Presov tourist attraction
Church of St. Nicholas
Main feature of the Hlavná street. It was built in ghotic style, with rich decorated windows. Inside is baroque altar from the end of 17. cent, renaissance – baroque organ and renaissance font from the red marble. The tower is opened for public, it offers beautiful view on the town.
Evanjelic church of the St. Trinity
It´s situated next to St. Nicholaus church. Built in the 17. cent. its interier has renaissance decoration with very valuable baroque organ. Though under the pressure of history, Prešov´s inhabitans were changing religions from roman – catholic to evanjelic, all the changes happened more or less peacefuly. It was only after the year 1710 when relations between the churches turned bad. Jesuits took all the evanjelic property and evanjelics were pushed to leave to the suburbs. Only there they were allowed to build the school and wooden church. They gained their church and college back in 1781 after the Tolerant patent was published.
Franciscan church of St. Joseph
Church in the historical part of the town with baroque facade, rebuilt in the 18. cent. In front of the church stands statue of St. Rochus.
Greek – catholic church of St. John the Babtist
You can find this church on Hlavná street, according to its beautiful baroque facade. It is impressive to listen to the singing of believers during the mass.
Greek – catholic believers had their hardest times during the communistic regime. They were, together with priests, persecuted even harder than those belonging to the Roman – catholic or evanjelic church. The whole orders were destroyed. In 1950 it was decided in Prešov that the whole Greek – catholic church will be totally destroyed in Czechoslvakia. During the act called „Prešov´s sobor“ bishop Pavol Peter Gojdič was arrested and according to the construed trial he was sentenced for life for treason. He died in Leopoldov prison because of bad treatment and torment on his 72. birthday, 17.7.1962. He was burried on the military cemetary and his grave was marked with the number only. After the Velvet revolution his body was brought back to Prešov, and laid into crypt exposed in this church. Bishop is laid there with another martyr Vasiľ Hopko. Pope John Paul II. proclaimed Pavol Gojdič for blessed in 2001. In 1995 Pope visited this church during his official visit of Slovakia.
Nevertheless, there´s one more very rare and vulnerable relics in this church – a copy of the Turin shroud. There are, except the original, only 4 copies of the shroud in the whole world – in Turin (original cannot be shown on public), second copy is in Prešov, and the rest are supposed to be in Jerusalem and Vilnius, Lithuania. According to the legend, Jesus was wraped up by this shourd after he was put duwn from the cross. You can find it on the right side of the church, next to the bishop´s throne.
Orthodox church of St. Alexander Nevský
Relatively new church, consecrated in 1950, is situated near the Hlavná street. During the mass it´s very impressive to listen to the deep voices of men´s choir.
Synagogue is situated in one of the side streets in the historical centre. It was built in the half of the 19. century in Maur style. Building itself and the decorations are done so well that they make Prešov´s synagogue one of the most vulnerable jewels of this architecture in Slovakia. Therefore at the beggining of 1990´s, American Jews from L.A. wanted to buy it, took it to pieces and bring to USA. But they met huge disagreement of the Jewish inhabitants of Prešov, that´s why the synagogue stayed on its place. Inside you can find Museum of Jewish culture.
You cannot miss this house on Hlavná street. It has very rich stucco facade on the first floor. It was built by baron Klobušický in the 18. century. This former royal advicer decided to build the palace with tower and garden which ended as far as the town fortress. It served a lot of institutions, today it was reconstructed for the needs of the Regional court.
Influential Rákoczi family left its traces not only in Košice but in Prešov as well. During the anti – Habsburg uprising a lot of political meetings took place here, such as the meeting of Juraj Rákoczi with the emperor Ferdinand; František II. Rákoczi made this palace his residence during the mentioned uprisings. Today it is the seat of the Regional Museum.
Next to the Neptun´s fountain in the centre of Hlavná street stands Prešov´s Town Hall. Original rich house from the 16. century was lately rebuilt in the baroque style. At the end of the bulding, on lower Jarková street, Caraffa´s prison can be found. From the very begginig of its existence till today there used to be the wine pub. In the gate next to the Town Hall is situated also the Wine museum.
