Welcome to Stará Ľubovňa, a charming town located in northeastern Slovakia. With its rich history, stunning natural beauty, and vibrant culture, Stará Ľubovňa is a hidden gem just waiting to be explored. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, nature lover, or simply seeking a relaxing getaway, this captivating destination has something for everyone. Join us as we embark on a journey through the streets of Stará Ľubovňa and discover all that this enchanting town has to offer.
Stará Ľubovňa, also known as Altlublau, Ólubló, Lublovia, or Стара Любовня, is home to approximately 16,000 inhabitants. The town is divided into two districts: Podsadek and Stará Ľubovňa. The name Stará Ľubovňa is of Slovak or Slavic origin and is believed to be derived from a personal name, with the root ľub- meaning lovely or nicely. Similar Slavic geographic names, such as Libeň, Lublin, and Ljubljana, also share this common root.
Situated on the banks of the Poprad River, Stará Ľubovňa offers a picturesque setting surrounded by natural wonders. Just 15 kilometers south of the Polish border and 30 kilometers east of the High Tatras, it is the perfect base for exploring the region’s breathtaking landscapes. As one of the oldest towns in the Spiš region, Stará Ľubovňa holds a special place in the history of the Kingdom of Hungary and is now the administrative capital of the district in the Prešov Region.
Step back in time as you wander through the streets of Stará Ľubovňa’s old town. The rectangular St. Nicolas Square, lined with charming burghers houses from the 17th century, serves as the heart of the town. Here, you’ll find the gothic Roman Catholic Church of St. Nicolas, a true architectural gem dating back to 1280. Nearby, the new Greek-Catholic church of the Mother of Eternal Help stands proudly, its majestic design resembling a royal crown. As you explore the town, don’t miss the castle of Ľubovňa, perched on a hill overlooking the city. This impressive fortress, open to the public, houses a captivating museum that delves into its rich history.
For those interested in traditional folk architecture, a visit to the Ľubovniansky skanzen is a must. This open-air museum showcases numerous houses and buildings that showcase the region’s unique architectural style. One of the highlights is the wooden Greek-Catholic church from Matysová, constructed in 1833. Its intricate details and craftsmanship are a testament to the rich cultural heritage of the area.
As you stroll through the streets of Stará Ľubovňa, you’ll also have the chance to immerse yourself in the local culture and culinary delights. Sample traditional Slovak dishes, sip on locally brewed beer, and experience the warm hospitality of the locals. The town’s vibrant atmosphere and friendly residents make it a truly unforgettable destination.
In terms of demographics, Stará Ľubovňa is home to a diverse population. According to the 2011 population census, the town had 16,341 residents. The majority of inhabitants are Slovaks, followed by Roma, Rusyn, Ukrainian, and Czech communities. The religious makeup of the town is predominantly Roman Catholic and Greek Catholic, reflecting the region’s historical ties to the Catholic Church.
Stará Ľubovňa also boasts a number of famous residents who have left their mark on the world. Ján Melkovič, an acclaimed actor, calls this town his birthplace. Ján Kubašek, a priest and signatory of the Pittsburgh Agreement, also hails from Stará Ľubovňa. In the world of sports, Marcin Oracewicz, a professional ice hockey right winger, and Marián Hossa, another renowned ice hockey player, both have roots in this charming town. Zita Pleštinská, a politician and Member of the European Parliament, is also a proud resident of Stará Ľubovňa.
As you can see, Stará Ľubovňa is a town full of history, culture, and natural beauty. Whether you’re interested in exploring its medieval castle, admiring the traditional folk architecture, or simply savoring the local cuisine, this captivating destination offers a wealth of experiences for every traveler. So pack your bags, embark on an adventure, and uncover the hidden treasures of Stará Ľubovňa, Slovakia’s charming gem in the northeast.