UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Slovakia – 26 UNESCO places in Slovakia!

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UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Slovakia – 26 UNESCO places in Slovakia! There is a total of 7 listings in UNESCO’s World Heritage List in Slovakia out of which 5 are of cultural and 2 of natural character. Well, 7 is not an exact number, because there are more places covered by one UNESCO inscription.

We are not going to list them all here because only UNESCO caves count here in hundreds. Let’s mention at least the main UNESCO Sites in Slovakia to show you which part of Europe is your next holiday destination. ­čÖé

Cultural UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Slovakia

1. Bardejov Town Conservation Reserve (2000)

Let’s start with Bardejov, considered by many as the most beautiful town in Slovakia. Well, it is nice indeed! You will find it in the north-eastern part of the country, in Pre┼íov region, not far from the borders with Poland.

You will fall in love with this place once you step in the city and take a walk through its romantic streets, around the medieval town walls that surround beautiful town centre. The main town square is in the shape of a large rectangle.

Bardejov, UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Slovakia
Bardejov, UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Slovakia

Its fortification system was one of the best in the whole of Europe. You can still see the main gate and 10 keeps.

Bardejov became one of the Free Royal Towns in the 14th century. The main town’s landmark is the Church of St Egidius which is really unique with its 11 gothic altars.

You can’t miss the 16th century Town Hall standing next to the church. It is really nice from outside but even nicer from inside. Today it serves as a museum or even as a concert hall, so do not miss it!

City walls, Bardejov, UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Slovakia
City walls, Bardejov, UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Slovakia

And once here, you also have to visit a world-renowned spa town Bardejovsk├ę k├║pele. Even Empress Elisabeth of Austria (Sissi) tried spa’s healing effects here in the 19th century.

Bardejovsk├ę k├║pele is also a home to open-air museum presenting folk architecture and is surrounded by mountains with a network of hiking trails so you’ll hardly get bored here!

Open-air museum, Bardejovske kupele, Slovakia
Open-air museum, Bardejovske kupele, Slovakia

2. Levo─Źa

Levo─Źa is a small town in a northeastern part of Slovakia. It is also one of the oldest and most valuable towns in the country. The town was inscribed on UNESCO’s list back in 2009 thanks to its preserved historic medieval centre and fortification system enhanced with the fortification ditch.

Today you can admire lots of sights here and even though the town is quite small it is good to reserve a day if you want to see everything it has on offer. Walk through its walls, magical streets and squares.

Levo─Źa, UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Slovakia
Levo─Źa, UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Slovakia

Do not forget to visit its landmark, Church of St. James, which is the second largest church in Slovakia (just after Cathedral of St Elisabeth in Kosice). And it houses the highest wooden Gothic altar not only in Slovakia but also in the world (18,6 meters).

There are several museums that you simply must visit to learn something more about this city and region, such as Spi┼í Museum in Levo─Źa that is spread in three different houses, including iconic Town Hall.

Levo─Źa city walls, UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Slovakia
Levo─Źa city walls, UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Slovakia

And finally, you should also climb up to the hill known as Mariánska hora. It is one of the oldest and most important pilgrimage sites in Slovakia. Even Pope John Paul II visited this place back in 1995, along with other 650,000 pilgrims on the same day.

Levo─Źa as seen from Mari├ínska hora, UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Slovakia
Levo─Źa as seen from Mari├ínska hora, UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Slovakia

3. Spiš Castle

The largest castle complex in Slovakia and even in Central Europe! Well, you will likely find Spiš Castle on every list of the largest castles in the world.

Founded already in the 12th century, Spiš castle experienced turbulent history until it was finally abandoned in the 18th century and gradually destroyed in following years.

Fortunately, its fall stopped at the end of 20th century and now it is the most visited attractions in the whole Kosice region and eastern Slovakia. There are lots of performances, concerts and other events during the year. You can visit it from April till November, every first Sunday of the month even for free!

Spiš Castle, UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Slovakia
Spiš Castle, UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Slovakia

4. Spi┼ísk├ę Podhradie

Spi┼ísk├ę Podhradie is a small town situated at the foot of the Spi┼í castle hill. Spi┼ísk├ę Podhradie is extremely rich in historical monuments that are concentrated on its main squares.

When visiting Spi┼í castle and Levo─Źa stop by to rest for a while here.

Spisske Podhradie, UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Slovakia
Spisske Podhradie, UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Slovakia

5. Spišská Kapitula

Spi┼ísk├í Kapitula was once a village, now it is a part of the town Spi┼ísk├ę Podhradie. The village grew up around the local church from the 12th century.

Its most dominant landmark is the late Roman twin towers Cathedral of Saint Martin of the 13th century, but there are also other Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance monuments around, just take a walk!

And once you get hungry there is a chalet restaurant Spi┼ísk├Ż Sala┼í nearby with long history waiting for you and offering delicious typical Slovak meals.

