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SIMPLICISSIMUS REISEN
SLOVAKIA CULTURE TOURS 1000 YEARS OF CENTRAL EUROPE

Slovakia’s Cultural Treasures

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The most valuable works of art, architecture, fine art, the most attractive sights and natural beauty.

Cultural tour
KR KSS 8

Our voyage in search of the treasures of the art and nature of Slovakia leads from the capital city of Bratislava, where the Western Carpathians rise from the Danube River, all the way to the town of Košice and the beginning of the Eastern Carpathians. Today’s Slovakia was once an important part of the Hungarian kingdom, and its unique cultural heritage is preserved here. The supreme works of art (Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque in particular) are part of the broad artistic area of the Danube Region. The most medieval wall paintings in Europe to the north of the Alps have been preserved in this territory (more than 250 sites). 127 Gothic wing altars can be seen here. The best from the workshop of Master Pavol of Levoča among them. It is a great thrill to observe the transition to certain manifestations of Eastern European culture which is represented by the wooden churches.

The treasures of art are especiallysituated in the Zips country, and in the mining towns of Central Slovakia. The “German guests” who were settled here by the Hungarian kings in the 13th century, deserve particular credit.  The excavating and processing of precious and utility metals in mining towns were the subject of extreme interest among European entrepreneurs, scientists and technicians.  Our voyage in search of the treasures of art also leads past several castles which in the 16th and 17th century became unique fortifications, due to the fact that for two hundred years the territory of Slovakia represented the border between Christian Europe and the Ottoman Empire.

The added value of this art trip is found not only the information and encounters with literature and music, but in the selection of accommodations and meals.

Itinerary


Big KSS8 map

Day 1(Saturday)Arrival in Bratislava (Pressburg), coronation town of Hungarian kings

Transfer from Vienna (airport, railway station). Early evening sightseeing tour of the historical heart of the city situated on the banks of the Danube.

 

Day 2(Sunday)Getting to know the territory of Slovakia – geography, history, nature

In the morning we will visit one of the holiest places of Judaism – the grave of Rabbi Chatam Sofer, followed by a trip to the ruins of Devín Castle which perches on the geographical and historical borders between Germanic and Slavic Europe; you will also see dramatic traces from the days of the Iron Curtain. In the afternoon, after a short tour of the historical part of the city and Bratislava Castle, we will travel to Nitra and tour the bishop’s castle and cathedral, where we will learn about key events of the past twelve centuries - ancient Slavic princes and their connections to Regensburg, Salzburg, the Hungarian kingdom and the present times.

 

Day 3 (Monday)History of legendary mining towns, mining, science and culture

We will travel to the world renowned mining town of Banská Štiavnica in the morning and visit its important buildings and museums (Old Castle, New Castle, Holy Trinity Square). We will also experience the surrounding natural beauty with traces of mining activities. In the afternoon, we will move on to Banská Bystrica  and see the cultural sights related to the period of the Thurzo-Fugger mining company (1495 – 1530) and the parish church with its excellent Danubian Gothic art (Nuremberg – Veit Stoss, Vienna – Anton Pilgram) and the works of Master Pavol of Levoča.

 

Day 4 (Tuesday)Treasures of medieval wall paintings, wine production in the Tokaj region

In the morning we will visit the church in the village of Poniky and view its unique cycle of restored Gothic wall paintings; then we will continue to the southern part of Slovakia, to the region of Gemer, where we will see several other significant examples of medieval wall paintings in Rimavská Baňa, Kraskovo, Kyjatice, Štítnik and Ochtiná while becoming acquainted with their Italian-Byzantine roots. We will arrive in the early evening and participate in a wine tasting combined with an expert lecture and dinner.  

 

Day 5 (Wednesday)Cathedral in Košice, Bardejov – the pearl of the Middle Ages, Byzantine culture of wooden churches

We will see the grandiose square and the Gothic Cathedral of St. Elizabeth in Košice beforetravelling to the village of Hervartov, home of the wooden Gothic church of St. Francis.  From there we will visit the medieval town of Bardejov with its unique treasures of art (wing altars, the museum in Old City Hall, the townhouses on Market Square). In the hills that mark the beginning of the Eastern Carpathians we will become acquainted with wooden, Byzantine style churches in Miroľa, Bodružal and Ladomirová.

Day 6 (Thursday)Getting acquainted with the medieval culture of “German guests” in the region of Spiš, floating down the River of Dunajec on wooden rafts in the Pieniny National Park

This part of the trip will feature various views of the “Zipser Schneeberge” (Spiš snow mountains), as the “Spiš Saxons” used to call the High Tatras. We will explore the majestic Spiš Castle, the original seat of the administration of the Spiš region and the largest castle complex in continental Europe in terms of area. In Levoča, the capital of the Spiš region, we will see the set of nine Gothic wing altars, done by the famous master Pavol, including the tallest Gothic altar in the world. From there, we will travel north to Pieniny National Park, where a Carthusian monastery is situated in the middle of dramatic natural scenery; afterwards, we will float down the Dunajec River on wooden rafts.

 

Day 7 (Friday)High Tatras – Štrbské Pleso. Nature, monuments and folk art in the northern regions west of the High Tatras

In the morning we will pay a short visit to the town of Spišská Sobota and then to Kežmarok, the second most important town of the Spiš region, where we will see its famous wooden Evangelical church. We will visit the beautiful Štrbské pleso (mountain glacier lake) in the High Tatras, and take a short hike. We will then travel through the region of Liptov and take a short hike to the complex of water mills in the Kvačianska Valley. Afterwards, we will attend a folk music and dance performance in an open air museum in the Orava region.  

 

Day 8 (Saturday)Sights of the Orava and Považie regions connected with the Thurzo family

In the morning we will visit Orava Castle, former center of the region and Renaissance culture. In 1922 this castle appeared in the famous film Nosferatu by German director F.W.Murnau. The southern part of the Orava region with its picturesque nature is our next stop.  We will visit the wooden Evangelical church in the village of Leštiny and learn about its interesting connections to European musical culture. We will then travel through the Váh River valley and see the grandiose Trenčín Castle in the town of Trenčín which bears traces of occupancy of Ancient Roman legions. We will also pay a visit to Červený Kameň Castle, the Renaissance anti-Turkish fortification system that was built by the Thurzo family according to the designs of Albrecht Dürer.

 

Day 9(Sunday)Return

Departure to Vienna in the morning to plane and rail connections.

 

Servicepackage:

The price of the tour covers:

  • A qualified guiding service
  • Travel from Vienna, around Slovakia and back to Vienna in a comfortable bus
  • Expert guiding by a renowned art-historian
  • 8x accommodation in double and single rooms in three/four star hotels and guesthouses
  • Fullboard in carefully selected stylish restaurants - 8x breakfast, 7x lunch, 8x dinner
  • Entrance fees
  • Float down the Dunajec River on wooden rafts
  • Folk music and dance performance

The price of the tour does not include the following:

  • drinks
  • contributions
  • insurance
  • charges for taking pictures in museums and monuments
  • individual transportation from the residence to the point of departure

 

Tour price

The price for the tour KR KSS 8  is 885 Euro per person in double room,

Extra charge for a single room is 166 Euro.

For tours of the type Group tours and VIP tours the price is calculated individually

 

Dates

4.5. – 12.5.2013 (KR KSS8)

Dates for groups – by appointment

Dates for VIP – by appointment

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