Stará Ľubovňa Castle to create a permanent falconry space

The castle is the first in Slovakia to offer falcon therapy.

A view from Stará Ľubovňa Castle.A view from Stará Ľubovňa Castle. (Source: Ján Pallo)

It was last spring when Stará Ľubovňa Castle made Lubomirsky Palace from the 17th century accessible after a long period of reconstruction again, but restoration work is far from over.

The castle wants to create a permanent space for falconers.

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Tatras travel guide: A fresh take on the stunning soul of Slovakia. Tatras travel guide: A fresh take on the stunning soul of Slovakia.

“As part of a large project of restoration of the third courtyard and the north-eastern wall, it is our duty to also support soft activities,” Stará Ľubovňa Castle Director Dalibor Mikulík said, as quoted by the TASR newswire.

In addition to the ambition of presenting traditional castle crafts such as pottery-making, medieval cuisine and blacksmithing, the castle plans to focus on the traditional art of flying falcons and falcon therapy.

In December 2021, falconry was added to the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity upon the initiative of 24 countries, including Slovakia.

Cooperation with falconers

The castle – home to Ľubovňa Museum – is the first castle to offer falcon therapy. It has cooperated with falconers from Banská Štiavnica for 16 years.

A town near Banská Štiavnica is home to a primary school that teaches falconry as a subject. It is the only Slovak school that does.

The falconers return to Stará Ľubovňa Castle every summer to perform with birds and educate visitors on birds of prey.

“We want them to have their own space,” Mikulík said, adding they would also like to take visitors back to the Middle Ages.

Popular sight

Restoration work on the castle should start this June and last until 2024.

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When the falconry area is ready for use will depend on the pace at which restoration work progresses, the director said.

Read also: Slovakia's castles have changed from sights to culture hubs Read more 

Stará Ľubovňa Castle from the 14th century is a popular sight. It was visited by more than 200,000 tourists in 2020.

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