Stará Ľubovňa (Old Ľubovňa)
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    The first written reference about the town Stará Ľubovňa (Old Ľubovňa) comes from the year 1292. After the castle Ľubovňa was built, the village changed into a settlement around the castle and significantly gained on importance. The year 1364 was crucial for the development of the town. At that time the king Ľudovít I. gave to the town a privilege to be a royal town, together with a privilege to organise regular open-markets. The further development was essentially influenced by the fact that between 1412-1772 it was given to the Polish king as a deposit for a credit. The town became a well known economic and a cultural centre. After 1772 the town lost is exceptional position, officials and aristocracy left it. Stará Ľubovňa remained just a small centre of the nearby surroundings.
    St. Mikuláš (Nicholas) church originating from the era about 1280 and the Provincial Houses are the most dominant monuments of the square. The latter is the former seat of the janitor of the pawned towns from the region Spiš. In 1639, it was reconstructed in the Renaissance style. Inside of the St. Mikuláš church there is a stone late-gothic baptistery coming from the 16th century and sepulchral steles from sand stone and red marble. A baroque altar of St. Mikuláš, bishop from the 19th century, is decorated by a nice woodcut. In the middle of the columnar architecture dominates a precious painting of St. Mikuláš from the 19th century. Side altars and sculpture of Weeping for Christ are very precious historical monuments, too.
    On a calcite rock, a stone castle of Stará Ľubovňa dominates in the surroundings of the town Stará Ľubovňa. It was built at the beginning of the 14th century. The first written reference about the castle was from the year 1311, where it was mentioned as one of the royal residences. The tower and the gothic palace are the oldest parts of the castle. After 1412, the castle became the seat of polish mayors of pawned towns from the Spiš region. This era enabled its further development. The castle completely burnt down in 1553. During reconstruction a new palace was built in the Renaissance style instead. In 1642 a baroque palace and in 1647 a chapel were built, too.
    Polish crown jewels were hidden at the castle from the Swedish troops between 1655-1661. In 1772, after the polish deposit of the Spiš towns expired and the towns were returned, the castle started to decline.
    Below the castle of Stará Ľubovňa there is an open-air museum (Ľuboviansky skanzen) where you can find examples of folk architecture from the regions Spiš and Šariš. The most precious object is a Greek Orthodox Church of St. Michal Archangel from the village Matysová, built in 1883.
    Moreover, you can find here a lot of wooden residential houses from the beginning of the 20th century. The interior of these residential houses reflects the original way of living. The exhibition is very rich and apart of the equipment for daily use, you can find here also means of production of their inhabitants: tinkers, shoemakers, coopers, weavers and cabinetmakers. In the houses you can find demonstrations of folk habits and traditions: birth, wedding, Christmas and Easter.
    Farm objects (barns, stables, garners, wells) and technical buildings (forges, mill and cabinet making workshop) belong to this complex, too. During the summer season, there are exhibitions of folk music bands in natural amphitheatre of the open-air museum.



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