Spišská Kapitula, UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Slovakia
Spišská Kapitula, UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Slovakia

6. ┼Żehra

┼Żehra would probably not be so interesting or of any significant feature, but since it is a home to UNESCO church built in the 13th century many tourists come to visit it.

The church is nice not only from the outside, you should step into and enjoy its interior as well. There you can admire valuable wall paintings from the 13th to 15th century.

The church in ┼Żehra is not open every day and in fact, it’s not that easy to get into it (as I heard from some of you who visited the site). Contact parish office and make an appointment prior your arrival. You can find some contact information here: http://zehra.fara.sk/my (only in Slovak, if you need to arrange a visit, let me know below in the comments).

┼Żehra, UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Slovakia
Church in ┼Żehra, UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Slovakia

Levo─Źa, Spi┼í Castle, Spi┼ísk├ę Podhradie, Spi┼ísk├í Kapitula and ┼Żehra church were inscribed in UNESCO under one property named Levo─Źa, Spi┼ísk├Ż Hrad and the Associated Cultural Monuments. The first places were inscribed already in 1993, while the last one in 2009.

7. Historic Town of Banská Štiavnica and the Technical Monuments in its Vicinity (1993)

Another jewel among Slovak towns is Bansk├í ┼átiavnica. This is the UNESCO World Heritage Site from 1993 and you’ll find it in the central part of the country.

Banská Štiavnica is among the cities with a rich architecture. Monuments in the historic centre were built especially between Gothic and Baroque and they were often rebuilt later.

The largest part of important monuments is located in the city centre, but nevertheless, important buildings are also found in peripheral parts (eg. Calvary). Thanks to a rich mining history there are numerous technical monuments preserved in the area, which are also part of UNESCO.

Banská Štiavnica, UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Slovakia
Banská Štiavnica, UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Slovakia

Banska Štiavnica old Castle, UNESCO Slovakia
Banska Štiavnica old castle, UNESCO Slovakia

8. Vlkol├şnec (1993)

Vlkol├şnec was inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List back in 1993. Come here to see 45 original and almost unchanged rustical houses, mainly from the 19th century with its typical plan of the three rooms. All buildings are made of wood, only the church is made of bricks.

There are still around 30 people living there in these houses and you can even find an accommodation in few of them. So if you really wish to experience real folk holidays in the heart of Slovakia, then Vlkol├şnec is something you have to try!

The village is close to some of the best skiing slopes in the country, such as Malin├┤ Brdo or Donovaly, as well as to one of the best thermal parks – Thermal Park Be┼íe┼łov├í.

Vlkol├şnec, UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Slovakia
Vlkol├şnec, UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Slovakia by Stefan Karpiniec

Wooden Churches of the Slovak part of the Carpathian Mountain Area (2008)

From the total number of about 300 sacral buildings around fifty have been preserved in Slovakia until these very days. I recommend visiting all of them, however, only 8 were chosen for UNESCO. And you can find them in the following towns and villages:

9. Tvrdo┼í├şn

Wooden church in Tvrdo┼í├şn, UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Slovakia
Wooden church in Tvrdo┼í├şn, UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Slovakia (┼Żilina region – North Central Slovakia) by Pudelek (Marcin Szala)

10. Leštiny

Wooden church in Leštiny, UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Slovakia
Wooden church in Le┼ítiny, UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Slovakia (┼Żilina region – North Central Slovakia) by hrusmar

11. Hervartov

Wooden church in Hervartov, UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Slovakia
Wooden church in Hervartov, UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Slovakia (Pre┼íov region – North East Slovakia)

12. Ladomirová

Wooden church in Ladomirová, UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Slovakia
Wooden church in Ladomirov├í, UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Slovakia (Pre┼íov region – North East Slovakia)

13. Bodru┼żal

Wooden church in Bodru┼żal, UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Slovakia
Wooden church in Bodru┼żal, UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Slovakia (Pre┼íov region – North East Slovakia)

14. Ke┼żmarok

Wooden church in Ke┼żmarok, UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Slovakia
Wooden church in Ke┼żmarok, UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Slovakia (Pre┼íov region – North East Slovakia) by Zuzana Medveov├í

15. Ruská Bystrá

Ruská Bystrá Church, UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Slovakia
Rusk├í Bystr├í Church, UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Slovakia (Ko┼íice region – Very East Slovakia) by Henryk Bielamowicz

16. Hronsek

Wooden church in Hronsek, UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Slovakia
Wooden church in Hronsek, UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Slovakia (Bansk├í Bystrica Region – Central Slovakia) by Prskavka

This set of eight wooden churches from the 16th to 18th centuries is an outstanding example of the European sacral architecture. They all have some different story to tell… They are usually surrounded by amazing nature and are situated in very magical and special places.

And if you would like to see them all in one day, you can visit Mini open-air museum of wooden churches in ─Żutina. There are mini replicas of all these churches, however, you’ll miss the special places where the churches are actually situated.

