Ružomberok (Rosenberg; Rózsahegy; Rużomberk) is a town in northern Slovakia, in the historical Liptov region. It has a population of around 30,000.
It is situated at the westernmost reaches of the Sub-Tatra Basin
, more exactly its subdivision Liptov Basin, surrounded by the mountain ranges of Chočské vrchy
, Greater Fatra
and Low Tatras
. Rivers flowing through the town are Váh
, from east to west, Revúca
, a left tributary from the south, on the way to Banská Bystrica
brook from the north, on the way to Dolný Kubín
. The town is located around 65 km from Žilina
, 190 km from Košice
and 260 km from Bratislava
(by road). Besides the main settlement, it also has "city parts" of Biely Potok, Černová, Hrboltová and Vlkolínec.
Climate is moderate, varies from hot in summer, to very cold in winter. There are four distinct seasons: spring (wet, moderate warm), summer (hot, very wet), autumn (dry) and winter (very cold). Ružomberok is located in the rain shadow of the mountain ranges of Greater Fatra and Chočské vrchy. Total annual precipitation is 727 mm. Annual average of days with snow cover is 68. The highest snow cover ever recorded was 92 cm. Extreme temperatures: high: +37°C (2007), low: -38°C (1949, 1986).
The first written mention about settlement was in 1233 as terra Reuche
. The town was established by the German colonists
. It got its town rights in 1318. In 1340, King Charles Robert
confirmed its town rights and extended more. However, its growth was interrupted as it was placed under Likavka
In the 19th century, it was one of the centres of Slovak national movement. It slowly became one of the industrial and financial centres of today's Slovakia, particularly after the Košice-Bohumín Railway was completed in 1871, when many new factories emerged - paper and pulpwood works, but also brick works (1871) or the textile industry.
In 1907, in Černová, which was rather a street than part of the town that is today, happened event known as the Černová tragedy. Local inhabitants refused appointed priest, Martin Pazúrik from Lisková, instead of their native Andrej Hlinka. The appointed priest couldn't move to sanctify newly built local church and the Hungarian gendarmes fired four times to the angry crowd and killed 15 people. Many were arrested.
After the break-up of Austria-Hungary in 1918, Ruzomberok became a part of Czechoslovakia. However, when Czechoslovakia was broken up in 1939, it was incorporated into the first Slovak Republic and was a capital of one of the counties, the Tatra county (Tatranská župa). It became part of Czechoslovakia again in 1945 and after the dissolution of Czechoslovakia in 1993, it became part of Slovakia. In 1995, Ruzomberok became a district town.
According to the 2001 census
, the town had 30,417 inhabitants. 96.64% of inhabitants were Slovaks
, 0.95% Roma
and 0.87% Czech
. The religious make-up was 75.47% Roman Catholics
, 14.65% people with no religious affiliation, and 5.46% Lutherans
Industry and Commerce
Ruzomberok was famous in the 20th century as an industrial town. The resulting pollution has remained one of the biggest challenges facing the town. It had the biggest cotton mill in Slovakia - BZVIL or Texicom - and still has one of the biggest Slovak exporter businesses - Mondi SCP
, formerly known as SCP - Severoslovenske celulozky a papierne. Texicom went bankrupt in 2006. Mondi SCP is a paper and pulp factory and is the biggest employer in the Ruzomberok district and the Liptov region. The town also has a brick factory located in the south.
Ružomberok is nowadays also considered as a good shopping town, with almost all supermarket brands. These include Billa, Tesco, Lidl, Kaufland, Jednota, Hypernova, Verex and Kinekus. Aupark and Aldi are also planned.
Apart from its numerous primary and secondary school, the town also has 2 grammar schools and 2 universities. The Catholic University
is based in Ružomberok and the University of Žilina has a branch in the town.
Landmarks and culture
The centre of the town is located at the Andrej Hlinka Square (Námestie Andreja Hlinku
). Among the sights in or around the Square are the Roman Catholic Church of St. Andrew, first mentioned in 1318 and originally built as a Gothic, but now is in a Renaissance-Baroque style; town hall, built in 1895 in the neo-Baroque style and the church and monastery of the Holy Cross (built 1806 and 1730 respectively).
Cultural institutions in the towns include the Liptov Museum, established in 1912 which also has exhibitions outside the town. These include the Likava Castle, which is just outside the town in the Likavka village; and the Museum of the Liptov Village in Pribylina. The Ľudovít Fulla Gallery is a branch of the Slovak National Gallery and is dedicated to Fulla's works of art. The town also has the only scout museum in Slovakia.
Other sights within the town include the Evangelic church from 1923-1926, a historic building of the railway station from 1871, now protected as a national historic monument; Calvary above the town in the Classicist style, built in 1858; synagogue from 1880; and the church in Černová, where the tragedy in 1907 happened.
Attractions in the surroundings include the Čebrať mountain (1,054 m), Vlkolínec village, inscribed in 1993 to the UNESCO World Heritage Site list, and the skiing area of Malinô Brdo (also called Malinné).
The women's basketball team MBK Ružomberok
is the most successful Slovak basketball team in the history with 2 FIBA cup
victories. Ružomberok also has a successful football team, MFK Ružomberok
, playing the highest division of the Slovak League - Corgoň liga
. In 2006, it won the Corgoň liga and also the Slovak FA Cup
- Ľudovít Fulla, painter, graphic artist, illustrator, stage designer and art teacher
- Dušan Galis, football coach and former football player
- Andrej Hlinka, politician, priest, and activist
- Peter Lorre, Hollywood actor
- Dušan Makovický, personal physician of Leo Tolstoy
- Elo Romančík, actor
- Dárius Rusnák, ice hockey player
- Karol Sidor, politician and journalist
- Silvia Šuvadová, actress
- Jozef Vengloš, former footballer, manager, and FIFA football expert
- Ružomberok is by many Slovaks still regarded as being rather "stinky". This is due to its industrial past when the pollution was extremely bad. The river Váh, for example, used to be biologically dead until the fall of Communism.
- The town has a very catholic status. Andrej Hlinka spent his life in Ružomberok. The town also gives a chance to acquire a complete Catholic education. It has a catholic primary school, a catholic grammar school and the Catholic University.
- The woods around the town are rich in wild animals, mainly deers and bears. There have been numerous encounters with the animals in some
- Peter Lorre, the famous Hollywood actor was born in the town and is probably the town's most famous person to be born here. However, hardly any Ružomberok's inhabitants know about him. There is also missing any landmark or statue dedicated to him.
- The town is also known as the "town of roses". This is due to its name: "Ruzomberok" comes from the German "Rosenberg", which means "rose hill". The town also has a rose in its crest.
- The only scout museum in Slovakia is located in the town.
- A great historical rivalry exists between Ružomberok and its neighbour - Liptovský Mikuláš. Ružomberok had traditionally been more catholic whereas Liptovský Mikuláš more evangelic.