A daughter of a permaculture pioneer in Czechoslovakia, Patricia Pavlovská, she is a chip off the old block. The permaculture designer found favourable conditions in Hont: fertile soil heated by the rays of the sun, as well as warm relationships with the locals, growing together with nature and traditions. With their help, she built a garden called MedoUka in the village of Medovarce – one of the first and still functioning community gardens. In the village of Hrušov she set up a garden on the school premises. By working on the Pavlovsky Stable farm within the all-Slovak project School of Permaculture, Patricia is gaining more and more new followers. She also spreads the knowledge through the co-organisation of the Permaculture in the Town Festival.
In Lišov, in a village on the southernmost headland of the Štiavnica Hills, Jakub Dvorský founded a civic association the Lišov Museum. He had previously been involved in cultural heritage conservation and rural development projects in various European countries and in Africa. With this experience, he returned to his native region. Thanks to the civic association, the Lišov Room was created in the house from 1916 – a smaller ethnographic museum, a replica of a Celtic dwelling and a gallery of masks with 400 exhibits from all over the world – the only one in Slovakia. The distance in space and time has thus turned into closeness because the vanishing life comes to life in the present.
In the subregion of Hont you will find Dudince Spa whose aqua viva and also good wine will heal you. Bite into the juicy fruit full of flavour and find the desire to live again. Get to know the land that feeds, the greenery that heals, the new people who were to come. Dig a cellar from which you will take, or your house in a rock where you will live comfortably.
You will find and taste a truly unique healing mineral water, you will find a similar one in Europe only in Vichy, France. Or enjoy traditional specialties and fine wine in Stará hora. In addition, the discovery of interesting stone dwellings and natural phenomena.
The natural monument Dudince travertine was created in the spa park by the healing water before man tied it up and took it to the spa spring. Most travertine mounds and terraces are thus inactive and shrouded in a haze of nostalgia for the past. The history of the local spa is revealed by an educational trail. As you walk through the park, you may see long-growing roses, believe in the miraculous power of a non-existent spring, or record the time of the Tartar invasions. In the so-called Roman Baths, stone-carved baths, you can hear the echoes of resting Roman soldiers, perhaps the happy cry of their duke, who, thanks to the fairy, discovered at one of the springs the lost son.
© Barbora Strieborná
Hide in the Carpenter’s Gorge, a small canyon-like valley. Touch the uniquely formed rocks with water, run your hand over the strips of sediment, feel the coolness of the volcanic rocks and, if you are lucky, the falling water of the four waterfalls. Go where the loops of the led lead you. And you don’t even have to go far to discover more hiding places. To the so-called lords, rock chambers, they allegedly once fled the home from the Turks and, according to the number of holes, they also gave them the distinctive names one-hole, two-hole and eight-hole.
© Dušan Hein
The southern slopes of the Štiavnica Hills and the flexible tuff subsoil determined the fate of the Stará hora wine-growing settlement, which is part of the village of Sebechleby. Above the hand-dug wine cellars grew charming houses with small windows, which open to visitors of various events and agrotourism. In the environment of the folk architecture monument reserve, you can thus mix among the varied local costumes, enjoy wine and traditional specialties, wake up at the John’s fire, or get to know the farm in Sebechleby.
© Pecold / Shutterstock.com
The rock dwellings in Brhlovce were also created thanks to easily workable volcanic rocks. In fear of the dangerous Turks, people carved living quarters into them, which will provide a pleasant coolness in the summer and warm up in the winter. Later, they used to be poor. Even today, some of them are inhabited, others hide museum exhibits or wine cellars or farm spaces. Slovakia also has the equivalent of inhabited caves, which are proud of, for example, Sacromonte in Granada, Spain.
© graphia / Shutterstock.com
The monastery in Bzovík from the 12th century is one of the oldest in Slovakia. After the defeat of Mohács in the 16th century, the peaceful place of concentrated prayers became a fortress – a castle, thanks to the Balaš family. To this day, four corner bastions grip the walls of the preserved fortifications, as our ancestors once feared the Turkish danger. After extensive devastation during World War II, only the ruins of a turbulent past are in their protective embrace.
© Peter Švehla