Vlkolinéc is a village containing a group of 50 vernacular Slovak timber-built constructions. These buildings have stone footings with log walls on top. Their walls are coated with clay, and usually painted.
The current buildings date mainly from the 19th century, but the origins of their architectural type go back several centuries earlier. Among the 50 remaining buildings are a church, a school and a shop. The rest are farmhouses. The village is still inhabited.
During the 2nd World War the village was a major site of the Slovak National Uprising. A third of the houses were burned down subsequently by the Nazis in retaliation. These weren’t rebuilt.
Visit May 2008
There’s a tiny road that leads up to Vlkolinéc from the main highway between Ruzomberok and Banska Bystrica. Buses have to park at the foot of the hill on top of which the village is located, with a car you can go all the way up (hoping that you won’t meet an opposing car). As described in the reviews below the setting amidst the green meadows is stunning.
Vlkolinéc does see quite a number of tourists nowadays. There’s a modest entrance fee and a photo fee to be paid at the beginning of the main street. This street runs up a steep slope, adorned on both sides with the famous houses. The best examples are at the center of the village, which also has a wooden bell-tower and canalized stream. You can easily walk the streets in half an hour, and that includes a visit to the pitiful little ‘museum’.
The site has a lovely location and the colourful buildings definitely have a certain charm. Compared to other ‘Folk Villages’ on the list that I’ve seen (Shirakawa-Go in Japan, Xidi and Hongcun in China) I feel there’s something missing here though: it doesn’t tell a story, it’s just a group of buildings. Currently most of the houses are in use as second homes for city people. Large signs warn the tourists off the private properties. I wonder how people used to live here. What legends existed in this faraway valley, what did they eat and how did they make a living? The ICOMOS evaluation hints on a ‘feudal landscape’. If this visit (and the one to another traditional village, Cicmany, on the same day) has teached me one thing, it is that I have to dive into this subject of ‘vernacular architecture’.
More photos can be found in the Picture Gallery
|john booth (New Zealand):|
I enjoyed my visit to this isolated atmospheric village with its colourful houses.
I travelled to the village by an infrequent minibus (no. 100) from Ruzomberok station (summer only). It wound up the narrow road with its expansive views on either side, saving a walk. Afterwards I descended to Biely Potok on foot and caught a bus back to Ruzomberok from there.
| Date posted: December 2012|
|Assif Am-David (Israel):|
Before heading to Vlkolinec I read some reviews here and elsewhere and had the impression I was going to be disappointed by something underwhelming. Well, the village is extremely small but I found it full of atmosphere. The mountainous location is lovely as the wooden houses. There isn't much to do there for more than an hour but still I found the visit most rewarding. Compared to another famous vernacular Slovak site - Cicmany, I actually found Vlkolinec more impressive, although Cicmany too is certainly worthwhile.
| Date posted: October 2011|
|Christer Sundberg (Sweden):|
Arriving the small industrial town of Ruzomberok quickly makes you realise that this is not the top-spot of beauty in Slovakia. Even though the town have a few highlights it’s a place better used as jump-off point for skiing or hiking in the Low Tatra Mountains, the most frequented and popular mountain area in the country.
A year-round-open ski lift near the centre of Ruzomberok takes you some 600 meters up to the forest covered mountains and a spectacular and beautiful landscape. It is perfect for a couple of hours walking and it also adds some extra spice to the hiking, knowing that the forests are filled with brown bears, wildcats and other animals, probably checking you out as you walk by.
It is here you find the small mountain village of Vlkolinec, with its small, 15th century log houses. During WWII a third of them were burnt to the ground but 45 of them still stand and is remarkably well preserved. Mind you, this it’s not a museum but a living village. So if you decide to have a coffee or a sandwich in a small café you more or less visit one of the families in their home gardens.
My visit to Vlkolinec was an absolute perfect one but that also included a full-day mountain walk. You can easily visit the village by car or taxi but to get a true experience you have to include the nature and breathe the fresh air of the Low Tatra Mountains. Its first then you realise that, above all, beauty lies in simplicity…
| Date posted: September 2006|
On a cold day in a winter,i've been there.Snow falling,the way slippy,when i got there,seeing a fantastic scenery of Vlkolinec village colored white by falling snow.That is a one of the best landscape i've ever seen.
|pamela lawson (United Kingdom):|
My husband and I spent a wonderful, cold but sunny day looking around this fascinating village. The history,architecture and ambience of the place has left a lasting memory. How lucky the people are to live surrounded by such beauty and serentity. Thank you for the letting us share wonderful experience.
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