Žilina and Kysuce
The unique natural setting and abundant historic and cultural monuments make the region very attractive. Mountains rich in forests cover most of its surface. The most valuable natural assets are protected in the National Park of Malá Fatra as well as the protected landscape areas of Kysuce and the Strážov Mountains.
Photo: Súľov Rocks - national nature reserve © Tibor Rendek
Assets created by man are also valuable. The region boasts an unusual number of castles and historic buildings such as manor houses and curias from different periods, which can be found almost in every village. The most valuable castles are those of Budatín, Strečno and Bytča. The oldest historic architectural monuments are the ruins of numerous medieval castles usually situated on the top of hills. The castles of Starý hrad and Lietava, as well as the Hričov Castle, Považie Castle and Súľov Castle inspire admiration of skills of old builders. The reconstructed squares of Žilina and Rajec are town monument reserves.
Photo: Budatín Castle. Credit: B. Kapala
Folk architecture can be seen in several villages of the environs of Žilina and Kysuce. Many of them have been moved to the open-air museum in Vychylovka, the locality also known for its picturesque forest railway.
Photo: Forest railway, Open-Air Museum in Vychylovka © Peter Babiak
The entire region was famous for its craftsmen who were mostly involved in peddling and the tinkers trade in the past. The trade eventually developed into an art and its products can be admired in the unique Museum in Budatín dedicated to the subject. Another must-see attraction of the region is the unique wood-carving work - one of the biggest mobile Nativity scenes in Slovakia called 'Slovak Betlehem', which is exhibited in the House of Gods Nativity in Rajecká Lesná.
Photo: Slovak Betlehem in Rajecká Lesná © Jozef Feiler
The wonderful natural setting of the spa in Rajecké Teplice provides not only therapeutic treatment to local and foreign visitors of this spa but also relaxation and hiking in its environs.