Facts and Data
Official Unesco Page
Unesco World heritage since: 1993
Size of heritage: 4.90 ha
- Buffer zone: 321 ha
Vlkolínec, situated in the centre of Slovakia, is a remarkably intact settlement of 45 buildings with the traditional features of a central European village. It is the region’s most complete group of these kinds of traditional log houses, often found in mountainous areas.
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Vlkolínec is a picturesque village located in the Ružomberok District of the Zilina Region in Slovakia. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its well-preserved traditional architecture and cultural significance. This article will delve into the history of Vlkolínec and its current state as a cherished heritage site.
Vlkolínec dates back to the 14th century when it was established as a settlement for shepherds and farmers. Over the centuries, the village thrived and became a vibrant community. Its name, Vlkolínec, is derived from the Slovak word "vlk," meaning wolf, as the area was once known for its wolf population.
During the 19th and early 20th centuries, Vlkolínec experienced significant growth and development. The village became known for its skilled craftsmen, particularly in woodcarving and pottery. The local economy flourished, and the village expanded with the construction of new houses and buildings.
Architecture and Cultural Significance
Vlkolínec is renowned for its well-preserved traditional architecture, which provides a glimpse into the rural life of the past. The village consists of approximately 45 wooden houses, all built in the distinctive folk style of the region. These houses are characterized by their log construction, wooden shingles, and decorative elements such as carved ornaments and painted facades.
The village layout reflects the traditional Slovak rural architecture, with houses arranged in a linear pattern along a central street. This design was influenced by the need for efficient land use and communal living. The houses are surrounded by gardens and orchards, adding to the village's charm.
Due to its exceptional architectural value, Vlkolínec was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1993. It is considered a living museum, providing visitors with a unique opportunity to experience the traditional way of life in rural Slovakia.
Today, Vlkolínec is a popular tourist destination, attracting visitors from around the world. The village has been carefully preserved, maintaining its original character and authenticity. The houses are still inhabited by locals, contributing to the village's vibrant atmosphere.
Visitors to Vlkolínec can explore the narrow streets, admire the traditional architecture, and visit the local museum, which showcases the history and culture of the village. The museum exhibits various artifacts, including traditional clothing, tools, and household items.
The village also hosts cultural events and festivals throughout the year, celebrating the rich heritage of the region. These events provide an opportunity for locals and visitors alike to experience traditional music, dance, and cuisine.
Efforts have been made to ensure the sustainable development of Vlkolínec, balancing tourism with the preservation of its cultural and natural heritage. Strict regulations are in place to protect the village from inappropriate development and to maintain its unique character.
Vlkolínec is a remarkable UNESCO World Heritage site that offers a glimpse into the traditional rural life of Slovakia. Its well-preserved architecture and cultural significance make it a must-visit destination for those interested in history and heritage. As a living museum, Vlkolínec continues to thrive, attracting visitors who appreciate its beauty and authenticity.
Hotels and places to stay
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Medium airport - 28 mi (46 km) Žilina Airport
Medium airport - 33 mi (53 km) Nowy Targ Airport
Small airport - 45 mi (74 km) Lučenec Airport
Small airport - 53 mi (85 km) Bielsko-Bialo Kaniow Airfield
Small airport - 63 mi (102 km) Ostrava Leos Janáček Airport
Medium airport - 69 mi (112 km) John Paul II International Airport Kraków-Balice Airport
Large airport - 75 mi (122 km) Gliwice Glider Airport
Small airport - 89 mi (144 km) Budapest Listz Ferenc Internationall Airport
Large airport - 111 mi (179 km) M. R. Štefánik Airport
Large airport - 112 mi (180 km) Vienna International Airport
Large airport - 139 mi (225 km) Warsaw Chopin Airport
Large airport - 228 mi (368 km)
Bigger and popular cities in the wider vicinity are these:
- Banska Bystrica
- Banska Stiavnica
- Czarny Dunajec
- Dolny Kubin
- Kysucke Nove Mesto
- Lipnica Wielka
- Sucha Beskidzka
- Turcianske Teplice
- Ziar nad Hronom
These are some smaller cities that might be interesting. They are all rather close.
- Biely Potok
- Liptovska Luzna
- Liptovska Osada
- Liptovska Stiavnica
- Nizna Revuca
- Nizny Sliac
- Stara Cernova
- Stredny Sliac
- U Potkana
- U Svinky
- Valaska Dubova
- Vysny Sliac
- Zemianska Ludrova