Presov Slovakia, set in the High Tatra Mountains where eastern Slovakia bumps into Ukraine and Poland, has a cultural significance far beyond its compact size. On the surface, it has the bumptious exuberance of a typical university town, always keen to burn the candle at both ends. It is also a regional centre for Slovakia‘s best skiing, and fantastic, scenic hiking, so throughout the year its numbers are further swollen by visitors looking for a good time. Luckily, Presov Slovakia was spared from total destruction in World War II, and not only preserved its lozenge-shaped historic centre, but has recently given it a thorough face-lift; which means that citizens and students alike have a wonderful, historic theatre in which to dramatize themselves.
In fact, Presov‘s history is concentrated around one main square, which reveals the ethnographical confrontations of both past and present. At its widest point the 14th century Catholic Cathedral (with marvelous, modern Moravian stained glass and a sumptuous Baroque altarpiece) challenges its Protestant counterpart opposite; and both are shown to be architectural floosies by the stark simplicity of the mid-17th century Lutheran church next door.
All are in daily, local use, evidence of the strength of both historic religious reformism in outer Hungary when everyone else was suffering the Counter-Reformation, and of continuing tensions in the present community. These are intensified by Presov‘s less obvious role as the only cultural centre of Slovakia’s ancient Ruthenian minority, and of Roma from all over the countryside. After rubbing together so long, Presov Slovakia has developed an air of relaxed warmth among its still provincial, distinct communities. Student high-fives and laughter provide the perfect lubricant. Maps of Presov Slovakia.
Winter sports, or summer hikes?
The Irish Pub closes at 7.00 am, when the bar next door opens.
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