Ponitrie is a region interesting not only for its beautiful nature, but also because of its rich cultural and historical heritage. This region has been attractive for settlers since early history, which is supported by archeological findings in several areas. Ponitrie is considered to be one of Slovakia's first regions to be colonized. Evidence of the oldest cave settlements in Slovakia has been found in the Čertova Pec cave near Radošiná, which was inhabited by hunters in the early Stone Age. But the history of the Ponitrie region is connected mainly with the arrival of Slavic tribes. These settled mostly in the area around the town of Nitra and the first Slavic principality was established here. The name of the region is connected with its location.
The first Slavs arrived in the 5th century. In the latter half of the 7th century, the southern parts of Slovakia became part of the Avar Khaganate and the border between Slavic and Slavic-Avarian territory moved toward Nitra. Collapse of the khaganate at the end of the 8th century opened a new opportunity for a creation of new political units in the area. Nitra became the center of the Principality of Nitra in the 9th century, the oldest known Slavic political unit in the present-day Slovakia. In 833, Pribina was ousted from Nitra by the Moravian prince Mojmír I and both principalities were united into the early medieval empire of Great Moravia. The city reached its height during the reign of Svätopluk I, who was the prince of Nitra from the 850s to 871 and then the king of Great Moravia until 894. It is likely that St Cyril and St Methodius settled in Nitra during their time of evangelising the Slavs from 863 and established their training college around Zobor.
City to know about
Nitra is a city in western Slovakia, situated at the foot of Zobor Mountain in the valley of the river Nitra and is also one of the oldest cities in Slovakia; it was the political center of the Principality of Nitra. Notable religious structures located in Nitra are St. Emmeram's Cathedral in Nitra castle, a Piarist church of St. Ladislaus and the adjacent monastery. The oldest church of the city is the Saint Stephen church, which was built in the 11th-12th century, although the foundation of the building was constructed in the 9th century. The monastery on Piaristicka street was founded in the 13th-14th century. Its dominant church of St. Ladislaus was later destroyed by a fire and remodelled in 1742-1748 in baroque style. Two towers were also added. The main altar has a beautiful statue ornamentation which the portraits of Saint Stephen and Ladislaus I of Hungary. The interior was renovated in 1940 and three modern frescos depicting themes from Slovak history of Nitra were created.
Bojnice Castle is a medieval castle in Bojnice, Slovakia. It is a Romantic castle with some original Gothic and Renaissance elements built in the 12th century. Bojnice Castle is one of the most visited castles in Slovakia, receiving hundreds of thousands of visitors every year and also being a popular filming stage for fantasy and fairy-tale movies.
Ponitrie is located in the southwestern part of Slovakia, around the upper reaches of the Nitra river. It includes the Podunajská Rovina flatlands, Podunajská Pahorkatina downs and Hornonitrianska Kotlina basin. The borders of Ponitre are outlined by the Strážovské Vrchy and Považský Inovec mountains in the west, Malá Fatra mountain range in the north and Žiar, Vtáčnik and Tribeč mountains in the east. Vtáčnik also includes the highest point of the Ponitrie region with an altitude of 1346 m. The Ponitrie region consists of Nitra, Zlaté Moravce, Topoľčany, Bánovce nad Bebravou, Prievidza and Partizánske counties.