Spend a pleasant day in the Kysuce region and check out the world’s youngest astronomical clock in the village of Stará Bystrica, Slovakia!
You probably know that Prague is well-known for its astronomical clock (Pražský Orloj), one of the oldest ones in the world. But did you know that you can find its little brother in a small village in Slovakia?
Built in 2009, Slovakia’s astronomical clock is satellite-controlled which means it shows the true solar time!
The wooden roof of the clock represents the cape of the Virgin Mary – the patron saint of Slovakia. In the niches below there are 6 bronze busts of important personalities from Slovakia’s history. Every hour, a parade of 7 statues of Slovakian saints occurs between 8 am to 10 pm.
The clock itself shows not only the time and date but also the position of the moon in the sky, its phases as well as the sun’s position in the zodiac. It also shows different phases of the day – represented by different colors and the Equator, Tropic of Cancer, and Tropic of Capricorn.
- Only a short drive off of Slovakia’s main motorway/highway D1 (E75) and easily accessible. This makes it also the perfect motorway stop if you are road-tripping through Europe and in the area.
- It is a 2.5-hour drive from Bratislava on the main motorway/highway and over an hour from the city of Trenčín with its iconic Trenčín Castle.
- Just behind the corner from the building, toilets are located.
- The cafeteria and restaurants are right in front of the building.
- Inside, a souvenir shop also has stairs to go up to see the mechanism of the clock.
Where to park your car?
There are a few parking spaces in the proximity of the astronomical clock, on the main square. They are free. During holidays and weekends, parking can get a bit trickier.
What to do:
Try Slovakia’s favorite street food – Langoš. A husband-and-wife team makes this fresh deep-fried flatbread just a few meters from the clock. It is not signposted, but it is literally behind the corner from the “Restauracia Bobovec” restaurant, across the street from the clock.
If not sure where it is, ask at the souvenir shop and they will point you the right way.
Where to stay:
If you are in need of accommodation, here are a few options in the area.
Village Resort Hanuliak with wellness and spa – about 18 minutes from Stara Bystrica Village by car (17 kilometers/10.5 miles).
Hotel Marlene – also offers wellness – about 22 minutes from Stara Bystrica by car (20 kilometers/12.5 miles).
Things to do in the area:
Those who like active vacations can rent a bike and spend a pleasant day in the area. There is a popular cyclo path called “Bystricka magistrala” that connects the city of Krásno nad Kysucou (start point) with Nová Bystrica (finish) and passes the village of Stará Bystrica. It is 21.8 kilometers/13.5 miles long with an easy incline.
Vychylovka – Múzeum Kysuckej Dediny is an open-air museum a stone’s throw away from Stara Bystrica. It is a must-see attraction in the Kysuce region.
Is it worth it?
If you are in the area or driving on the main motorway/highway or looking for places to see in Kysuce, then yes! It is a small place, and you only need a short time to visit, that is why it is the perfect pit stop.
There are several restaurants so you can have a meal there as well which will definitely taste better than any food from the motorway’s petrol station.