Date updated: 02/06/2023
Skalica is the administrative centre of the Trnava Region's district of the same name and home to a separate community in north-west Slovakia.
The cadastral area of the town is just over sixty square kilometres. The number of inhabitants is fifteen thousand. A geographical and political feature of the location is the proximity to the border with the Czech Republic. It is the northernmost settlement in the Trnava Region.
Skalica is primarily famous for its well-developed wine industry. Favourable, mild climate contributes to this development. The first settlements here were documented in the Neolithic period - four thousand years before Christ was born. In the early Middle Ages Skalica was considered one of the important settlements of Great Moravia, and later of the Hungarian Kingdom
The first documented mention of the town is from 1218.
Skalica received its town privileges in 1372 from the Hungarian King Louis I the Great. At the same time, the construction of the fortification walls, some of which can still be seen today, started. The abolition of taxes made it possible to finance the development of trade, wine-making and crafts. Under Sigismund of Luxembourg, the town became the centre of regional trade in the kingdom.
A special heyday of vitality was the 17th century. Skalica ranked fifth among Slovakia's urban conglomerates. In the nineteenth century the townsfolk actively supported the resistance against the assimilation of the Slovaks by the Hungarian authorities.
It is an important historical fact that in 1918 the town was the capital of Slovakia for a few days.
A year later it became a part of the First Republic. After division of Czechoslovakia in 1993, Skalica became Slovak administrative centre.
The town's main attractions
Skalica is an ideal town in a number of respects. It has a small population. It is not densely populated, but its favorable geographical position and proximity to other towns in Slovakia and the Czech Republic create favourable conditions for development and comfortable living. It is one of the most attractive centres of tourism in the region and the country. Its historical districts are almost untouched by modern life. The Middle Ages can be breathed in from every little alley, house or alleyway.
St George's Rotunda
A peculiar ancient symbol of the city dominates its quarters. The structure was erected in the seventeenth century, on a small hill. Visually, it complements and enhances the beauty of the historic city centre. If you go down the hill you can easily reach the well-preserved Jewish cemetery of the nineteenth or twentieth century.
The central part of the city
The centre is a very interesting architectural area with four ancient monasteries, six religious buildings and many old bourgeois dwellings.
Explore the triangular-shaped Freedom Square. The Church of St. Michael, a beautiful Art Nouveau-style mansion decorated with creative features, is sure to grab your attention. Don't miss it. Not far from it you'll find the Baroque town hall (rebuilt in the eighteenth century).
Slovak Art Nouveau house
This is one of the most interesting buildings in the city and a decoration of the historic centre. It was designed by renowned Slovak architect Dušan Jurkovič. The Slovak House is the centre of Skalica's cultural life. The Zagorský Museum with permanent and unique exhibitions and the Julius Koreský Art Gallery are housed there. The town hosts various events, concerts, exhibitions and shows in the Cultural Centre.
St. Michael's Church
The Gothic building incorporates several additional detailed stylistic trends. It was built in the second half of the fourteenth century. The church burned down several times. A massive tower was added to the church at a later date. Tourists like to climb it for a panoramic view of the city. There is no entrance fee. A guide will accompany the ascent. He will give a brief description of the church, the tower and the history of its construction.
Church of St. Francis of Xavier
The Jesuit order appeared in Scalica at the beginning of 1660. And from its very appearance, it was engaged in its main business of re-educating and educating Catholics. But it was not until 1693 that the first stone was laid for the foundation of the future Church of St. Francis of Xavier (Kostol sv. Františka Xaverského). It was completed in 1724. Stucco decoration of the frescos and paintings on the altar have been preserved to this day. In 2011 a comprehensive reconstruction was carried out.
Skalice Grammar School
During the Middle Ages, the Jesuit order was active in the town. In particular, the monks built a school for local children. It became the basis for a later college and later a gymnasium. The school is one of the oldest of its kind in Slovakia.
Look for the classic Calvary in the northern part of the town. There is a stone cross, statues of St Mary and St John and a chapel on the hill. Scenes from the Crusades can be seen on it.
Note. The specific urban architecture gave Skalica a reputation for emphasized religiosity, but this applies mostly to the past rather than the present state of affairs. The original religious buildings of worship are a source of pride for the people of the town and a guarantee of successful development of tourism in the region.
Designed for active recreation on the water. The distance from the centre of Skalica is four kilometres. The harbour provides interesting water trips along the Baťa Canal. Visitors are also offered jet skiing, water cycling, fishing with fishing rods, climbing the tower to view the surrounding area, and simply relaxing by the water.
The canal stretches from Skalica to Otrokovice (Czech Republic). There are thirteen shipping locks and very interesting sights along the way (e. g. the Plze wine cellars in Petrov (Czech Republic) or the cable car in Vnorovy (Czech Republic)).
A water trip can be replaced by a regular one, a walk along the waterway. The nature here is beautiful. Sit in one of the cellars and sample the local wine delicacy, Skalický Rubín.
A separate destination:
Cruise by boat to Sudoměřice - to see the technical monument Vyklopnik or to the open museum in Strážnice.