Guide of the town Stará Ľubovňa
population: 16 500
expanze of the town: 31km2
Its area in the north of Slovakia, surrounded by the river Poprad, was settled already in the older Stone Age. This process with short breaks last from paleolit till the early Middle Ages. Unfortunatelly, the town historic events which happened in the first three centuries aren´t known to us. The first document concerning Stará Ľubovňa, which was getting the town privileges gradually is from the year 1292. The town got the most important privileges in the year 1364 from the king Ľudovít I., who promoted it to the free royal town with the right of word and took it out of the jurisdiction of the castle Ľubovňa. The people in Ľubovňa obtained adventages of the magdeburg right, i.e.: they could vote their magistrate, town council, set up annual market, tap beer, fish, and judge their citizens. Besides they were exempt from some duties and taxes.
The florescence of the town continued also after the year 1412 when it belonged between 16 spiska towns given under the Polish crown by Hungarian king Zigmund Luxembursky. When the castle Ľubovňa became the seat of the mayor of the reserved area, in the town were many hungarian-polish diplomatic discussions about returning reserves. The possibility of providing services to the residents and guests of the castle uplifted the level of local crafts. Through an unusual blooming were going weavers, shoemakers, tailors, furriers and butchers. In the years of reserves were prospering not only traders and buyers who could realize themselves at seven annual markets. In the town, at its close was working mint, which is also a sign of economic and social boom of the town. This period of history of Stara Ľubovňa is recording the historical novel of J. Nižňanský called Spišské secret. The return of spisska town to Hungary in the year 1772, in the period of the reign of Mária Terezia, did not do very good to Stara Lubovna, insofar the town lost its privileged position.
The heart of Stara Ľubovňa is the square of st. Nicholas with a rectangle ground plan, originally fusiform. The constructions build of bricks began to prevail after the fire in 1556, which damaged older wooden built-up area. The most important building at the square except of the church is Suburban house - former settlement of janitors of the spisska town, which are nowadays serving to the Information center and gallery. Personal attention deserves the Roman Catholic church of st. Nicholas, from the year 1280. Its baroque interior is hiding several artworks. The most valuable is the late Gothic font from the 16th century, the late Gothic sepulchral panels made of sandstone and red marble. The main baroque altar of st. Nicholas - bishop of the middle 18th century is woodcutted. In the middle of the hypostle architecture dominates the bulky picture of st. Nicholas from the second half of 19th century. Historically valuable are also side altars and the sculpture Bewailing of Christ.
At the lime sierra, in the altitude of 711 meters looms over a town the stone castle Ľubovňa belonging to the serie of forts guarding the border of the Hungarian kingdom. The first written mention documenting the castle as one of the first royal settlement is from the year 1311. In the 15th century was the castle in the interest of improving defence cumulated by sequel towers and bastion. However in the year 1553 it was engulfted by a big fire. Thanks to the Polish family of Ľubormírsky the castle changed to an unique renascence fort with its own chapel. It was realized by sharp reconstructions in the 16th and 17th centrury. Its meaning documents overview of monarch visitors : Karol Róbert (r.1314), Žigmund Luxemburský (r.1396,1412), Ján Albrecht (r.1449), Hungarian queen Mária (r.1392), Polish king Vladislav II. (r.1412,1419), Jan Kazimir (1656) a Jan Sobieski (1683). To the utter visitors of the castle Ľubovňa can we also rank Móric Beňovský (1768) because later he became the king of Madgaskar. However in his case it was not a visit in the right meaning but it was an involuntary stay in the castle jail. In the year 1655 - 1661 the solid castle walls provided temporary shelter to the Polish crown jewel which was hiden here in front of the Swedes by the lord Juraj Ľubomírsky.
The separate exhibition situated under the castle Ľubovňa creates the museum of folk architecture of which the dominant feature and the most vauluable exhibit is cabin chapel of the eastern ceremony from Matoyova, built in the year 1883. The most numerous representation in exhibition have wooden houses from the 20th century, economic and technical buildings. This folk building complex collected of surrounding villages together with the castel forms unique, regionally very impressive stage.
This is an English translation of the original Slovak document : Sprievodca mestom