IN THE 17TH and 18th centuries religious pilgrimages started to be organised on Slovak territory thanks to several monastic orders. The destinations of these pilgrimages were places associated with legends of appearing saints, of sick persons being miraculously cured, or of curative waters rising out of the earth. Chapels and churches were built to commemorate these sites and each year pilgrims from a wide region headed to the sites. These entourages were colourful and very varied; festively dressed pilgrims sang songs typical for their specific region.
Most of the participants in these pilgrimages simply walked, sometimes as far as several dozen kilometres, with only the ill and the elderly having some means of transport.
This postcard from the 1920s was made by famous photographer Karol Plicka. It shows a pilgrimage to Rajecká Lesná, the former Frivald. Boys in traditional folk costumes are walking – barefoot – from the village of Fačkov, several kilometres away.
10. Jan 2011 at 0:00 | By Branislav Chovan