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7 wonders of Levice District

Category: Country beauties (places of interest)

Levice District

Levice District hides numerous places of interest. Seven historical wonders of Levice District will guide you through historical sights and monuments that are important for this district. Seven up to date wonders will show you the most remarkable contemporary sights you shouldn’t miss during your visit of this district. Welcome in Levice.

1. Levice Castle and Tekov Museum

The biggest landmark not only of Levice town itself but of the whole district is stone castle from the second part of the 13th century. It was built on steep rock promontory extending to vast morass, watered by Hron and Podlužianky brook. Castle’s role was to defend the access road from lower Hron Region to mining towns in Central Slovakia and because of its great view on wide surroundings and swampy terrain it was complicated for enemies to attack it. The first famous owner of Levice Castle was Matúš Čák Trenčiansky. First written reference to its existence comes from 1318 in which Jula from Topoľčianky is mentioned as castle manager and follower of Matúš Čák. After his death in 1321 castle became the royal property. Outside walls of fortress, rock corner framing, Gothic portal of the oldest palace, plaster fragments and fortifications are preserved to this day.

Tekov Museum is situated in castle premises. First, it was located on the second floor of the Town House. In 1954 museum moved to ground spaces of former Franciscan monastery and four years later to fortification, so called building of the captain in the compound of Levice Castle where it resides to these days.

2. Synagogue - Levice

The place where the Jews celebrated their masses and ceremonies breaths a little more freely now. The town has decided to reconstruct this building in disrepair. This has been done in 2012 when the building was handed over and it serves for organization of various cultural events and exhibitions. Moreover, synagogue hiding a lot of secrets have already revealed one. In March 2011, during draining works, workers found walled up an ancient document and coins. The document disproved claim that synagogue was built in 1853. It happened only in 1883, so thirty years later.

3. Excavated dwellings Brhlovce

Excavated dwellings are one of 11 reserves of folk architecture in Slovakia. They are located in a small Hont village of Brhlovce in Levice District. It is being said that local excavated dwellings have their origin in protection of native population before incursion of Turks in the 16th and 17th century. Since there are sediments of ash and powder (tuffite and tuff) good for processing, and village and its surroundings passed through rich volcanic activity in the Tertiary period, there was a unique occasion to use them. So residents of Brhlovce had cut down unique dwelling and also farming rooms, where three families were living on a common courtyard originally. Rock was a suitable material not only for creation of original dwellings but it provided also source of livelihood. Stonemasonry became the most important form of existence of local people in the nineteenth century.

4. Romanesque church - Kalinčiakovo

According to us Kalinčiakovo can be proud of its Romanesque church from the 12th century that is a classic example of Romanesque style. It was built as a single-nave building with semicircular apse and western gallery. In 1655 it became a property of Reformed Christian Church. The added tower was slightly moved towards north from central axis of the church in Baroque period. Last works were done in 2003 when supporting columns and tower were plastered and coated again. Also roof was covered with wooden shingles. Church was originally surrounded by fortification wall, only fractions of which are preserved to date. It is said that the church was supposed to be connected with Levice Castle through underground passage.

5. Parish Church of St. Nicholas - Pukanec and city walls

In Levice District we ought to remember one of the oldest mining towns in Slovakia - Pukanec. The most important building of the city that has endured all disasters, is a Roman Catholic Parish Church of St. Nicholas, town’s patron. It is a beautiful Gothic architectonic piece of work consisting of two naves with remarkable reticulated vault and original interior equipment. Parish Church of St. Nicholas was the core of Town Castle, similar to town castle in Kremnica. The site was accessible via bridge from square through four-storey bastion that later served as a Town hall. It was located in place of today’s church gate. Already in the period of Hussite wars it was enclosed by wooden palisade and log wall, later by stone wall.

Defensive importance of walls increased mainly in period of Turkish threat. Wall remains can still be found behind the church in good state of conservation. We think this little town is worthy of being noticed.

6. Owl Chateau - Želiezovce

Owl Chateau catched our attention during selection because in 1824 it was a place of stay, during his second stay in Želiezovce, of Franz Schubert, Austrian composer. Up to October 2009 there was a permanent exhibition of Tekov Museum Levice – Memorial room of Franz Schubert. The object went through a reconstruction during which two new rooms were added and from the 15th May 2010 in Owl Chateau there is established a Town Museum and Memorial room of Franz Schubert.

Museum is under administration of Municipality of Želiezovce and collaborates with Tekov Museum in Levice. Original exposition documenting life and work of Franz Schubert was extended by exposition documenting history of Želiezovce. Collection items are borrowed from Slovak National Museum – Archeological Museum, Music Museum, Tekov Museum in Levice and from private collectors. Most of the items are coming from private collection of local historian Pavol Polka.

7. Water mill Bohunice

Another interesting place is according to us also the mill farmstead of former miller Pavol Turčan, located in Bohunice near Sikenica brook, about 1 km from upper, northern village border. The water mill was opened to the public in 1979. Also a small part of garden belongs to mill. It is a type of water mill with stone powered from the top, grinding mechanism was modernized and in 1938 also the electricity was installed there. Mill’s building is divided into 3 functional parts. Residential part consists of room, kitchen and storeroom with adjacent basement, and it is furnished with period furniture and equipment. The second part was formed by stable that is currently equipped as operational room. The third, different part, is formed by mill room and space for millstone.

Modern wonders of Levice District

1. Swimming pool Santovka – wellness

There was built a modern wellness centre in Santovka. In today’s rushed times it is positive to deviate from stereotype of hectic lifestyle and have a moment to relax.

