UNESCO adds eight Slovak churches to Heritage List





SLOVAKIA’S heritage received a welcome boost when eight rare wooden churches were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List on July 7. The churches join six other Slovak sites already on the list.

The World Heritage Committee added two Roman Catholic churches, three Protestant churches, and three Greek Catholic churches built between the 16th and 18th centuries.

The Roman Catholic churches are in Hervartov and Tvrdošín; the Protestant churches are in Kežmarok, Hronsek and Leštiny; and the Greek Catholic churches are in Bodružal, Ladomirová and Ruská Bystrá. They all present good examples of a rich local tradition of religious architecture, marked by the meeting of Latin and Byzantine cultures, according to UNESCO.

The churches, towns, and Slovak heritage protection officials called the decision a sign of great appreciation for Slovakia’s historical treasures and a move that could attract more international attention to the sites.

“Inscribing the wooden churches onto the list acknowledges the exceptional value of the wooden sacred architecture located in Slovakia in this part of the Carpathian Mountain Area,” Katarína Kosová, the general director of the Slovakia’s Monuments Board, told The Slovak Spectator. “The move will put Slovakia on the cultural world map.”

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