Just 30 km from Krynica-Zdroj, in the north-eastern part of Slovakia there’s a city called Bardejov, a picturesque SPA resort also famous for the oldest Renaissance town hall in the country. Today the building houses the museum of the city’s history.
Bardejov is located on the river Topl'a, at the northern border of Ondava Highlands. It’s the city with a long history and great cultural significance for the development of Slovakia – there was the first public library in the country and the first Slovak theater. In 1986, the city received a gold medal from the foundation ICOMOS, operating at UNESCO. In this way, the organization awarded Bardejov for the protection of cultural heritage. But that’s not the end of the awards - in 2000, the old town was inscribed on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
A walk through the old town of Bardejov
In the past, Bardejov wassurrounded by huge fortified walls that protected the city in the Middle Ages. Now we can admire only a small part of the monumental building - few towers, a piece of the eastern part of the wall and the city gate. In the heart of Bardejov there’s a rectangular Main Square with the town hall in its center. On three sides it’s surrounded by restored town houses with eave facades, and is covered with river stones.
The City Hall is the oldest Renaissance monument in Slovakia. It comes from the beginning of the sixteenth century, and its most valuable elements are the architectural details such as wall paintings, stairs and wooden ceiling in the banquet hall.
In the northern part of the square there’s Basilica of St. Giles, the most important monument of Bardejov. It’s a Gothic church, built in the fifteenth century. From the tower you can admire the historic old town and the surrounding countryside, while the interior of the church has eleven wing altars, standing on their original positions. You have to pay for the entrance to the tower (€ 1.33) as well as to the temple (1 €). You can visit this place from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM.
In the immediate vicinity of Bardejov there’s a spa, visited by tourists since the fifteenth century. The most famous include Empress Sissi, Tsar Alexander I and the Emperor Joseph II. Bardejovské Kúpele is visited by patients with respiratory, digestive and circulatory system problems. The resort has 17 mineral springs, but beside that you can take the advantage of inhalations, a number of therapeutic massages, magnetic therapy and the treatments using ultrasound and other techniques.
The spa is also visited by those, who wish to lose weight. Choosing diet stays you can loose from 4 to 6 kg within two weeks. People practice under the guidance of instructors, undergo an individual programs based on fitness, Nordic Walking, massages and lymphatic system drainage.
Recently, the spa also opened the Wellness and Beauty Studio.
Active rest in Bardejov
The city offers tourists a lot more than only the old monuments or spa treatments. In the summer, there’re held numerous concerts and various types of organized tours. There’s also a heated swimming pool while tennis enthusiasts can get rid of the excess of energy in one of the two courts. In addition, the area has 35 km walking trails.
Bardejov is so close to the Polish border that you can easily visit it during the day trip. The way is very easy – you just take the national road number 75. It’s really worth to visit this pretty resort, considered the most Gothic town in Slovakia.