The village lies in the south-eastern part of the Slovak Ore Mountains (Slovenské rudohorie) in the valley of the Slaná River having a rich history as well as present time. There is a lively tourism here, especially in summer. The village as well as its vicinity offer an ideal place for gathering adventures.
Betliar was founded at the end of 13th Century as a mining settlement. The Bebek family and later the Andrassy family of the Krásna Hôrka castle used to be their landlords. The villagers made their living on shepherding in the past and later on agriculture; they were also well-known craftsmen excelling in weaving, bricklaying and wood working. The mining industry was revived at the end of the 18th century and boosted the metals industry. There was a blast furnace and two trip hammers in the village. In 1847 a rolling mill and in 1853 another blast furnace were supplied. However the metals enterprises terminated at the end of the 19th and at the beginning of the 20th century.
FIRE STATION ABOVE THE STREAM
Count Manó Andrássy founded a voluntary fire brigade in the village. The fire station today stands on ferroconcrete basements at the both sides of the council steam. There is a statue of the St. Florian, the Patron Saint of fire fighters, placed in the fire station´s alcove.
Family house at the Polomská Street No 113 was built at the beginning of the 20th century. This is a housing building with red brick siding at the “sawmill” location. It represents one of the three employees´ houses at the former forestry of the Andrássy Family estates in the village.
"GARAGES" OF THE BETLIAR MANOR-HOUSE
A farm building nearby the manor-house was a part of the former estate compound. It consisted of two stables, an adjacent threshing floor, a barn, a carriage man house and a detached carriage house. The building gables are decorated with horse head reliefs.
BETLIAR MEDIVAL DEER PARK
There were passionate hunters in the Andrassy family. Apart from the hunting lodge, where all the hunting trophies were gathered, they also established a park for deer, fallow deer and mouflon. The deer park contains almost all the hunting-game species as well as protected ones – lynx and wolves. There are 28 km of hunting paths, four hunting cottages, 23 covered hunting cabins and 23 feeding cratches. Deer park is managed by the Forests of the Slovak Republic (Lesy Slovenskej republiky), branch office Rožňava.
THE LIFESTYLE OF THE NOBILITY
The 15th century Manor-house Betliar, a former hunting lodge of the Andrassy family, is set in a beautiful romantic park. Nowadays it is managed by the Slovak national museum (Slovenské národné museum) – Museum Betliar, which focuses on gathering materials and information on the lifestyle and housing standard development of the nobility in the Kingdom of Hungary. The housing standard exhibition is displayed in almost 50 rooms.
The collection consists of items primarily belonging to the Andrassy family. There are various souvenirs and presents coming from their long journeys; furniture, carpets, books, paintings, household china, as well as playthings and toys, clothing items and everything that was necessary for everyday life of the nobility. At the same time there are also items, tools and equipment needed for servants’ life and work. There are fully furnished rooms there such as a chinaware cabinet, food servery, a dining room, a playroom, a hunting salon with a dining table and a little study, an oriental salon, ladies´ and gentlemen´s bedrooms, a tea room, a library and many other larger or smaller salons of different use and colours.
The manor house park is considered to be the largest park in Slovakia and it was entered in the list of the Wold historical gardens in 1978. Its surface area is a respectable 81 ha. Some rare species of wood as well as water attractions such as fountains, waterfalls and ponds can be found in the park. Its surroundings also play an exceptionally important role in the park´s design. The park is set in the central part of the crooked stream valley of Betliar. Domestic species of wood represent the primary park planting – mainly maples, ash trees, lime trees, oaks, hornbeams, beech trees and others. Architectonic and landscaping elements blend together here. The Masonic pavilion, hidden in the mixed vegetation and surrounded by a moat, is an interesting one. The Great artificial waterfall with a grotto is another very interesting building. There are other attractive structures here such as the Hermes well, the mysterious Bosnia-bar (ruins), the rotunda, where library was previously located, the Japanese bridge, the Chinese pavilion etc. As for sculptures, the stolen statue of the Buddha was the most precious one. The 150 cm high cast-iron statue of Arpad the Knight is also a matter of interest.
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