Šariš is situated in the northern part of eastern Slovakia. Šariš is moderately mountainous and the depressions regularly alternate with mountain ranges. Apart from being the trademark of popular beer, Šariš is also a historical region replenished with tourist destinations. Historical towns of Prešov, Bardejov(Unesco), and Sabinov and unique technical monuments such as the salt mines in Solivar or the mines of Dubník, which yielded unusually beautiful opals, are its pride. The ancient towns of Bardejov and Presov have the immaculately preserved burgher houses, religious buildings and town halls fully evocative of Slovakia’s prodigious past under Austro-Hungarian rule. People can walk along pristine cobbled streets beneath the frescoes, stucco ornaments and renaissance graffiti of the ornate buildings. In the surrounding hills people can explore the ruins of once significant castles offering unspoiled views of the surrounding countryside. Numerous military monuments here commemorate heavy fighting during the Second World War near the mountain pass Dukla on the border line with Poland. They are daunting reminder of the dramatic battles and huge loss of life that took place during the struggles against fascism. 55 pieces of different kinds of heavy military equipment from the World War II are placed in the area of the open-air museum and along the road to Svidník. A part of the museum is also the Death Valley in the environs of the village of Kapišová where the hardest fights with a massive deployment of tanks took place.
Amongst the undulating hills and verdant valleys of the Carpathian Mountains, the Šariš region in eastern Slovakia sustains powerfully evocative testimonies to its rich and truly diverse history. The medieval power centre of Šariš was the Šarišský Castle, the ruins of which are on the top plain of a distinct elevation above the town Veľký Šariš situated north-west of Prešov. Its history started in the 12th century. It was meant to protect the important trade road known as the Road of Torysa. It was one of the biggest castles in Slovakia until 1660 when explosion of gun powder stored in the castle destroyed it. There are a few places in Slovakia that can boast of such richness of historical sights and movable items of historical value like Bardejov. This territory used to be an important transit area. Since Ancient Times, influences from the West, the East, the North and the South have met and intertwined there to an extent not seen anywhere else in Slovakia. The area has also been a contact zone of two big world cultures: the Western, Roman one, and the Eastern, Byzantine one, which overlap there. Bardejov belongs to the easternmost places influenced by the Late Gothics (St. Edigius's Church). First record of the Bardejov spa is stretching back to 1247 to the reign of Hungarian king Béla IV. In the 15th century, the spa began to be used for regular treatment. Its good reputation reached as far as courts of prominent European rulers. The services of this "oasis of health and relax" were used by many well-known historical figures, including Marie Louise, wife of French Emperor Napoleon I., Russian Tzar Alexander I., Empress Elisabeth (also known as Sissi), wife of Francis Joseph I., and other prominent European noblemen.
City to know about
Bardejov is situated in the Šariš region on a floodplain terrace of the Topľa River, in the hills of the Beskyd Mountains. It exhibits numerous cultural monuments in its completely intact medieval town centre. In 1320, King Charles Robert granted the settlers extensive city privileges and the town speedily began to grow. Bardejov was a convenient centre of trade due to its location on the road between the Black Sea and the Baltic Sea. In 1352, the town was granted the privilege to set up an annual fair. More than 50 guilds controlled the flourishing economy. The linen production and sales to which the town had a monopoly surpassed any activity. In 1455, the king granted the town the privilege of linen bleaching and sale. At that time only Bratislava, Košice and Levoča had larger number of craftsmen and guilds than Bardejov. Beside the linen and weaver's guild that was in existence from 1423, the dressmaker's guild from 1435, the furrier's guild from 1457, and the potter’s guild from 1485 (the first potter's guild in Slovakia), there were many other guilds. However, by the late 15th century, the town had lost its linen monopoly and the linen trade gradually deteriorated. About 2.5 km (1.6 mi) north of Bardejov is the spa town Bardejovské Kúpele. Thanks to its location, microclimate, mineral waters and the natural scenery of the picturesque valley surrounded by woods, the spa has all the conditions to provide appropriate treatment for ailments of the respiratory system, circulation conditions, digestive tract and disorders resulting from both physical and mental fatigue. The biggest treasure of the spa is its natural mineral waters. Today, Bardejov is known mainly for its authentic old town square, which due to extensive restoration and preservation of its Medieval, Renaissance, and Gothic architecture has made Bardejov a popular tourist destination.
The nature of Šariš is rich and diverse. The region falls within the area of Low Beskydy Mountains.The whole territory is lying in the mild temperature zone, in the areas of mild continental climate, warm and cold and with average annual air temperature of 6 to 8°C .
The mountainous areas are left more or less untouched of which the evidence is in preserved animal communities.
The territory is mostly covered with secondary birch-pine forests, beech and oak, fir-spruce forests and rose-blackthorn shrubberies.
Lake Domaša was made by a stoppage of the river Ondava close to the Veľká Domaša village. It was built in 1962 to 1967. The water surface would cover 6 villages. The optimal climate and the water temperature is 23°C at average which provides a nice bathing in clean water since June to half of September. Except water sports there are good conditions for cycling, touristic, hunting and fishing.