Spectator on facebook

Spectator on facebook

HISTORY TALKS..

A mountain haven for bandits

THE VACATION VILLAGE of Oravice, whose roots go back to 1608, lies north of the Západné Tatry (Western Tatras) mountain range. In that year, the owner of Orava Castle, Juraj Thurzo, began to colonise the heavily-forested region.

THE VACATION VILLAGE of Oravice, whose roots go back to 1608, lies north of the Západné Tatry (Western Tatras) mountain range. In that year, the owner of Orava Castle, Juraj Thurzo, began to colonise the heavily-forested region.

The first settlement, Bystrá, was founded in 1643 but the lord of the castle, Štefan Thököly, dispersed the settlement after 16 years because most of the settlers, due to the harsh living conditions, earned their living through poaching and banditry. The territory lost almost its entire population, a development which was welcomed by the town of Tvrdošín as the lord allowed its citizens to continue to graze cattle in the area, scythe grass and harvest wood. Tvrdošín did not, however, begin a new settlement in the area and it remained virtually uninhabited until in the 19th century.

Increased interest in this beautiful area caused a minor building boom in the 1930s when 15 family vacation homes were built.

But at the beginning of 1945, Oravice stood on World War II’s eastern front for nine weeks and all its buildings were levelled except for the chapel.

This postcard dating back to 1950s shows the meadows of this region framed by the Magura mountains.

Top stories

Socialism elections were parody of free vote

After the revolution in 1989 the number of people participating in elections fell from 99 percent to around 60 percent.

Elections during socialism regime.

Foreigners: Top 10 events in Bratislava Video

Tips for the top 10 events in the capital between November 17 and November 26, plus regular services in different languages, training, temporary exhibitions and highlights of the year.

Lúčnica

Top 3 stories from Last Week in Slovakia Video

Chinese could produce e-cars in Slovakia - PM Robert Fico does not see election defeat - Poliačik leaves the strongest opposition party

PM Robert Fico

Ecocide! How Slovakia destroys its national parks

Officially, the number of forests in Slovakia keeps growing but satellite shots of the national parks evoke horrors.

logging at Muránska Planina