“Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité”, the French national motto. The war cry of the French revolution.
It opened the door not only to progress, the Enlightenment, but especially to romanticism.
And with romanticism came emotions, phantasy and isolation, collision between dream and reality. A
romantic hero was an extraordinary personality, an outsider. He found asylum in love. In a tragic and
an unfulfilled love. So he turned to nature, which he admired and glorified.
And thus the romantic bourgeois, the hipsters of their time, all over Europe started to write. And
they wrote a lot.
Victor Hugo created Quasimodo, who suffered a tragic love for beautiful Esmeralda in Notre Dame;
Goethe´s young Werther suffered in Germany, because of an unfulfilled love, of course. And George
Gordon Byron quested across Europe. And in Slovakia suffered Andrej Sládkovič, a popular romantic
writer. His unfulfilled love to a Slovak poetical femme fatale was a theme for the longest love poem
in the world, Marína. And later for Bank of Love in Banská Štiavnica.
And for the poem, dedicated to nature, Detvan. A hero, who runs wild across meadows under the
powerful and amazing Poľana Mountain Range.
Let´s explore this marvelous and romantic region in detail! Let´s make a Slovak version of Homer´s
Odysseus and Byron´s Childe Harold journey!
Let´s explore Poľana Mountains, the highest volcanic mountain range in Slovakia. Let´s hike to 1
457,8m high Poľana Mountain, passing through wetlands, atop the crunching stones, admiring the
stream flowing from small springs, harkening to the bird´s singing and on the horse-shoe summit
enjoying the view: a silhouette of the High and Low Tatras drawn above the clouds.
Let´s move forward to Bukovina and Vepor Mountains, formed by lava from Poľana´s underground
And then let´s discover a large rock, creating the top of Hrb Mountain. The geographical center of
And we still haven´t seen it all! Our romantic odyssey swaps our hiking boots for cycling shoes for
biking 320km of marked cycling trails and especially the 127km long trail around Poľana Mountain.
And we have moved again! We climbed down the ladders to watch a huge mass of water boiling
down the black andesite rocks. The Bystré Waterfall, at 23m high, one of the highest and most
massive waterfalls in Slovakia, formed 13 billion years ago from lava.
The Dobročský primeval forest invites us for visit! A place where time has no importance. Where we
can come in only with a short view to admire an aboriginal forest, developing thought centuries.
Suddenly we are at a medieval dinner in the Vígľaš Castle, a “castle of kings”, where the Dragon
Order was established.
Byron´s Childe Harold´s journey across Europe took 4 years. Homer´s Odysseus to Ithaca, 20 years.
And how long will you trek around the Poľana Mountain? It is up to you! But do it with passion.
Because as Hegel once said “nothing great was accomplished in history without passion”.