Colourful horses, furniture for dolls and wooden roosters made of hard beech wood radiant with a variety of colours and uniqueness of patterns. These are traditional Kyjatice toys that until recently could have fallen into oblivion. Fortunately, their production was undertaken by Ladislav Hedvigi from Gemer who gained valuable knowledge from the last masters of this craft. And so, immersed in work in his workshop, he gives the wood the original shapes, patterns and colours. His products take hours of hard work.
As a child, Andrea did not spend much time with her mother in the kitchen. She preferred being in a blacksmith’s workshop with her father who forged various products from morning till evening. The fires of happiness burned in her eyes when she first tried the “black craft” of her ancestors. Years passed and Andrea became a trained blacksmith. In the middle of the volcanic area of the Cerová Highlands, just a short distance from the village of Hajnáčka, she built her own blacksmith’s workshop. You can often see a talented girl at various craft markets and castle festivities. Woman’s hands give this seemingly masculine craft the real fiery heart and fine details.
The path is the goal and where there is a will, there is also a way, Maroš Detko probably said to himself at the primary school when he did not let himself be discouraged by the fact that his grandfather’s camera no longer worked very well. Even so, he could take pictures of his classmates and friends without a film and without photos. His first pictures emerged thanks to a developer and fixer mixed in compote bottles in the bathroom which served as a darkroom. Well, that was the beginning of the photographer’s journey, which Maroš has been making to this day, even though the path has already acquired a different, digital form.
Glorious Gemer, whose glory has faded. The iron road seems to have rusted smelters and mines here and people left it long time ago. However, there is still something to look for. Although no longer in the mines, but still underground, in the mysterious cave corridors. If you wish for the silence hidden behind the old walls of Gothic churches or local castles or on the wide plains accompanied by Hucul ponies, you will discover the beauty of the Slovak Karst and the unique Slovak Paradise.
The water reservoir with the warmest water in Slovakia and tunnels or a viaduct in the middle of nothing that the train never crossed. Gemer hides many secrets. It’s time to discover them.
MISS Aragonite is Ochtiná Aragonite Cave. There are two more aragonite caves open to the public, in Mexico and Argentina, but our Slovak one always outperforms them in beauty. Be sure to find time to visit our cave world rarity. The cave welcomes tourists from April to October. You will see the 138,000-year-old generation of aragonite which makes it one of the most valuable caves in the world. Even though you will be underground during the tour, on its ceiling you will see the Milky Way and other magnificent formations located in the cave. In 1995 the cave was added to the UNESCO World Natural Heritage List.
© Pavol Staník / OOCR Región Gemer
The manor house in Betliar is the only one in Slovakia that has preserved its original equipment and rich collections even after 1945. If you are interested in the life of the nobility and its servants, let it pass through this luxurious residence. The Andrássy family – one of the most important aristocratic families of the 19th century – amassed period furniture, manuscripts, utility and artistic artifacts and curiosities in their magnificent hunting lodge. There is also an extensive English park with exotic trees, a 10-meter-high artificial waterfall, fountains, pavilions and a cave in which the manor allegedly kept polar bears. The park naturally spreads into the forests, where hunting for the Hungarian elite once took place.
© Peter Švehla
Muránska planina National Park is still escaping the attention it deserves. The difficult terrain, deep valleys and vast forests make people inaccessible, so the local nature does not lose its integrity. At the same time, the rare visitor can enjoy beautiful views of the picturesque scenery, the ruins of the legendary castle, or the semi-wild herds of horses on the mountain meadows. Only here you can admire the rare endemics, flowers of Murano grasshopper and see so many ground squirrels that eat from the hands of tourists. The secrets of more than 500 caves and abysses are also not revealed to everyone, come and hear the whisper.
© TTstudio / Shutterstock.com
Follow in the footsteps of the never-realized Gemer connection project, which was to connect the network of railways torn apart by the Vienna Arbitration, when the southern part of our territory fell to Hungary. No train has ever passed through the Slavošov tunnel twisted into the letter S, as after its completion in 1949, the whole project lost its significance. The 2.4 km and 45-minute walk in silence and darkness, interrupted only by a flashlight aimed at the road and the cave decorations on the walls, is a truly extraordinary experience. The much shorter Kopráš tunnel and viaduct are also worth seeing.
© OOCR Región Gemer
Teplý vrch near Rimavská Sobota is the warmest reservoir in Slovakia. It will delight lovers of swimming, yachting, fishing and water sports. Part of its shores is the nesting place of water birds and birds can also be observed from the nature trail. Nearby is a protected area in which foreign hyacinths have settled.