Thermal baths in Santovka were well known already for centuries, but their healing purposes were used only from the 19th century. The spa was put under state control in 1948. In 1960s, in premises of thermal pool, there was built a swimming pool, later also for children. Gradually were added restaurant, cottage area, shepherd’s hut, tent camp and autocamping. In 1989 the swimming pool passed under village’s administration, but due to municipality’s debts it got to public auction. The swimming pool area was in dilapidated condition, its technical and sanitary aspect was not satisfactory. Thermal swimming pool was falling into direpair and Santovka was loosing its good reputation. In 2001 the thermal swimming pool have already had a new owner – the A.N.E.S. (SANTOVKA WELLNESS) company. Currently the Santovka swimming pool is one of the popular resorts. It is open during all year from Tuesday to Sunday. Guests can use an accomodation in Petit hotel Santé, indoor relaxation swimming pool with thermal water of 26-27°C, baths in hot tubs with possibility to add aromatic and healing salts and various types of massages.

2. Industrial area Levice - South

A job security is a volatile expression nowadays. Residents of Levice, but also people from near and distant surroundings welcomed possibility of new job positions offered them by town of Levice in newly built industrial park. That is why we consider an industrial park to be one of modern wonders of Levice district. It covers area of about 65 lands. The town received grant of almost 9,3 millions eur from EU funds for revitalization of the area of 1,8 hectare in proximity of the road towards Starý Hrádok. The town of Levice still has free areas for further construction of approximately 36 000 m2 in given locality and other areas of approximately 238 000 m2. It is supposed that the industrial zone is going to be extended in near future and new job positions will be added.

When it comes to attractiveness for investors, Levice are one of the most successful towns in Slovakia. In industrial zone South 14 mostly foreign investors have built their buildings, employing together about 2000 people.

3. Sports hall - Levice

For most people, mostly men, sport is a very attractive conversation subject. It is suitable to balance mental strain with sport activities in a spirit of Greek kalos kagathos. And even if we don’t practice sports, we can relax by cheering our athletes up.

Levice are proud of the new sports hall which location within town sports area is very attractive for organization of sports training camps or big events. It has parametres for organization of sports events on international level with possibility of live streaming. It has a year-round operation. This sports hall with capacity of 2000 persons is used for sports activities, as e.g. basketball, volleyball, minifootball, handball, but also for organizing concerts. Sports area in the town of Levice includes besides sports hall also swimming pool, ice hockey hall, football area, gyms of various types. With its variety and complexity it ranks among the most modern in Slovakia.

4. Experiential learning of natural sciences – Levice

Atlantis Science Center is the first and only scientific-entertainment centre for children and young people in Slovakia. It is designated for general public. Children are the target group, but also whole families, who have a possibility to spend unforgettable moments filled with fun, games and learning. Children can try here e.g. to make huge bubbles, operate mini dredger, see desert storm, whirlpool or earthquake with their own eyes.

Atlantis Science Centre’s main mission is to present physical laws, natural phenomena to children in playful, interactive way and thus contribute to popularization of natural scientific disciplines. All exhibits are invented and handmade, there are 110 exhibits, from which 80 are exhibited directly in the centre and the part of exhibits travels around exhibitions.

Stars are fascinating. Each of us has stopped at least once to observe the night sky. This is why we have included also Tekov Observatory. It was established in 1956 as third in Slovakia. Tekov Observatory got planetarium in 2004 - unique not only in our country, but in all the Central Europe.

5. The Square Levice

Residents of Levice were awaiting new square for years. It was completed in 2011, that’s why we include it among modern wonders of Levice. After square reconstruction there was created in the centre of Levice cultural-recreational zone of almost one hectare serving for organizing cultural and social events. Preserved is a part of original stone paving in memory of town’s history in a period when fairs used to be held there. Within square’s reconstruction also fallen heroes monument was reconstructed, being square’s landmark from World War II.

There were placed fountains with light effects of colourfulness variability and water rays for relaxation and entertainment. Weather station is located in front of the municipal authority, providing information on exact time, date, temperature and air humidity. Square is illuminated in total by 247 lights - 34 street lamps, 189 pavement lights and 22 column lights. Two spotlights are illuminating the memorial. There was fixed also paving stone Magma Via indicating historical road that was crossing more historical and thematic roads with objective to give an idea of touristic regions and natural places of interest on the Magma Via route. Interesting is that students of secondary professional school SOŠ in Levice were participating on the production of paving stone Magma Via.

6. City park - Levice

City park in Levice consists of new and old part. It is a popular place for relaxation of residents of Levice, also thanks to its location in city centre. Residents of Levice are connecting new part to fountain, small lake, climbing frames for children and restaurant. „Revitalization of Schoeller park 2“ was approved to the town of Levice that the town had decided to submit on the basis of initiative of town residents. Main objective of project is renovation of the old part of protected area and support of its popularity among people. There was built a new modern children playground also with elements of workout for parents, meeting all safety standards. There was fixed an information table informing general public on park’s history and on former Schoeller manor house.

7. Mochovce Power Plant

Mochovce Nuclear Power Plant is situated between towns of Nitra and Levice. Power plant operates two nuclear pressurized water reactors of Soviet type VVER 440/213, but there are two another blocks of the same type in the locality.

Construction of Mochovce began in November 1982,but it was stopped in 1991 for lack of finances. In 1995 government approved proposal on completion of construction of two blocks of Mochovce power plant under condition that the outdated Soviet technology will be replaced by more modern western safety elements. Blocks started operations in July 1998 and in December 1999. Their planned lifetime period is until 2028 or 2030.

In 1985 construction of other two blocks began, but the building was stopped and conserved for lack of finances in 1992. Despite pressure by Austria the construction re-launched in November 2008 and it is financed mainly by majority owner Slovenské elektrárne and italian company Enel. Completion of 3rd and 4th block is according to Slovenské elektrárne the biggest private investment in history of Slovakia.