Journey of SNP Heroes
History of Slovakia30. October 2019
Tribute to Slovak heroes
The Slovak National Uprising, which is an integral part of our history, surely resonates with every Slovak. But what about Journey of SNP Heroes?
Few of us have heard of that. In the following article, we will explain it and explain how it is linked to an important historical milestone in Slovakia.
From the Tatras to the Danube and beyond
As the name implies, the Journey of Heroes of the SNP was named after the Slovak heroes who fought for our country, leading through the places of the most difficult battles of 1944.
The route is 760 kilometers long and takes almost a month to cross. Making this journey takes a lot of strength and courage.
Together with Štefánikova magistrála, they are the most extreme paths you can experience in Slovak tourism and at the same time it is the longest tourist route in Slovakia. All the way you will be accompanied by red tourist signs.
Courageous tourists will cross the whole Slovak Republic. Literally from the Tatras to the Danube, or from the Danube to the Tatras and even further. The route runs from Devín in the southwest of the country to the Duklian Pass on the northeastern edge of Slovakia. The description of the section shows that the relief of the route is varied. It will lead you through mountain ranges, main ridges, but in some sections also through Slovak basins.
It passes through the places of Slovakia, which played an important role during the SNP or during the liberation of the country between 1944 and 1945 by the Soviet army.
Ways of Heroes of SNP
We would need more than one article to describe all the things you can see in the Journey of SNP Heroes. Along the way you will go through several towns, visit UNESCO sights, as well as world-famous spas, several Slovak castles, the center of Europe, the famous viaduct, walk through the wild Slovak nature and go to the famous Slovak mountains. We also focus on many of the major sites on this portal and would like to bring you closer to them:
Most people begin their pilgrimage in the northeast of Slovakia, in the Duklian Pass and continue west. Through the town of Svidník to the village of Zborov, where you can visit the same castle Zborov.
What happened here? Carpathian-Dukla operation
The Carpathian-Dukla operation began 10 days after the outbreak of the SNP. Originally the operation was supposed to last about 5 days, but it grew into a 2 month bloody conflict. In mid-October, the advance of liberating armies stuck south of the Duklian Pass (today’s name of this place – Death Valley). Shockingly, the information that the fighting ceased only after the exhaustion of forces on both fronts.
This operation was of enormous importance for the SNP. Thousands of German soldiers who were originally sent to suppress the rebellion appealed to eastern Slovakia. This markedly weakened the front attacking the rebels. In the history of Czechoslovak troops, the Dukla operation was the largest combat action and the beginning of the liberation of Czechoslovakia.
After a walk to the castle you will surely enjoy a rest in the SPA town Bardejov. The city is also known beyond the borders of Slovakia and whose historic center is registered in the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Rough conditions and wild nature
After a rest in Bardejov it is necessary to prepare for a rougher environment, as it is followed by a passage through the wild nature of eastern Slovakia.
Then the SNP Hero’s Journey continues to the south, to the city of Košice, where it turns sharply to the west. In this section you will walk tens of kilometers through the beautiful Slovak nature.
The next stop is Telgárt. We definitely recommend you to take a look at the Chmaroš Viaduct, which is a grateful place for photographers, but also a unique technological.
What happened here?
Rebel troops retreated from the east and the Germans penetrated through the Horehronie to Telgárt. On September 5, the rebels attacked Telgárt and occupied it. The free territory was defended for almost two months. In addition to occupying kilometers of strategically insignificant meadows and forests, the battle of Telgárt was important for the fighting and retreating rebel units. It represented moral support, which has also been used as propaganda.
Peaks of the Slovak mountains
When you breathe out a little, the ascent of the King’s Hoop awaits you. You should manage it quite easily, because you are still ahead of you even higher peaks of the Slovak mountains.
Which brings us to the most difficult part of the route. Low Tatras ridge with an altitude of 2046 meters, Ďumbier, will test every determined tourist. If you manage it, you have well trodden all the way heroes SNP conquer, but let’s not overtake, because before us is still a long pilgrimage, full of beautiful Slovak cities.
What happened here?
On October 26-30, thousands of soldiers passed through Dumbier. They were completely exhausted, exterminated and frozen, driven by fear of the Germans. They mostly went unorganized and did not even know where they were and where they were going.
Other interesting points of the whole route include Kremnické Bane, where the center of Europe and the village Čičmany, which will bring you closer to Slovak folklore and traditions.
Relax in the SPA
After the culture we will have another climb to the Strážov hill and then a trip through the Strážov Hills. The road is beautifully balanced and after demanding hiking we deserve a rest in the spa Trenčianske Teplice.
The city of Trenčín is an important milestone of our journey and also a sign that we are approaching our desired destination. Here you can see the Trencin Castle, which is associated with the legend of Omar and beautiful Fatima.
From the city we move to the mountains and nature – then the pass through the White Carpathians. We will find ourselves for a while in the Czech Republic and on the border hill Veľká Javorina.
A coveted goal and a Slovak hero
Through the picturesque nature and myjava lazy we gradually reach the well-known mound of even more well-known Slovak native M.R.Štefánika.
At this point we can say that the Journey of the SNP Heroes is behind us and we can go to the last food supply 🙂 Or not? Have we just crossed the “modern” route?
We still have a few tens of kilometers to conquer the original route. Although it seems, after all we’ve gone through, little, don’t be fooled, it won’t be a walk through the rose garden.
Although we pass through the Small Carpathians, whose highest peak Záruby does not exceed 770 meters, the elevations allow us to work hard.
760 km in the legs and a lot of experience in mind is just a fraction of what the longest and most extreme hiking trail in Slovakia will leave. Jump 760km, with a total altitude of 31 kilometers, across Slovakia is certainly an indescribable feeling.
Share your experience
If you have passed Journey of SNP heroes, either in whole or in part, I will be very glad if you share your experiences with us and send me an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.