Newer building from 20-ties of the 20. century is named after Michal Bosák. This ambitious young man, who was born in Okrúhle near Prešov left, as many others, at the end of 19. century to USA. Very quickly he became one of the most important American bankers. He owned, for instance, Bank of Europe in New Yorku or First National Bank. He is signed on the 10 dollars note. Michal Bosák was a personality who lately influenced also events in his country of origin. When he set the American – Slovak bank, one of its branches was placed in this house. It is situated on the corner of Hlavná and Levočská street. There are eight statues under the balconies, presenting four seasons of the year and also those wishing calm and peace, richness, thriftiness and science.
Education always had strong roots in Prešov. First public schools are mentioned in the 14. century. Lately in the half of the 17. century the school was attended by poets Jakob Jakobeus and Ján Bocatius and philosophers Izák Caban, Ján Bayer and Eliáš Ladiver. In the 17 century also Commenius attended this colege, he has memorial tablet on the buildig. Thanks to these personalities and further development of the school, Prešov was called Athens upon Torysa. School was succesful in holding its status for long years. In 19. century the school was attened by important Slovak poet Pavol Országh Hviezdoslav, playwright and rebel Jonáš Záborský and many more. Though school was moved from its place lately and the building now serves for other purposes, beautiful aula with historical library was protected till these days. On the corner of the colege stands the statue of general Caraffa as a memory on the Prešov´s slaughter.
One of the few preserved gothic sights in Prešov is situated at the back part of the Town Hall on the Jarková street. It was used as Prešov´s wine pub, lately it became a prison and torture chamber. It was supposed that during the bloody Prešov´s slaughter in 17. century convicts were awaiting their faith there but in fact that had never happened.
Town fortification system
Prešov started to build its fortification system in the 14. century. From the large well designed structure of the walls, trapdoors, water moats and bridges some parts remained till today. Florian´s gate on the street of the same name was the historical entrance of the town where the toll had to be paid. It served as the entrance for walking visitors and as the end of the town´s drain. Upon the Slovak street is the alley of the trees, situated on the historical wall. It offers calm walk in nice surroundings. One of its parts starts from the former water moat, today serves for lazy relax whenever during the day, mostly in summer days. So – called Garden of artists was set there. On Kováčska street is still original bastion, inside is caffé and restaurant.
Jewis people were not very welcomed in Prešov in the past. The first written mention about them is from the year 1530. Because they ment strong competition for local businesmen, it was very difficult to get into the town for them. The break point happened only in the 18. century when the first Jewish citizen settled inside the city, businessman Mark Holländer. Being thankful from the given trust he had built the Neptun´s fountain on the square. Till today it is on of the most beautiful and important sights of the town.
Memorial of the Red Army
There are only very few places left where you still can see crossed hammers and sickels. Understandable reasons lead the cities to remove them from the eye – sight. But also those unfortunate 40 years of communism is our history. Red Army memorial with names of Russian soldiers in the town park next to the fountain reminds us of the end of the II. World War. Even though it was Red Army which bombed the town in 1944… It destroyed the prison where 140 people were killed, but many of them were succesful in running away from the gestapo. Few tens of civile inhabitans died, more than 500 houses were destroyed or damaged.
One of the very recent sights is the Guardian angel, made by Prešov´s sculptor Dušan Pončák. Character as from the dream has a Prešov´s coat of arms on one side and down by his feet are names of all Prešov´s mayors. It is situated in front of the Town Hall.
In the town, out of the historical centre
The church of the St. Cross (Calvary)
Ideal tip for accidentally free hour or two is the walk on the Calvary. Many Prešov´s inhabitants are in love with this place, they go there for Sunday walks with kids or whenever without reason, to have a look on the things „from above“. This baroque church was built in the 18. century and is very well visible from many places in Prešov. It stands on the hill on the western part of the town, it has red colour with bright white contours. To the church leads calm, easy route, combination of stairs and small hills, passing the flowerbeds and chapels in the peaceful surroundings. In front of the church are places to sit and silently watch the life of the whole city. During the good weather the view is wonderfull, all three castles around Prešov are visible from here, as well as all the neighbourhoods and historical centre.