Pilgrimage sites in Slovakia, Spanis Dolina

Pilgrimage sites in Slovakia

Slovakia is still very religious country. Overwhelming majority of the Slovaks are Roman Catholics, but there is also Protestant minority and in East Slovakia also Greg0-Catholics and Orthodox. Let’s discover the most interesting pilgrimage sites of Slovakia.  


The oldest pilgrimage site of Slovakia and also the oldest pilgrimage site of former Hungarian Kingdom. The first pilgrim’s journeys began at 11st century. The story about Marianka told that here used to live a hermit who were seeking a peace outside the world in landscape of Small Carpathians. He used to kill time by carving out the statue of Madonna. But occurred riots by pagans, and he had to hide the statue in tree trunk.

After some centuries ago the statue was discovered by a bandit who had disabled kids. He had a dream, where Holly Mary told him, where he should dig and there he should discover a spring. With spring he fought also a statue of Madonna. He bathed his kids in spring, and his children got better. He changed his life and started penance. He built a chapel and the story about the power of spring and statue of Madonna spread among the people. Today is Marianka one of the most visit pilgrimage sites of Slovakia and it is a part of Bratislava.

Pilgrimages sites of Slovakia, Marianka


One of the most popular pilgrimage sites of Slovakia and also the most visited. Sastin visited also pope Francis who celebrated the holly mass here in 2021.

The history of Sastin are dated back to Great Moravian Empire and St. Cyril & Method who brought Christianity into Great Moriavian Empire. Sastin lies on crossroad of historical merchant roads and therefore in 9th century they built there a stronghold. The name Sastin is derived from old words”Sasie” & “Tin” what means in translation the castle of cut trees. From 15th century is dated the start of pilgrim’s journeys to Sastin to statue of Our Lady of Sorrows. In 17th century they built a basilica of Our Lady of Sorrows who became the patron of Slovakia. Every year on 15th of September in Slovakia we have a bank holiday and there is a big pilgrim’s journey to Sastin.

Pilgrimage sites of Slovakia, Sastin basilica with pope Francis

Skalka near Trencin

Skalka is located near city of Trencin, about 1h20 minutes drive from Bratislava. It consists of two parts Velka Skalka – preserved remains of old Benedict’s monastery founded in 1224. The second part is Mala Sklaka, where is a located parish church devoted to Slovakian saints St. Svorad & St. Benedict.

The myth of Skalka is closely connected to life of a monk Benedik, who according to the legend in 11th century left the Nitra Abbey in order to live as a hermit. He was raid by the bandits when praying rosary, who fought he is counting the coins, so they killed him and throw his body into the longest Slovakian river – Vah. His body was found thanks to the eagle who circle around his body. His body was well preserved and transferred to Nitra Abbey and buried in St. Emeram Cathedral next to his brother Andrew, also known as Svorad who used to live in Skalka as hermit as well.

Pilgrimages sites of Slovakia, Sklaka

Stare Hory

Stare Hory is the most visited pilgrimage sites of Central Slovakia. They are located on place in past rich for rare metals. The remains of mining activity are still present in this region.  The highlight of Stare Hory is a gothic basilica of Holly Marry, where is stored a rare statue of Madonna from 15th century. She is a target of many pilgrims. The areal of the basilica includes also Calvary, Chapel of our Lady of Sorrow with well with healing spring.

Pilgrimage sites of Slovakia, Stare Hory

The Lourdes of Slovakia – Zivcakova

The Holly Marry did not appear just in Lourdes, or Fatima or Medzugorie, but also in a beautiful region of North-West of Slovakia – Kysuce on the hill Zivcakova to the local forester Matthew Lasut who went on 01.06.1958 pray to the hill. Holly Marry pointed to Matthew a three where were hanging a picture, but instead of it he saw a map of the world. Below the map where located a blackboard with a text describing seven scenes. Afterwards started lightning and Matthew noticed a shinning triangle and in the middle of triangle was a Jesus. Afterwards Matthew lost consciousness. He told this story to his relatives and the story spread among the people who started visiting this hill. The communist police caught Matthew and sent him to psychiatric hospital. If the story is true or not, the fact is the springs what appears after his vision had not been there till the vision. Many people believe, that the springs have a healing power.

Maria’s Hill in Levoca

It is one of the oldest pilgrimage sites of East Slovakia. Roots of pilgrim’s journeys here are dated back to 13th century. Maria’s hill is 760,5 m high peak above the medieval city of Levoca. Besides main church there is located also a small Greek Catholic Chapel. During the main pilgrimage that takes place annually at the first weekend in July, you can go there only on foot or by shuttle bus service, which is aimed mainly at older and handicapped
because of the capacity reasons. There are five chapels along the pilgrimage route, as well as a lime tree alley that has been named John Paul II. Alley after the Holy Father on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of papal visit. The chapels commemorate people and events from the life of Virgin Mary (St.
Anne, Annunciation, Virgin Mary with Child, Pieta, Immaculate Conception). The distance from the town centre to the basilica is approximately 2 km.

In the city of Levoca is located another Basilica minor, the St. Jacob Basilica which is listed in UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE LIST. In the basilica is an wooden altar of Master Paul from Levoca. Worth of the visit is also the city of Levocha which has a medieval look. Levoca belongs to Spiss Region, which is famous thanks to UNESCO monuments and gothic buildings. This region was inhabited by German settlers in 13th century who were invited here by king Belo IV., in 13th century after the war with Tatars.

Butkov Hill

Butkov Hill (765m) is the newest pilgrimage site of Slovakia located just 1h30 min by car from Bratislava in town Ladce. Butkov was originally a limestone quarry as in Ladce is located lime works. This place is devoted to St. John Paul II. who as a Slavic pope who also spoke a good Slovak and often visited Slovakia is here very popular and he used to also worked in limestone quarry during II. World War.

Klin (Rio de Klin)

The biggest statue of Jesus is located in a beautiful countryside of Orava’s region village of town Klin. The height of statue is 9,5 m. In the area of the Jesus’s statue if also a statue of St. John Paul II., Pater Pio and blessed Zdenka Schelingova. Below the Jesus statue you can also find the Chapel of God’s Mercy. Rio De Klin is also part of our FIT’s Tour Slovakia History & Nature.

Pilgrimage Heritages of Slovakia, Rio de Klin the Jesus Statue

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