Slovakia Religious Heritage Tour
Slovakia lies at a crossroads of European cultures and religions, and has experienced cultural and religious influences from both East and West. The Slavic nation was for centuries the target of Christian missionaries from the Frankish Empire - from Salzburg, Passau and Regensburg - though today the Slovaks consider the mission by Ss. Cyril and Method in 863, who brought with them the gift of literacy from Thessalonica, to have been most crucial. Their pupils were later expelled, and the country became part of Latin Europe, experiencing subsequent events such as the Reformation and the Counter-Reformation.
As a result of these historical developments, Slovakia is today a country with a variety of religious life, including Roman Catholic, Lutheran, Calvinist, Greek Catholic, Russian Orthodox and Jewish communities. To promote a spirit of tolerance and mutual respect towards various religious traditions, our trip includes numerous monuments of religious architecture and other prominent attractions reflecting the cultural heritage and natural beauty of Slovakia.
Flight to Bratislava/Vienna International Airport. After 40-minute transfer to Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, check in at hotel. Afternoon sightseeing of Bratislava will include a visit to the Primate’s Palace. The neo-Classical former residence of the archbishop of Esztergom features the famous English tapestries depicting the tragic love of Hero and Leander. Visit to the Art Nouveau St. Elisabeth's Church and Gothic St. Martin’s Cathedral, where Hungarian kings and queens were crowned. Welcome dinner with local specialities at a typical restaurant.
Depart in the morning for a trip to the Small Carpathians, which includes an excursion to the Modra pottery factory, the Renaissance fortress of Cerveny Kamen and lunch at a typical countryside restaurant with wine tasting. In the afternoon enjoy the Old Town of Bratislava. Dinner at the hotel.
After a morning departure from Bratislava stop over in Trencianske Bohuslavice, famous for its Rococo chapel designed by the prolific Franz Anton Maulpertsch. Continue to Trencin, a pleasant town with a majestic castle right above the historical centre. This is the northernmost place in Slovakia with evidence of a Roman presence, as witnessed by a surviving Latin inscription from 179 AD on the castle cliff. After a light lunch, follow the Vah River valley to the High Tatras National Park. Dinner at a Koliba-style restaurant will be accompanied by live musical entertainment.
Morning stop at the wooden Lutheran church of Kezmarok, then continue to the remote Zamagurie Region and its highlight, rafting on the Dunajec River. See the preserved Cerveny Klastor (Red Monastery), once a centre of the Camaldunian monastic community. An outdoor picnic with live Goral music will be provided. In the afternoon discover the beauty of traditional folk architecture in the open-air museum in Stara Lubovna, which includes a painstakingly restored wooden Greek Catholic church with iconostasis.
This morning is dedicated to the art treasures of the Spis Region: the world's highest wooden Gothic altar, by Master Paul, in Levoca and the UNESCO-listed monuments of Spis Castle, Spisska Kapitula (the fortified bishops' residence) and the twin-nave Gothic church in Zehra, with its unique frescoes. Afternoon arrival in Kosice, Slovakia’s second largest city and home to the easternmost Gothic cathedral in Europe, St. Elisabeth's.
Explore the almost undisturbed medieval heart of Bardejov, listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, with its Gothic town hall, and the Church of St. Giles. Nearby Hervartov is famous for its wooden church, dedicated to St. George. Conclude the day with a visit to Presov, with its charming Old Town, its memorials, and one of the pearls of Slovakia's sacral architecture: a Moorish-style synagogue that houses the Museum of Jewish Culture featuring the world-famous Barkany Judaica Collection. Return late afternoon to Kosice. Dinner at hotel.
Leave Kosice in the morning and travel westwards, stopping en route in the Central Slovak city of Banska Bystrica, for centuries an important mining community and in 1944 the centre of the Slovak National Uprising. Later visit Nitra, an ancient cradle of the Christian tradition in Slovakia. Conclude the trip with a farewell dinner at the hotel in Bratislava.
Morning transfer to Bratislava/Vienna Airport for homebound flight.
Note: This is a tailor-made tour. The Slovakia Religious Heritage Tour can be organised for a closed group of 6 or more participants on any given date (some date exceptions may apply). To receive a complete offer, please send us your preferences and we will send you a price quote within 2 working days.