Natural UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Slovakia

Caves of Aggtelek Karst and Slovak Karst (1995)

This is the group of caves that are spread on two neighbouring national parks – Aggtelek Karst (in Hungary) and Slovak Karst (South East Slovakia). From 15 caves that are opened to the public in Slovakia, 6 of them were inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage Site List (plus around 700 which are closed to the public).

All UNESCO Caves that you can visit in Slovakia are situated in Košice region, in the south-east part of the country. I am not going to describe them all here, as there is another article about Caves in Slovakia only. Just to mention them:

17. Dobšinská Ice Cave

Dob┼íinsk├í Ice Cave is one of the largest ice caves in Europe and one of the first caves in the world to have electric lighting (1881). It is a part of Slovak Paradise National Park so you’ll find a lot of hiking possibilities all around.

Dobšinská Ice Cave, UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Slovakia
Dobšinská Ice Cave, UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Slovakia by Margoz

18. Domica Cave

Domica is one of the largest caves in Slovakia and the only cave in the country where you can enjoy an underground boat trip on the river that flows through the cave (during good weather conditions only, in the last few years there is less water due to drier climate so the boating is not always possible, but the cave is opened).

Domica Ice Cave, UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Slovakia
Domica Ice Cave, UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Slovakia by Jojo

19. Gombasecká Cave

Gombasecká Cave is one of the most important caves in the Slovak Karst National Park and is famous for the thin straw stalactites.

Gombasecká Cave, UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Slovakia
Gombasecká Cave, UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Slovakia

20. Jasovská Cave

When visiting Košice region you cannot miss Jasovská cave and its surroundings including old Monastery, ponds, old cemetery, and a walk through the forest around. Read more about this destinations here: Visiting Jasov Cave in the Slovak Karst National Park

Jasovská Cave, UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Slovakia
Jasovská Cave, UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Slovakia

21. Krásnohorská Cave

Do you rather prefer some more adventurous trips? Kr├ísnohorsk├í cave requires some physical ability and a bit of courage. A few years ago it had even its own record in The Guinness Book of Records for the highest stalagmite in the world (34 meters tall). Until the people found the taller ones elsewhere in the world…

Krásnohorská Cave, UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Slovakia
Krásnohorská Cave, UNESCO, Slovakia

22. Ochtinská Aragonite Cave

Ochtinská Aragonite Cave is one of only three Aragonite caves in the world that are open to the public (the others are in Mexico and Argentina). But do not travel so far, come to Slovakia instead. Some of the oldest aragonite formations are almost 140 thousands years old.

Ochtinská Aragonite Cave, UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Slovakia
Ochtinská Aragonite Cave, UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Slovakia

Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and the Ancient Beech Forests of Germany (2007)

They are not rainforests but are equally important and old! This is why they became a part of UNESCO!

23. Primeval Beech Forest Ro┼żok

Forest Ro┼żok is one of ten forests of the Carpathian beech forests (4 locations in Slovakia and 6 in Ukraine), which were included in the UNESCO World Heritage List back in 2007. Ro┼żok is not accessible for public and it stands right on the borders with Ukraine.

Forest Ro┼żok, UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Slovakia
Forest Ro┼żok, UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Slovakia

24. Primeval Beech Forest Stu┼żica

Forest Stu┼żica is a National Nature Reserve, the original Carpathian forest, which is situated in a deep valley around Stu┼żick├í River on the borders of Slovakia, Poland and Ukraine. It’s a part of Bukovske Mountains in Poloniny National Park – near the easternmost Slovak village of Nov├í Sedlica.

Stu┼żica primeval forest, UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Slovakia
Stu┼żica primeval forest, UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Slovakia by Caroig

25. Primeval Beech Forest Havešová

Forest Havešová boasts one of the tallest beech trees in the world. In 1964 the forest was declared a nature reserve and since 1997 it is a part of Poloniny National Park.

Primeval forest Havešová, UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Slovakia
Primeval forest Have┼íov├í, UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Slovakia by Benjam├şn Jar─Źu┼íka

26. Primeval Beech Forest Vihorlat

Vihorlatsk├ę Mountains surround one of the most famous and popular summer destinations in Slovakia – Zempl├şnska ┼á├şrava. And they are also home to UNESCO Forest Vihorlat. Oldest trees in Vihorlat forest are around 240 years old!

Vihorlat mountain above clouds, UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Slovakia
Vihorlat mountain above clouds, UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Slovakia

So that’s all folks! These are 26 amazing UNESCO places that really worth a visit in Slovakia. Have you already visited any of them? Or just planning your first trip to Slovakia? Let us know below in the comments! 13 additional properties are still on the Tentative List so hopefully, the list will be updated soon!

You can find more places around UNESCO Sites here: Things to do in Košice region or here: Things to do in Prešov region.

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