Date updated: 02/06/2023
Martin is the eighth most important town in Slovakia.
It is located in the Žilina region, between the rivers Váh and Turiec (northern part of the country, near the mountains and the national parks of Veľká and Malá Fatra). Today it is home to just over sixty thousand inhabitants.
The settlement was founded in the early Middle Ages and was considered part of the Sklabinský Pannostvo. It is mentioned in documents from the end of the thirteenth century. Over the centuries it often acted as a theatre of war. It was also plagued by earthquakes. These factors had kept the population from prospering and the town from developing for a long time.
The situation improved at the turn of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Martin was designated the administrative centre of the county of Thuros. The economic potential of the region was increased by the flourishing of the industrial industry. Today, the town is regarded as one of the most promising industrial centres in Slovakia. It is also developing thanks to its tourism and sporting activities in the nearby mountains. The local winter and summer resorts attract visitors from all over the country and neighbouring countries. The "zest" of the mountain tourism are the trails of varying difficulty levels.
The historical part of the city. Attractions
Interesting historical and architectural sights should be sought in the old and central part of the city.
The city of Martin is not only the centre of the region, but also the seat of an institution - the pride and cultural foundation of the Slovak nation. It cherishes and actively develops the national priorities of the country. The cultural institution has a very beautiful name - Matica Slovenska. It is a popular destination for pupils and students. The symbol of ethnic revival is housed in three large buildings. One of them is just a few steps away from Memorandum Square. The classical style building was built with the money of the Slovak nation in the second half of the nineteenth century. The Slovak National Museum of Literature has a permanent exhibition there.
The second original Matica Slovenska building is located behind the Evangelical Church. It is half a century younger than the first building. This majestic pink and brown architectural masterpiece with ledges is the main educational building of the institution.
On its grounds, you can admire the steel sculpture of Jan Kulich, busts of national celebrities and relax on beautiful benches.
The third building, directly belonging to Matica Slovenska, dominates the Gostigora hill. It is a fifteen minute walk from the main square. It was built over a period of 12 years in the 1960s and 1970s. The archives of the Slovak National Library are stored there. The building was built in the spirit of socialist constructivism. What attracts attention are the window rows and concrete reliefs. It represents the peak of experimental architectural creativity at that time.
The building has millions of books on seven dozen kilometres of shelves. It is one of the most comprehensive libraries in the world.
Matica Slovenska is a place where the history of the Slovak nation, its traditions and the main prospects of development are studied. Documents are elaborated here and scientific books are published. The lives of Józef Ciger Hronski, Karol Kuzmani, Stefan Mojses, Pavol Orság Hviezdoslav, Vavro Šrobar and Vladimir Mináč are inseparably linked with this significant cultural repository.
Take a look at the city from above
From one of the more accessible, elevated vantage points, the view is a magnificent panorama of the pulsating life of the city. You can spend hours looking over the neighbourhoods and the local scenery. Descend the hill and you're in the northern part of Martin.
The road goes past the swimming pool. It is an unusual place. It attracts attention with a huge wall of legal graffiti of various meanings, colours and shapes.
The cycling infrastructure is well designed and implemented to a large extent. Bicycle paths are clearly marked and allow you to safely "ride" around the colourful surroundings of the city. The sightseeing on wheels is an excellent opportunity to see corners of the city and nature that are inaccessible to the average tourist.