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DAMMED LAKE ATTRACTS LOVERS OF WATER SPORTS

Liptov's Water World

Looking up at the Low Tatra mountains while standing at the bank of the Liptov Mara lake you need to shield your eyes from the blinding reflection of the sun off the water. There is a calm silence, just the rustle from regular waves. The image of the sun is suddenly blurred by a splash of a silver fish jumping out above the water. The air is filled with the scent of wild flowers mixed with the wet smell of water. A white sail slowly disappears in the distance. All this is possible because of a dam that made the lake.
As the waters of the Váh River slowly built up from a dam, 13 villages in the Liptov region faded from existence. What formed is Slovakia's largest body of water, a 27 km2 water reservoir called Liptovská Mara (Liptov Sea). The water project had a lot of defenders but also quite a few opponents especially in the villages that were flooded and other neighboring villages.


Soothing water. The dammed lake in Liptov has become a haven for water sports lovers.
Ľubica Sokolíková

Looking up at the Low Tatra mountains while standing at the bank of the Liptov Mara lake you need to shield your eyes from the blinding reflection of the sun off the water. There is a calm silence, just the rustle from regular waves. The image of the sun is suddenly blurred by a splash of a silver fish jumping out above the water. The air is filled with the scent of wild flowers mixed with the wet smell of water. A white sail slowly disappears in the distance. All this is possible because of a dam that made the lake.

As the waters of the Váh River slowly built up from a dam, 13 villages in the Liptov region faded from existence. What formed is Slovakia's largest body of water, a 27 km2 water reservoir called Liptovská Mara (Liptov Sea). The water project had a lot of defenders but also quite a few opponents especially in the villages that were flooded and other neighboring villages.

Proponents were for the large energy reserves that it would create for the region. But opponents wanted to save Liptov's environment which is known for its fertile soil.

But feelings have died down now, and what is left is a beautiful reservoir delicately preserving the environment. Undoubtedly those who supported the project were proved right. It wasn't just because of energy either. The water is used for irrigation in southern Slovakia, and the dam protects the whole region from ravishing floods from the Tatras that used to endanger villages. Last but not at least the beautiful water is used very intensively for recreation.

Even opponents now admit, that the crystal clean lake contributed to the natural beauty of the region, increasing the lure of Liptov. Thousands of visitors come each year, proving again and again that water equals life.

Anyone who is fond of various water sports will find satisfaction here: swimming, yachting, wind-surfing, jet skiing, as well as fishing. Since June 15 and running till the end of August, a passenger ship Martimex-Omega will take you for a cruise for just 40 Sk departing every two hours from the campground at Liptovský Trnovec.

Tourist facilities are centralised at three resorts: Liptovský Trnovec, Liptovska Sielnica and Bobrovník. Among white painted village houses you can find small cosy places to stay all to yourself.

For those longing to rest far away from people there is one romantic place to stay. A family run pension (named simply Pension) stands secluded at the edge of the water All around the colors green and blue resonate. The lone neighbour is a small old gothic church Liptovska Mara, the only structure preserved from the flooded village. Remarkable is the archaeological discovery of the foundation of an ancient church.

Delve into Liptov

Don't miss the village Vlkolínec situated close to Ružomberok, on the southern foothills of the Sidorovo Mountains. Vlkolínec's houses are built with wooden logs and stone, topped by shingled roofs causing it to be proclaimed a folk architectural monument. People still live in the village and hope to remain so. UNESCO supports this ideal registering Vlkolínec in 1993 to the list of World Cultural Heritage Monuments.

Vlkolínec is not only a paradise for artists, architects, film producers and photographers, but also for hikers and tourists who love nature and folk beauty.

The ruins of Likava Castle rise above the Ružomberok suburb of Likavka, hold secrets to a rich history. The castle guarded ancient trade routes from north to south making it a constant target by competing nobles. Many aristocratic families such as Hunyadi, Zápoľský, Illéshazy, Tököly took turns owning the Likava castle.

In the 15th century the Hungarian king - later also the Czech King -Sigismund decided to make the castle a center of the king's dominion overseeing several vassal towns and villages. In 1707 the castle was completely destroyed by the emperor's troops. Everything that has remained from its large walls, are overgrown by grass, leaving travellers to only imagine about what life was once like here.

Topic: Tourism and travel in Slovakia


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