Rodina LIVING



Prešov

Prešov

Population: 92,786
www.presov.sk

Prešov is not too big and not too small – a bite-sized city. Although it is the third biggest city in Slovakia, it has not been discovered yet by big shopping malls, nor by the most renowned American fast food restaurants.

Apart from this, Prešov has many more features worth mentioning. Prešov is called “Athens upon Torysa” because of its history as a cultural and educational centre. There is a university there today, too.

One of the city’s claims to fame is that the latitude line marking exactly 49 degrees north runs through Prešov. The 49th parallel is marked by a metal line running through the historical centre of the town. If you followed the imaginary line west, you would arrive in Paris.

Prešov is officially the capital of Prešov region, but in spirit it is more the heart of the Šariš territory, an ancient land that is home to the tiny Ruthenian minority.

Despite suffering from slower economic growth than some other parts of the country, Preąov has a startlingly beautiful Old Town, containing all of the historical buildings that survived the fire of 1887. Apart from Tehelňa - which even its residents refer to as "Mexico" - the historical town core is the main destination of interest in the city.

Prešov is ringed by hills and centred on a lovely eye-shaped square. Three-story 16th and 17th century buildings line the square, each a different cotton-candy shade - pink, purple, tan, cream, blue, and lime green. On the city's edges are smokestacks and concrete high rises. But for the most part, Prešov is sprawling and low-slung-like a suburb. Locals are laid-back and friendly. They say Slovakia's most beautiful women live here. Two castle ruins are not far. And a few museums and churches are worth a visit.