Kysuce

The Kysuce region has an area of ​​935 square kilometers. The subregion is situated in the north-westernmost part of the Žilina Self-Governing Region and borders on Poland in the north and the Czech Republic in the west.
Its mountainous surface is naturally divided into 2 separate territories: western part is made up by the ridges of Javorníky, Turzovská vrchovina and Moravsko-Sliezske Beskydy mountains, while the eastern one comprises Kysucké Beskydy, Kysucká vrchovina and Oravské Beskydy mountains. The highest peak is Veľká Rača – 1262 meters above the sea level.
The oldest written record of Kysuce is mentioned in the document from 1244, in which the King Belo IV donated to Bohumír, the son of Sebeslav, a land located near the borders with Poland, called Kis Zudce. Historically, Kysuce used to be a part of the Trenčín County, later the Považská County and currently the region is included in the Žilina Self-Governing Region. There are 4 towns and 33 villages in Kysuce and number of population is 126 000.
The region features a number of unique natural, historical and cultural attractions. One of the largest open-air-museums located in the countryside – Kysuce Village Museum is situated in Vychylovka. 34 pieces of original folk architecture scattered in the forests present the examples of lifestyle of our ancestors. The museum regularly holds cultural performances and various events to acquaint visitors with traditions of the people from Kysuce. Another attraction of the museum is the Historical Logging Back Swath Railway. This National Cultural Monument is one of the few technical relics in the world and the only one in Europe that is in operation. It was founded in 1926 and the total length of the track used to be 110 km. At present the railway offers visitors original 3.6 km long ride passing through the museum that is outstanding due to the part of back swath system with ascent within a short distance. The combination of natural surroundings, historical railway and log houses has attracted a lot of film makers and thus several scenes from the Czech Oscar-winning film ‘Želary‘ and the fairy tale ‘Freckled Max and the Ghosts’ were shot here. The rest of the former railway track has been rebuilt into cycling path in the total length of 26 km that leads along the river Bystrica to the museum situated at the very end of the Bystrica valley.
Another branch of the Kysucké Museum is the manor-house in Radoľa. The manor house is one of few preserved renaissance buildings of its kind in Slovakia. The Kysucká Gallery has its seat in a manor-house in Oščadnica which was built in 1910. The gallery is well-known for organizing outdoor exhibition in a large park that surrounds the manor-house. Kysuce has two urban protected zones – the first one is in Klokočkov – Do Kršle, the second one in Kysucké Nové Mesto – Povina Tatári. Tourist can also visit some of numerous historical churches such as the Neo-Gothic church in Raková, Baroque-Classicism church in Zákopčie, Late-Baroque church in Skalité or Baroque church in Turzovka. The most famous is the St. Bartholomew´s Church in Čadca built in 1734 in the Baroque style as its altarpiece was painted by Master J. B. Klemens.
The town of Turzovka was founded in 1598 by Juraj Turzo, one of the most significant personalities of Slovak history. Visitors can find the memorial room of the Slovak writer Rudolf Jašík here. The town is also well-renowned for the Marian pilgrimage site called Živčáková. According to the testimony, the Virgin Mary appeared here on the first day of June in 1958. Since then, the water springing on the top of the hill is believed to have miraculous healing effects.
Kysuce is worth-visiting for lovers of winter sports. Due to climatic conditions and regular snow cover, the region features excellent possibilities for down-hill and cross-country skiing. One of the most popular ski resorts in Slovakia is situated in Oščadnica – Veľká Rača and offers two-chair lift and regularly maintained ski slopes in length of 14 km. In the village of Makov has its beginning the Beskydsko-Javornická cross-country skiing artery. The ski-trail consists of 14 separate sections, interconnected among each other, with a total length of more than 100 kilometres.
Summer is the best season for keen cyclists and hikers to visit the region. Tourists can hike in deep forests over the ridges of the mountains and enjoy beautiful panoramic views of picturesque countryside and romantic settlements. Due to natural beauties and the highest number of original mountain settlements in Slovakia, more than two thirds of the territory of the region was declared the Protected Landscape Area in 1984. The 3 National Natural Reserves occupy summit parts of Veľká Rača, Veľký Javorník and Malý Polom Peaks. The reserves were established to protect precious fir – beech – spruce forest communities.


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