of time". The piaristic monastery, a barok styled structure built in the years of 1694-1713 was reconstructed later into classical area.

Inside the monastery´s chapel beside the wing of the alter is the painting of St. Barbora and the polychrome carving of the Holy Madonna with a child which were created in the late 15th century.
The town Tower: a classical era structure built in the year of 1830, and served as a watch tower and bell tower in the past.

The "Mariansky pole", a barok monument that stands on the spot of the first parsonage church which burned to the ground in the year of 1517.

Dominating the urban premises of the town of Brezno is distinct town square with its uniqueness of form and extent in all of Slovakia.

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Town of Bardejov, Slovakia

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, November 15, 2009 at 13:41:22 :: Slovakia

Bardejov is a town in North-Eastern Slovakia.

It is the centre of the Upper Sharish region and is located in the downs running along the right bank of the Topla River beneath the Lower Beskyds, 277m above the sea level. It has about 32 000 inhabitans, the extent is about 1 013 km2. The geographical position of Bardejov district is: latitude 49°02'N and longtitude 20°35'E.

The town of Bardejov is an administrative centre of Upper Sharish region, it is also a centre of industry, culture and sports. It is called "the most gothic town of Slovakia".

Because of outstanding urban, architectural, artistic, historic and cultural values preserved in Bardejov, it was declared an Urban Preservation area in 1950. In the year 1986 International Board of Trustees by UNESCO, which has a seat in Hamburg, awarded Bardejov - "The European Prize - Gold Medal" for preservation and restoration.

An important part of Bardejov is Bardejovske Kupele - the spa, which belongs to the most visited spa centres of Slovakia. Uncommon beauty together with culture-historical sights provide the visitors not only medical treatment, but also rich cultural and social life.

church of St. Aegidius (Головний собор міста Бардеєва), Radicné námestie (town center square), City of Bardejov, Slovakia

The territory of present-day Bardejov has attracted settlers since the Stone Age. However, the first written reference to the town dates back to the 1240s, when monks from Bardejov complained to King Béla IV about a violation of the town’s borders by Prešov. By that time, the important church of St. Aegidius (St. Giles) had already been built. Heavily fortified in the 14th century, the town became a centre of trade with Poland. More than 50 guilds controlled the flourishing economy. Bardejov gained the status of a royal town in 1376, later becoming a free royal town. The town’s golden age ended in the 16th century, when several wars, pandemics, and other disasters plagued the country.

Bardejov is dominated by the monumental church of St. Aegidius, mentioned for the first time in 1247. A three nave basilica with multiple chapels was completed by the 15th century. It hosts eleven precious Gothic winged altars with panel paintings. The central square (Slovak: Radničné námestie), which used to be the town’s medieval marketplace, is now surrounded by well-preserved Gothic and Renaissance burghers’ houses. One of the most interesting buildings is the town hall, built in 1505. The lower part was built in the Gothic style, while the upper part was finished in the Renaissance style. The fortification system and town walls date from the 14th and 15th centuries and is listed by the European Fund of Cultural Heritage as one of the most elaborate and best preserved medieval fortifications in Slovakia.

About 2.5 km (1.5 miles) north of Bardejov is the spa town Bardejovské Kúpele. The therapeutic mineral water springs are claimed to be beneficial to people with oncological, blood circulation, and digestive tract problems. It also hosts an open air museum of folk architecture (skansen). The spa has played host to a number of dignitaries, including Marie Louise, Duchess of Parma (the wife of Napoleon Bonaparte), Tsar Alexander I of Russia and Empress Elisabeth of Austria-Hungary.

Tower in the corner of Bardejov' fortification, Bardejov town, Slovakia

Suburbs of Bardejov: Bardejovska Nova Ves, Bardejovska Zabava, Bardejovske Kupele, Dlha Luka and Mihalov.

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UNESCO World Heritage

Slovakia, Bardejov Town Conservation Reserve

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, May 06, 2014 at 09:18:31

Location Town and District of Bardejov, Prešov Region, Slovakia
Coordinates N49 17 35.988 E21 16 45.012
Property 24 ha
Date of Inscription 2000

Brief Description ( )

Bardejov is a small but exceptionally complete and well-preserved example of a fortified medieval town, which typifies the urbanisation in this region. Among other remarkable features, it also contains a small Jewish quarter around a fine 18th-century synagogue.

