Poprad city belongs to the most important economic and cultural centres of the Spiš region. It is also an attractive tourist centre.
Poprad arose as a result of unification of four small villages that were independent until the 20-th century:
Stráže pod Tatrami and
Matejovce. It is situated in a picturesque landscape, very close to the slopes of the
High Tatras mountains. Each from the above-mentioned villages has a renaissance bell-tower. The centre of the
Poprad city was very nicely renovated a few years ago. A bell-tower, an old gothic church with a lot of wall paintings and a classicistic Evangelic church with a park are the most dominant objects in the centre.
Spišská Sobota with numerous cultural monuments and a unique interior of a church was proclaimed a municipal cultural reserve. It still keeps its ancient Middle-Ages appearance. The altar from the middle of the 15-th century in
Matejovce is very precious, too. The same we can say about the bronze baptistery in
Stráže pod Tatrami kept its character of a small cultural town. The sanatorium in
Kvetnica belongs to
Svit, centuries-old industrial town, was founded by a world famous Czech businessman Tomáš Baťa. At the bottom of the
High Tatras mountains you would find the village
Batizovce with a church and a manor-house. Gánovce are known as an archaeological field with findings of a Neanderthal human.
In the south of
Poprad there are the villages Vikartovce,
Vernár and others with still lively folk arts and dresses. Typical are granaries built separately from family houses.
The High Tatras can be called the "smallest alpine mountains" in Europe. A lot of buildings from the 19-th century (made of wood and bricks) remained well preserved in the local settlements. Beside of majestic peaks (about 2500 m high) you would be impressed by beautiful mountain-lakes, valleys and unique flora and fauna. A lot of sanatoriums, hotels and recreational facilities were built in the settlements in the High Tatras.