The Liptov Region
Liptov is a region in northern Slovakia with around 140,000 inhabitants. The area is also known by the German name Liptau, the Polish Liptów and the Hungarian Liptó.
The first known inhabitants came to Liptov during the Neolithic age around 6000 years ago. The important chapter of Liptov also represents the Celts during the Iron Age. The Celtic tribal village can be seen in the archeological site of Havránok near Liptovská Mara. The first settlements of Slavic people in modern-day Slovakia and thus Liptov region began approximately in the 6th century BC.
There are currently three remains of castles that were built in the Liptov region. They are the Likava castle, the Liptov castle, and the Liptovský Hrádok castle. Liptov is also a place where the legendary Slovak figure of the 17th and 18th Century, Juraj Jánošík – bandid captain, lived and died.
Historical and cultural centres of Liptov are the towns of Liptovský Mikuláš, Ružomberok and Liptovský Hrádok. Liptov is surrounded by the highest mountains in Slovakia: the High Tatras, the West Tatras and the Choč Mountains from the north, Low Tatras from the south, Greater Fatra from the west and Poprad Basin from the east. The longest Slovak river of Váh runs through Liptov and fills the important water reservoir of Liptovská Mara. There are two Slovak national parks with the highest level of protection in the territory of Liptov, they are the Tatra National Park, the Low Tatras National Park and the Great Fatra National Park.
Liptov is one of the most visited regions in Slovakia. Liptov has two big tourist draws:
• a pair of large thermal water parks, at Bešeňová (near Ružomberok) and Tatralandia (near Liptovský Mikuláš)
• Demänovská valley with all year round tourist attractions best known for skiers and mountain hikers.
The most visited tourist sites are: the biggest ski resort in Slovakia - Jasná, ski park Malinô Brdo, thermal parksof Tatralandia and Bešeňová, four public caves: the Demänovská Cave of Freedom, the Demänovská Ice Cave, the Cave in the village of Važec and the Stanišovo Cave, as well as a UNESCO World Heritage Site of Vlkolínec. The list of museums and galleries include: Liptov Museum and Ľudovít Fulla Gallery in Ružomberok, Gallery of P.M. Bohúň and the Centre of Koloman Sokol in Liptovský Mikuláš. Liptov has a rich tradition of folklore culture. The annual folklore festival in the village of Východná is the biggest folklore event in Slovakia attracting thousands of visitors from all around Europe.
The Liptov region has a number of fine churches. In Svätý Kríž, south of the reservoir Liptovská Mara, is a large 'articular' wooden church. This is one of the largest wooden religious buildings in Europe and, like the buildings at Pribylina, was also rescued from the water (it was originally built in the now-vanished village of Paludza). And in the small village of Nižné Matiašovce, at the start of the precipitous route from Liptov to Zuberec (in the Orava valley), is a beautiful wooden-roofed church with defensive stone walls and bastions.
Liptov region is unique, as during one single day you can discover the subterranean beauties of the caves, hot mineral springs and splendid skiing and tourist experiences in the mountains.