Cerveny Klastor or the Red Monastery is located on the Dunajec River in the Spis district, which became part of the Hungarian Kingdom in the 11th century. Founded in 1330, the monastery was a seat of the Cartesian monks, one of the strictest hermitic orders. Their life in the monastic community was spent in seclusion, in continual silence, prayer, fasting and meditation. The focal point of the monastery was of course the church, with a courtyard and a passage leading to the monks' modest cottages. In addition to religious and spiritual worship, the monks devoted themselves to copying codices and, later, in the 15th and 16th centuries, to alchemy, astrology and medicine, aiming at discovering the elixir of life, which was supposed to cure all diseases and make everybody happy. However, the peaceful existence of the community did not last long. In 1565 the monastery was invaded by mercenaries of the Dunajec Castle (now Niedzica, Poland), which resulted in the monks' abandoning the place and fleeing to Poland, Austria and Moravia and dissolution of the monastery.
The mountain you can see in the background is Trzy Korony or Three Crowns in the Polish part of the Pieniny Mountains.
Brother Cyprian's cottage is the only part of the Cerveny Klastor that is accessible to the public. He was a famous surgeon, doctor and pharmacist, who, in his most significant work 'Herbarium', written in 1766, describes 272 species of herbs found in the Pieniny and the Tatra Mountains. A pharmaceutical exhibition devoted to his work can be found in one of the preserved cottages.
Brother Cyprian was a member of the Camaldolite order who settled down in the Cerveny Klastor in 1711. The place had its second heyday in their hands. The monks re-built the monastery in the Baroque style, added a second courtyard, owned an inn, a brewery, a malt-house, a mill, glass workshops and 'smelters' on the Dunajec. They grew crops, root plants and medicinal herbs for Brother Cyprian's famous pharmacy.
In 1782, however, Emperor Joseph II abolished all monasteries, with their property taken over (wouldn't 'robbed' be a better word?) by the state. Cerveny Klastor has never re-gained its former glory. When we wanted to visit it in 1997 it was closed for reconstruction work, which, apparently, is still in progress.
This fantastic rafting trip is the main attraction of the area. As the Dunajec River constitutes the border between Poland and Slovakia, the highlanders from both countries running these trips compete for business here. The rafting is great: as the river meanders between the sheer mountainsides of the National Park the views change from minute to minute. The current, really strong at places, makes it necessary for the raft, which consists of five boats put together, to avoid the most dangerous areas. The raftsmen, two on each raft, use long poles to manoeuvre the raft and keep telling the tourists jokes or sprinkle them with water for fun. You can easily recognise Polish rafts by the highlanders wearing white shirts, black trousers and characteristic flat black hats decorated with seashells - an element of their traditional costume.
The whole trip is a lot of fun, for old and young alike.
Tickets can be obtained on the spot, no booking is necessary.
Sailing on boats in Pieninsky national park. Sailing on river of Dunajec,which is going to Poland. Nice nature is around. The Polish Pieniński Park Narodowy and the Slovak National Natural Reserve in Pieniny was the first International Landscape Park in Europe (founded in 08.17.1932).
The National Park of Pieniny (PIENAP) was founded by the Act of the Slovak National Council Chair on January 16, 1967 at the area of 21,25 km2.
Pieniny are a part of klippen area, that is situated in between of inner as well as outer Carpathian Mountains. They are characteristic with a very complicated geologic structure which was an important factor by the creation of an interesting relief of rocky walls, towers and thrust-outliers of various shape which together with Dunajec Canyon create extensive landscape dominants.
The most attractive for tourists is rafting in 9 km long Dunajec Canyon from the Red Monastery to Lesnica. After taking a raft, you can: 1. hike back to the Red Monastery following the tourist trail along the Dunajec River, 2. take a bus from Lesnica.
Very close to the National Park, there is a museum of Red Monastery, villages with well-preserved folk architecture (Osturňa, Jezersko, Malá Franková) and a city Spišská Stará Ves with accommodation facilities. From those places you can take hikes to the surroundings (High Tatras, Strážky, Kežmarok). zdroj : pieniny.sk
It's a much longer way from Cerveny Klastor to Lesnica by car than the 10 km you will have to cover if you choose to walk. But it's better to have your own transport as buses are few and unreliable. You will have to turn left just past the village Vel'ky Lipnik, drive up a steep winding road and you will find yourself on top of the world. The place, with a small car park, is called Tokarne and offers a fantastic view of the whole area. To the left, you can see Vel'ky Lipnik and the hills far far beyond and to the right the Pieniny. You feel as if the whole world were at your feet, as the wind tries to push you off the mountain. You can hike from here to Mlacne (748 m. a.s.l.) or even all the way to Cerveny Klastor along a mountain trail.
To better absorb the breathtaking views of the Dunajec Gorge, you can take a walk from Cerveny Klastor to Lesnica along the Pieninska Cesta on the Dunajec bank. The distance is about 10 km and you will have to cover the same distance to get back to your car, so you may choose to walk just part of the way. The best solution to view the whole gorge is probably to walk part of the way from Cerveny Klastor, walk back to your car, drive to Lesnica, have lunch at the restaurant there and then take a walk along the Dunajec from this end. The part of the gorge near Lesnica is not to be missed - here the views are really stunning: the steep mountains and the raging river make a very dramatic picture. You can sit on a bench near Lesnica, watch the rafts negotiating the sharp bend and wave to their passengers.
Visit the old castle of L' ubovna.
V - IX: 9.00 - 18.00
X - IV: 10.00 - 15.00
A rafting trip on the border of Slovakia and Poland at the National Park Pieniny.
Fee: 250 sk
Visit the old monastery of Cerveny Klastor.
V - IX. 9.00 - 17.00
X 9.00 - 16.00