There was the monument of the greatest Slovak poet - Paul Orszagh Hviezdoslav - opposite to the manor's house in Vysni Kubin. I could see traingle-shape stone construction with a sculpture and read simple commemorating table where was written:
"Rodna obec svojmu o Hviezdoslavovi". Although Slovak language is similar to Polish I am not sure what exactly it means but I think that: "The nation for Hviezdoslav" or so.
The poet was born in Vysni Kubin in 1849 (passed away in Dolny Kubin in 1921). He was a layer by profession. Notice that Slovakia was not an independent country most of its history and it was not so simple to write in Slovak language due to intolerant anti-Slovak policy of various local authorities.
From Astralka from Brno, Czech:
The commemorating table "Rodna obec svojmu o Hviezdoslavovi" says that the home village Vysny Kubin of this poet devoted this monument to him. Literaly it means: The native village for its (her) P.O. Hviezdoslav.
Thank you, Astra :-)
More about the poet and Slovak literature: follow the link below, please.
A few building added to the main manor house looked not very interesting. Especially long building with very small square windows and the roof covered by red tiles looked like... chicken farm, in my opinion. Or maybe there were horse stable there?
The area where the houses standed was a little neglected with long not cut grass and looked somewhat secret, wild and... interesting.
There were frescos of the same Coat of Arms at the center of both tympani of the manor house. I didn't get to know which families used this coat of arms :-(, but looking at the manor house it had to be quite rich and noble family. I only got to know that Vysni Kubin belonged to the two families since 1325: Mieszko (family of Polish kings) and Kubin (the name of a village).
In contrast to western Europe one coat of arms was used by even hundreds of Slavic families both in Poland and Slovakia. For example my ancestors from father's side used the coat of arms "Nowina" (piece of news) which was used by over 130 families in Poland since 13th c., then in Lithuania as well.
COAT OF ARMS
Coat of arms is a special shield or shield-shaped pattern which is the sign of a family, university or city. Its origins are uncertain. The registry of its birth may be found among the archives of the "Holy" Wars (1096 to 1270). Regardless of their origins, coats of arms became military status symbols first. Later on coat of arms also became a mark of noble status.
The oldest documented example of a coat of arms borne on a shield is from 1127 (of Geoffrey Plantagenet, Count of Anjou).
Much more info: Heraldry & the Parts of a Coat of Arms
Search for your family Coat for Arms online:
Coat of Arms.org
Your family Coat of Arms
The manor house had two tympani, each covered by frescos - pictures made by painting on wet plaster - that is mixture of sand, lime and water - on a wall. I found it interesting because painting in fresco is not common technique nowadays and they were quite good preserved.
They depicted various flowers with the same sign - coat of arms at the center on both tympani.
Top, triangle-shape area of front facade of ancient Greek and Roman temple was called tympanum and usually was covered by frescos or sculptures. Tympanum (plural "tympani") was often used in quite later architecture styles: Renaissance and neo-clasicism especially which both partly imitated ancient architecture.
And I often found them on old manor houses (country palaces) in both Slovakia and Poland including that one in Vysni Kubin.
I found some architectural details which seemed to be Baroque in style at the manor house. For example those curving lines at the top of sidewall of the house added to the main building.
Baroque came to Slovakia from both Italy and France (through Germany: Saxonia - eastern Germany and Silesia - Poland now). Baroque buildings were composed of great curving forms with undulating facades, ground plans of unprecedented size and complexity, and domes of various shapes.
The manor house was originally built in late Renaissance style somewhen in 17th century and rebuilt many times later. Primo because damages made by people (wars) and nature (fire, snow, winds), secondo just to be trendy.
Anyway some parts kept its original Renaissance look as you can see on my picture.
Notice that the Renaissance (re-birth) began to travel from Italy northwards into what is now Slovakia with some delay. The Slavs were not familiar with the new principles of design and architecture, they invited foreigners to build and supervise their new buildings. But Italy was not the only source of influence; from the west - from Silesia (Poland) and Saxony (East Germany), where older Gothic was changing to a more intimate and human style - came builders, architects and sculptors.