Photos from Landolia

Town hall square, Bardejov Burghers houses, Bardejov  

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Slovakia, Vlkolinec

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, May 06, 2014 at 09:03:01

Location Ružomberok District, Zilina Region, Slovakia
Coordinates N49 1 59.988 E19 16 59.988
Property 4.90 ha
Date of Inscription 1993

Brief Description ( )

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 the region’s most complete group of these kinds of traditional log houses, often found in mountainous areas.

Photos from Landolia

Belfry, Vlkolinec Houses, Vlkolinec  

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Slovakia, Wooden Churches of the Slovak part of the Carpathian Mountain Area

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, April 27, 2014 at 11:49:33

Location Prešov, Žilina, Banská Bystrica and Košice Regions, Slovakia
Coordinates N49 20 10 E19 33 30
Property 2.56 ha
Date of Inscription 2008

Brief Description ( )

The Wooden Churches of the Slovak part of Carpathian Mountain Area inscribed on the World Heritage List consist of two Roman Catholic, three Protestant and three Greek Orthodox churches built between the 16th and 18th centuries. The property presents good examples of a rich local tradition of religious architecture, marked by the meeting of Latin and Byzantine cultures. The edifices exhibit some typological variations in their floor plans, interior spaces and external appearance due to their respective religious practices. They bear testimony to the development of major architectural and artistic trends during the period of construction and to their interpretation and adaptation to a specific geographical and cultural context. Interiors are decorated with paintings on the walls and ceilings and other works of art that enrich the cultural significance of the properties.

The list:

Wooden church in Hervartov Wooden church in Hervartov
Wooden church in Tvrdošín Wooden church in Tvrdošín
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Germany, Slovakia, Ukraine, Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and the Ancient Beech Forests of Germany

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, February 21, 2014 at 04:12:54

Location Germany, Slovakia, Ukraine
Coordinates N49 5 10 E22 32 10
Property 33,670 ha
Date of Inscription 2007

Brief Description ( )

The Ancient Beech Forests of Germany, represent examples of on-going post-glacial biological and ecological evolution of terrestrial ecosystems and are indispensable to understanding the spread of the beech (Fagus sylvatica) in the Northern Hemisphere across a variety of environments. The new inscription represents the addition of five forests totaling 4,391 hectares that are added to the 29,278 hectares of Slovakian and Ukranian beech forests inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2007. The tri-national property is now to be known as the Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and the Ancient Beech Forests of Germany (Slovakia, Ukraine, Germany).

Photos from Landolia

Stužica primeval beech forest in Slovakia Svydovets mountain range, Ukraine Chalk cliffs, Jasmund National Park, Germany
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Slovakia, Levoca, Spissky Hrad and the Associated Cultural Monuments

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, February 11, 2010 at 05:18:15

Location Slovakia
Coordinates N48 59 58 E20 46 3
Property 1,351 ha
Date of Inscription 1993

Brief Description ( )

Spišský Hrad has one of the largest ensembles of 13th and 14th century military, political and religious buildings in eastern Europe, and its Romanesque and Gothic architecture has remained remarkably intact. The extended site features the addition of the historic town-centre of Levoča founded in the 13th and 14th centuries within fortifications. Most of the site has been preserved and it includes the 14th century church of St James with its ten alters of the 15th and 16th centuries, a remarkable collection of polychrome works in the Late Gothic style, including an 18.6 metre high alterpiece by completed around 1510 by Master Paul.

Photos from Landolia

Spis Castle Keep view, Spis Castle  

More photos and localization on interactive Google Map

Slovakia, Historic Town of Banska Stiavnica and the Technical Monuments in its Vicinity

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, August 09, 2009 at 18:55:41

Location Town and District of Banská Štiavnica, Region of Banská Bystrica, Slovakia
Coordinates N48 27 39.996 E18 53 60
Type Cultural
Property 20,632 ha
Date of Inscription 1993

Brief Description ( )

Over the centuries, the town of Banská Štiavnica was visited by many outstanding engineers and scientists who contributed to its fame. The old medieval mining centre grew into a town with Renaissance palaces, 16th-century churches, elegant squares and castles. The urban centre blends into the surrounding landscape, which contains vital relics of the mining and metallurgical activities of the past.

Photos from Landolia

Calvary Mount New castle, Banská Štiavnica Trinity Square, Banská Štiavnica
Banská Štiavnica    

More photos and localization on interactive Google Map

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