There are 44 caves in the territory of Slovakia that form a significant part of the country’s natural heritage. They have been declared national natural monuments. In the vicinity of Atrium Hotel there are 5 of such jewels waiting to welcome visitors.
The only accessible cave in the Tatras, Cave Belianska jaskyňa is one of the most frequently visited accessible caverns in Slovakia. It contains rich dripstone formations of various shapes and sizes. Since 1896 it has been electrically lit. Out of the overall length of 1752 m visitors may enter 1135 m.
The national monument – Caverns Demänovské jaskyne – on the northern side of the Low Tatras is the longest cave system in Slovakia. One of its dominating landmarks includes cave Demänovská jaskyňa slobody which, for many years, has been admired by visitors for its rich sintered formations of various colours a mysterious subterranean stream Demänovka and enchanting lakes. It is the most frequently visited accessible cave in Slovakia.
Ice cave Demänovská ľadová jaskyňa forms the northern section of the world-known caverns Demänovské jaskyne. It is renowned for its permanent ice presence, bizzare and massive shapes of underground tunnels, rare cavern fauna as well as rich history.
Ice cave Dobšinská ľadová jaskyňa ranks among the most significant ice caves in the world. In 2000 it was listed in the world natural heritage. In comparison to the well-known mountainous ice caves Eisriesenwelt and Dachstein-Rieseneishöhle in the Austrian Alps or the Rumanian cave Scărişoara in the mountains of Bihor whose ice sections lie in the height of 1100 to 1120 meters above sea level, the monumental ice pockets of Dobšinská ľadová jaskyňa have managed to endure only in the height of 920 to 950 meters above sea level for thousands of years. It is a part of the UNESCO Heritage.
In the vicinity of the High Tatras we recommend to you the following
cultural landmarks and historical towns:
Kežmarok was founded when several settlements of original Slavic inhabitants merged with a settlement of German colonists (the settlements are mentioned for the first time in 1251) who came here after Tatar incursions. It was this very cultural symbiosis of various nationalities and a remarkable geographic position that enabled a fast economic growth of this town.
Castle KEŽMARSKÝ HRAD – (Kežmarok Castle) It is a so-called urban castle which was built directly in the town precincts for it had to provide protection from enemies. The original gothic fortress was changed into a Renaissance residence. Since 1931 there has been a museum of various expositions in the castle area, documenting the town’s history from its establishment up to the 20 th century. An exposition of historical vehicles may be found here as well.
WOODEN ATRICULAR CHURCH – This national cultural sight is one of eight Slovak wooden churches that were listed in the world cultural heritage of UNESCO in 2008. The church stems from a period of religious repression when Protestants were permitted to build their church only in the suburbs behind the town fortification walls. A formal necessity was a permission, contained in articles (i.e. clauses). It is a notable fact that during construction no other material but wood was employed.
The town and its surroundings were settled as early as in the Stone Age. In the 12th century, following the harrowing incursions of Tatars, there came German colonists to Levoča. In 1271 Levoča turned out to be the centre of a Saxon province and enjoyed privileges of a free royal town. It had its own autonomous administration, judicial competence, personal freedom, a right to mine ore, utilize forests, carry trade and make business. In 1950 the town was declared an urban conservation area. Levoča offers its visitors a countless amount of cultural-historical monuments.
TEMPLE OF ST. JACOB – A church with three naves and a massive sanctuary that was erected in the last quarter of the 14th century. The interior of the church deserves a great deal of attention, mainly thanks to its gothic altars, the main one being the most precious. Judging by its dimensions it is one of the biggest altars in the world. It was made of lime wood between 1507 and 1517 in the workshop of Master Paul.
HISTORICAL TOWN HALL – One of the most typical edifices of the main square in Levoča. The exposition in the town hall is devoted to the history of the town since its origins, through a period of development and flourishing up to the present days. Works of historical and artistic value are combined with exhibited specimens of a rich guild production. Among other things there is also an exposition of ethnographic character bearing the title ‘Beauty knit in threads’ (Krása z nití utkaná) which presents folk textile art and a so-called ‘blue-print’ technique in Spiš. You may also attend specialized lectures from the successful cycle ‘Gazing into the past’ (Pohľady do minulosti).
Castle Spišský hrad (Castle Spiš) comprises an inseparable and permanent part of the cultural heritage of Slovakia. Its vital significance has by far exceeded the boundaries of the region or the whole country. In 1993 the National Cultural Monument – Castle Spišský hrad – was, together with its surroundings, listed in the World Cultural and Natural Heritage UNESCO, which officially underlined confirmation of its universal cultural importance.
Town of STARÁ ĽUBOVŇA
Castle HRAD ĽUBOVŇA – (Ľubovňa Castle) this Renaissance fortress was erected in 1292 and stands majestically over the valley of River Poprad. At present, it is one of the most preserved and visited castles in Slovakia.
ETHNOGRAPHIC EXPOSITION IN NATURAL ENVIRONMENT: - OPEN-AIR MUSEUM
Over the valley of River Poprad there stands majestically a huge Renaissance fortress – Castle Ľubovniansky hrad, built after 1292. Nowadays it ranks among the most preserved and visited castles in Slovakia. Beneath the medieval Castle Ľubovňa there is an exposition in the natural environment – open-air museum. It presents a collection of folk architecture structures (dwellings, farming buildings, seasonal field habitations, technical landmarks) which were moved into this area from Horný Spiš and Šariš.