If you see only the well-known High Renaissance buildings it will give you a false view of what most towns were like. The merchants and princes of this area of Slovakia were rich enough to build great houses, but far away enough from the center of the new movement to have minds and wills of their own; a new type of architecture and style came into being, uniting the best of sunny south and solemn west.
Kathy (Kodi01) paid her attention to these direction signs standing on E-77 Highway oposite to the manor's house. Why? Becuase of funny name (in English) of a village... LUCKY. In real, lucky means a meadow in Slovak language.
Btw Lucky is a village on slopes of Chocske Vrchy mountains and small thermal station - the only spa in Slovakia focused, because of the charakter of their waters, on curing gynecologic diseases and infertility - does the bath in hot springs make women lucky there?
Slovakia is famous for its hot, natural springs some of them I was lucky to visit but not in Lucky.
Vysni and Dolny Kubin are located in a valley surrounded by a few ranges of mountains. The closest mountains are located south-east and called Chocske Vrchy with the highest summit of Velky Choc (1611 m = 5285 ft).
Buy detailed (very detailed) map of Chocske Vrhy in Dolny Kubin and choose one of numerous mountain trails.
When I was a student I climbed up to Velky Choc (starting from Dolny Kubin) once and I remember steep, tiring trail, amazing views from the top and... a lot of wild strawberries. I was lucky to see the highest Slovak and Polish mountain range called the Tatra Mountains (Gerlah summit - 2654 m = 8707 ft) placed approx. 40 km (25 mi) northeast. It was in summer time (June or July). Notice that higher parts of mountains are often covered by fog even in summer.
The area of the manor was fenced by low, white wall covered by wooden tiles. It looked amazing especially at places where was adittionally hidden among plants of golden-brown colours of fall/autumn.
Btw fall/autumn or better to say very late September and early October (usually) is the best season to amaze colors of automn/fall trees and bushes in this part of Slovakia.
Dormer window (or shorter dormer) in English means a window sticking out from a sloping roof. The word derives from Latin word "dormire" which means to sleep. People used to put bedroom just under the roof of their houses not heavy lighted by small dormer windows. This one at the manor's house was covered by wooden shingles - thin and flat tiles fixed in rows.
I paid special attention to a few, smaller and bigger wooden, onion-shape domes. Their shape remained me a little a few old orthodox churches/temples I was lucky to see in eastern Poland for example.
Eastern influences in Slovakia? Eastern? Surprised?
Hmm... most of Europeans or more exactly western Europeans think about Slovakia as the East but citizens of say Poland, Czech, Slovakia, Hungary call Russia, Ukraine, Belarus the East.
If you look at map of Europe you will notice that the geographical centre of Europe is placed somewhere in the middle of Poland (a little north of Slovakia), so we used to call that area central Europe or sometimes central-eastern Europe. Notice that almost half of Europe (East) is covered by three former Soviet Union countries: Belarus, Ukraine and Russia.
And the most important factor at the end: there are a lot of basic cultural (religion, history, customs, economy) differences between central and eastern Europe easy to recognize when you cross the border between central and eastern Europe.
I especially liked unique roof of the manor in Vysny Kubin. Look at wooden shingles - thin and flat tiles fixed in rows to make the roof covering.
This area of Slovakia called Orava is mountainous and still largely covered by forests. Natives used to build their houses from wood in the past but not many of them survived because of wars, fire and development of new, cheaper technologies. Nowadays as the wood is more and more expensive most houses are built from bricks or other brick-like materials.
I was driving international highway E-77 Krakow, Poland - Banska-Bystrica, Slovakia - Budapest, Hungary (= Slovak highway # 59) from Dolny Kubin towards Ruzomberok. Suddenly, a few kilometers from Dolny Kubin I noticed strange looking house on the right side of the highway and surely I stopped for a while. It was in a village called Vysni (Upper) Kubin.
The house or better to say the manor was a little neglected but I noticed that some its parts were renovated probably recently. The area was fenced by a low white wall with a gate which was unfortunatelly locked.
As I checked later at home this manor was and still is renovated. It will house local museum of art called Orava Gallery (Oravska Galeria) located exclusively in nearby Dolny Kubin now. Great new location (hopefully soon) in my opinion.