Follow Cyril and Methodius on Europe’s new cultural route

The route was certified by the Council of Europe before the summer.

Devín Castle is one of the stops on the Cyril and Methodius European Cultural Route. Devín Castle is one of the stops on the Cyril and Methodius European Cultural Route. (Source: Dano Veselský/TASR)

Missionaries Cyril and Methodius, the co-patrons of Europe, visited and worked in a number of European countries. Now, tourists can follow in their footsteps.

View Slovakia’s oldest city through a kaleidoscopic lens with our Nitra city guide. View Slovakia’s oldest city through a kaleidoscopic lens with our Nitra city guide. (Source: Spectacular Slovakia)

The Council of Europe certified the route named after the missionaries, involving several countries in central and southeastern Europe, including Slovakia, in April of this year alongside four other European routes.

“The Cyril and Methodius Route aims to raise awareness of common European heritage,” the Council of Europe said. The route contributes to the development of cultural cooperation throughout Europe, it added, and promotes European values.

The route thus enjoys the same status as the well-known Santiago de Compostela pilgrim routes and more than 40 others.

In Slovakia, tourists can find 33 stops linked to the missionaries, spreading across the country’s western regions.

What to see in Slovakia

Most of the places people can set off to are either churches or castles and ancient wooden fortresses.

Well-preserved and popular castles in Nitra, Trenčín and Bratislava are on the list of sights. The route in Slovakia is made up of 13 wooden forts as well, including the Ostrá Skala fortress in Vyšný Kubín, Žilina Region.

Pilgrimage sites Hájiček in Trstín, Trnava Region, and Marianka in Bratislava are also worth visiting.

Although there are 33 strategic localities to explore in the west of Slovakia, according to the official website of the Cyril and Methodius Route, another website mapping the 863 missions of Cyril and Methodius in Great Moravia focuses “only” on 24 places in the regions of Bratislava, Trnava and Nitra.

Four branches

This European cultural route has four branches, each of which is significant for different reasons.

For instance, the first path focuses on the territory of Great Moravia, nowadays Slovakia and the Czech Republic, where Cyril and Methodius did most of their work.

Another route, in southeastern Europe, draws attention to their legacy continued by their disciples. The third route covers Austria, Bavaria, Slovenia, and Italy. It symbolises the patrons’ journey to Rome, where they sought the recognition of the Christian liturgy in Old Slavonic.

The last branch of this European cultural route takes tourists to the south of Poland because the teachings of Cyril and Methodius reached this region as well.

Other routes linked to Slovakia

In 2021, the Council of Europe certified four other cultural routes in other parts of Europe in addition to the Cyril and Methodius Route.

The Aeneas Route is linked to the legend of the ancient hero Aeneas. The Alvar Aalto Route celebrates Finnish architect Alvar Aalto, and the European Route d’Artagnan gives the story of French musketeer d’Artagnan a whole new dimension.

The last certified route is called the Iron Age Danube Route. Despite the Danube being mentioned in its name, Slovakia is not a part of the route.

However, three other routes certified in the previous years – the Saint Martin of Tours Route, Transromanica, and the Iron Curtain Trail – run through Slovakia.

Spectacular Slovakia travel guides

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