Old and new: Starhrad and Strečno

These stony siblings are steeped in history.

StrečnoStrečno (Source: VaGa)

This tiny Japanese woman was, from her childhood, obsessed with tidying and organising. Until she created a system for a clean home with one key: defeat clutter and discover what sparks joy.

And to recognise what to keep and what to throw out, so that the old and useless makes way for the new.

Marie Kondo and her KonMari method is a hit.

While tidying our homes and things we are also clearing our minds and lives.

And we create a place for new and fresh ideas.

In 1235, a castle was constructed. On a 475m high steep cliff, to protect the road along the Váh River, near a crossing from one river bank to other.

And it was a hit!

Nestled among trees

The castle belonged to the Varín noble family, and was named for them.

Today it protrudes from a forest, nestled among trees, and a light haze after a summer thunderstorm. It whispers a tale about a great but tragic love, about German soldiers. And it gazes at the rounded hills of the Malá Fatra Mountains. It opens the door to the hiking path to Chata pod Suchým chalet. This ridge tour through the deforested ridge of the Malá Fatra Mountains is amazing with gorgeous panoramic views.

Or to Suchý Mountain and Biele skaly rocks, snow-white rock formations hidden among the alpine pines.

The red marked hiking path to the castle starts in Nezbudská Lúčka village, known for its mineral pitch and the only mineral pitch quarry in Europe. There on hot summer days a mineral pitch stream flows down the quarry walls.

A new castle as replacement

In 1316 another castle was constructed. On a 103m high steep calcite cliff.

Strečno castle.

And it was an even bigger hit!

The hill was already inhabited in the late Iron Age. During the earlier Roman period there was a settlement of the Púchov culture.

This castle was built to replace the former Slavic settlement and to protect the trade route and the toll station located near the crossing of the Váh River.

It was the new castle.

Stony siblings

Therefore Varín castle was rebranded Starhrad ("Old Castle").

Today they hover over the horizon as two stony siblings.

Old and new castles.

They are proud, gazing down to the Domašín meander, one of the most interesting natural phenomena in the world. Very well known worldwide is the Horseshoe bend in Arizona.

Domašín meander is a unique river phenomenon, located on the Váh river, and divides Malá Fatra into Lúčanská and Krivánska parts. In the past, two rocks stood at the top of the meander: Margita and Besná, which posed a danger to many rafts and claimed several lives.

Old or new?

Maybe both!

Because we need old friends to help us grow old and wise, and new friends to help us stay fresh and young.

VaGa Agency is an incoming company concentrating on active, adventure, bike and sport tours in Slovakia, in the unique, authentic and safe country, far away from mass tourism; offer undiscovered and amazing places, tailored-made solutions and very professional individual guiding. For more information please visit: vaga.agency.

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