Prešov - the Athens on Torysa
Slovakia is a country located in the heart of Europe and is part of the European Union. The currency used in Slovakia is euro and national language is the Slovak language.
Presov is the third largest city in Slovakia. The historical name of this city is Eperieš, which means strawberry. Flowers of strawberry are also pictured in the town’s coat of arms. The folk name for this city from the 19th century is Athens on Torysa because of it’s high-level culture and schooling. This city is the metropolis of a Šariš region (north-eastern part of Slovakia) and it lays on the 49° degree latitude, which is marked by a monument in Prešov city center. The city is great for relaxation and it is quite easy to get to other cities by train. Another big city which isn’t far from Prešov is Košice and other interesting cities close to Prešov are Bardejov, Levoča, and Poprad.
Where to stay?
Probably the most known hotels include
hotel Dukla located in the city center on the Main street
hotel Enchante, which is located not far from the main train station
hotel Beliér, which is near Main street
Garden Apartments, also located near the city center
hotel Polo, which is 3km from the city center.
Where to eat?
If you’re interested in national Slovak food, the best place to eat is Šarišská chyža. Located on the Main street, this restaurant will give you a taste of traditional Slovak food.
Other restaurants such as La Cucaracha are also located in the city center. Price is reasonable and the food is really good. Their menu includes pizza, pasta, salads, and many others.
If you’re looking for something a little bit fancier, try restaurant La Gondola, which is also on Main street or one of two Harley Davidson steakhouses. One of them located on street Pod Kalváriou and other a bit further from a city called Steakhouse Preshow, but in this case, you’ll probably need to take a taxi.
What to see in Prešov?
In the center of the town, located on the Main street is a park, where you can sit, relax near the Neptune’s fountain and admire the townhouses which are a beautiful part of this city. In the park is also located a statue of Empress Elisabeth of Austria „Sisi“. Just a few meters from the park you can see the Church of St. Nicolaus. In the summertime, you can climb to the church’s tower just for 1 or 2 euros and have a view of the entire city. When you walk out of the park, on the further end from the church of St. Nicolaus, you’ll end up on bus stop „Na Hlavnej“. From here, you can take a bus to nearly any part in Prešov and you can see a podium in the middle of the walking area, where some of the concerts and events happen and a statue of a horse made out of horse-shoe. Horses are part of Prešov’s history and residents of Prešov are called „Koňare“ (made up word from 13th century connected to a horse).
Townhall is located next to the Neptune’s fountain. It is originally a rich house from the 16th century in a baroque style.
Caraffa’s prison located on Jarková street is a building with thick walls and pillars. It is a gothic building which served as an armory and a prison. It’s called after general Antonio Caraffa from Naples, who gave a verdict to execute 24 Hungarian women and burgers.
On the corner of Main street and Levočská, there is a Bosak’s bank. It was designed as a financial institution. It is named after Michal Bosak, Slovak immigrant who developed to be one of the leading U. S. bankers.
On the other side of the Main street from Bosak’s bank is another fountain, which used to be a singing fountain. It is quite long and is a good place to relax.
Another big attraction on Prešov is Solivar. It is a technical monument and it served as a salt deposit in the past. There are salt deposits underneath Prešov but they got flooded so people got the salt from water called “Soľanka” which is practically the flooding water in which the salt was dissolved and people then had to process it to get salt out of it again. Today it is a museum and you can see the whole process of mining.
Orthodox Cathedral of St. Alexander Nevsky
Orthodox Cathedral of St. Alexander Nevsky is located on Partizanska street not far from the Main street. It is the central sanctuary of the Orthodox Church in Slovakia. The exterior reminds the typical sacral architecture of Russia. Alexander Nevsky was a Russian prince.
Calvary is a church that sits on the hill above Prešov as a jewel in a crown. It is a beautiful walk up the hill and you can admire all of the Prešov from up there.
Where to go near Presov?
Presov, even though it is a metropolis of Šariš region, it doesn’t have its own castle. But it has the biggest number of remainings of the castles nearby. There are six castles in total and they are really easy to get to from Presov. They are Šariš castle, Kapušany castle, Obišovce castle, Zbojnícky castle, Lipovský castle and Šebeš castle.
To get to Šariš castle, you need to take a city bus number 45 to Veľký Šariš and from there, you can begin your walk up to the castle. To get to Kapušany castle, you need to take the train to Kapušany. You can get to Obišovce by train as well. Zbojnícky castle is located near a village called Ruská nová Ves and you can get there by city bus number 46. Unfortunately, there is no official route to Lipovsky castle but you can find an information board on the road between villages Lipovce and Lačnov. From the castle, you can admire the Lačnovský canyon, which is breathtaking and I strongly recommend visiting there if you like a little hike. The last but not least is castle Šebeš stands above the village Podhradík, where you can begin your hike.
I hope you’ll find time to visit Prešov and enjoy all of its perks.