New climbing paths opened in the Tatras

Another Spectacular Slovakia weekly roundup packed with new stories and Bratislava events is ready.

A large "Hnúšťa" sign is installed in the central Slovak town of Hnúšťa.A large "Hnúšťa" sign is installed in the central Slovak town of Hnúšťa. (Source: Facebook/Roman Lebeda)

In this week's roundup, you will meet a Poprad-based shoemaker and climb rocks in the Tatras. You can also choose from an array of Bratislava events.


Czechs no longer hike in the Tatras with sandals on thanks to this guy

Agricultural engineer Vladimír Makara decided to start hand sewing shoes so that the tradition of footwear made in Poprad would not die out. For more than 15 years, he has been producing award-winning shoes.

How do you recognise a hiker with bad shoes on in the Tatras?

Such a hiker wears trainers or low shoes designed for city walks. I once met a Polish guide on Gerlachovský Štít peak with two or three hikers wearing low shoes. I was surprised he decided to take them on that hiking trip. You need to have really sturdy shoes with a good sole.

For which customers is it most difficult to sew shoes?

Someone who has very big legs. I have to do everything by hand, measure, pull the parts. I have templates for standard numbers. Already this year, we sewed a shoe for a customer who did not have a full foot, only a heel. That was a bit of a problem.

Where is the furthest you have sent your shoes?

I sent some to New Zealand.

Will your shoes last a lifetime?

Maybe, who knows. However, that would certainly not be the case of a forest worker who has them on his feet every day in difficult terrain. His shoes would not even last three years. But the shoes of a standard hiker can last a very long time, especially if they take good care of them.

Read the interview in full here.

Other developments from this week:

  • A mutated healing wildflower resembling a 'magic broom' has been added to a botanical dictionary thanks to a group of tourists.
  • The Károlyi Bible from the 16th century, an important item in Hungary's history, is on a permanent display in Košice.
  • American artist Alan Craig will open his exhibition in the village of Rohožník, Bratislava Region, sharing his view of western Slovakia, on September 10. The display will run until October 1.
  • Wolf Alice and slowthai are just some of the recently re-confirmed artists to perform at the Pohoda Festival next summer.


New climbing paths opened in the Tatras

With the arrival of an Indian summer, new and safer climbing routes have been opened in the High Tatras.

The newly created paths are part of two projects that have been completed this season under the Ta33 Climbing Manifesto initiative. The first is called the Angels' Hang project in Mlynická Dolina valley, which includes a path running through the Skok Waterfall.

"The extraordinary place only an hour and a half walk from Štrbské Pleso has 12 new paths," said mountaineering and ski mountaineering instructor Martin Murár. "They all lead through beautifully shaped and solid granite."

Eight of them are ideal for children and beginners. The Protiprúd Path, which leads directly between the two branches of the Skok Waterfall, is special in terms of climbing, Murár said. With a height of more than a hundred metres, the path is a challenge for all age groups.

The second project is the Človečina Path leading to the ridge of Popradské Zuby. The ascent has a total elevation of 1,100 metres. Winding through the often neglected but enchanting Dračia Dolinka valley, the path ends in the Dolinka Pod Váhou valley.

"The complex mountain hike that involves crossing a ridge, completely secured by drilled staples, is the first and only one of its kind in the High Tatras," Murár said.

Other travel ideas

  • Trail: The 1.6 kilometre-long educational Trail of Small Bats with 14 stops has been opened in the village of Rákoš, Revúca district, central Slovakia. (TASR)

  • Town: In Svätý Jur, local winemakers keep the tradition of wine-making alive. But what else can visitors find in the town situated near Bratislava?

  • Village: A settlement near the village of Lozorno, Bratislava Region, in which every house is built from wood, celebrates life back in the olden days.

  • Hiking: Swimming in a crater, visiting the White House, drinking from the Spring of Love, and hiking beautiful hills. It is about time for a visit to the Zamagurie region.


Roman Games will return to Rusovce

Ancient Romans will take over their military camp Gerulata, a site located half an hour from the Bratislava City Centre and recently added to the UNESCO list, during the weekend.

The camp, which is now one of several Bratislava museums, will host the Roman Games on September 11, and visitors will have an opportunity to learn more about it and the Roman Empire. Legionnaires will recount stories about their lives and culture, introducing visitors to their fascinating history.

In different parts of the camp, visitors will compete to learn more about the value of goods and property in the days of Ancient Rome, as well as inhabitants were divided on the basis of the size of the property they owned. They can also test their knowledge of Latin and literally smell the ingredients used in Roman cuisine at the vegetable market.

Based on the results, each contestant will be able to calculate the value of their property and find out if they belong to the patrician, plebeian, client or slave social classes.

There will be games for the youngest visitors in the Roman nursery as well, and for children aged 5 to 15, a treasure hunt will take place at three different times throughout the day. However, the number of seekers will be limited to 15 and it is necessary to register.

Visitors will also be greeted by some gladiators.


  • Music: The international chamber music festival Konvergencie takes place in Bratislava until September 26, bringing Slovak premieres, great classics, electronics and cross-genre music to the city.
  • Wine: Dni Burčáku, a weekend wine festival, will be held in the Bratislava borough of Rača on September 11-12. The event will take place in the amphi-theatre at Knižkova Dolina, J. M. Hurban Park, and in the vineyards and wine cellars of local winemakers.
  • Festival: The free-of-charge festival Petržalka Days will take place from September 10-12 in different locations around the borough, including Námestie Republiky, Nobelovo, Ovsištské, Dom Kultúry Lúky, and Dostihová Dráha.
  • Film: A selection of seven films from some of the most talented young directors of animated films from central and eastern Europe will be screened for adults on the evening of September 12 at the beach on the Old Town's Fajnorovo Nábrežie waterfront.
  • Installation: A harpsichord hanging from a wall at the Nová Cvernovka venue plays not the Baroque music many people would associate such an instrument with, but rather from where its former home once stood.


How the Slovak state made Jews second-class citizens

September 9, 1941, was a turning point for Jews in the Nazi-allied Slovak state.

On this day, the government of the far-right clero-fascist Hlinka's Slovak People's Party (HSĽS) adopted the decree on the legal status of Jews, known as the Jewish Code. It targeted all areas of their life, from defining who is considered a Jew and related bans, to the restriction of their lives and the confiscation of their property.

Moreover, with its 270 paragraphs, the regulation became the most extensive legal norm the country had ever had.

"This shows the emphasis the government placed on anti-Jewish policy," said Ján Hlavinka of the Institute of History of the Slovak Academy of Sciences.

But the Jewish Code was not the first piece of legislation targeting Jewish inhabitants.

That is it for now. Thanks for joining me. Have a great weekend. - Peter

Do you have any tips? You can reach Peter at peter.dlhopolec@spectator.sk.

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