Nevertheless, Oravians lived in exceptionally beautiful surroundings - virtually untouched by modern civilization.
There are still villages in the valleys of Orava built in accordance with the original folk architecture, such as the one in this picture from the 1920s.
This is what Záskalie looked like then. Today it is part of Dolný Kubín, the Oravian metropolis.
The oil painting by Czech painter Karel Pospíšil shows modest log cabins - drevenice. Though built by uneducated craftsmen, they perfectly fit their natural environment.
By Branislav Chovan,
Special to the Spectator
7. Feb 2005 at 0:00