Red Monastery

Eastern Slovakia

Its enigmatic atmosphere amplified by a forested backdrop, this fortified monastery has undergone enormous change (and destruction) since it was established in 1319. Formerly made of red brick (hence the name), its loveliest structure is Gothic and baroque St Anton's Church. Other outbuildings span a breadth of styles and centuries, including a medieval refectory with Gothic wall paintings.

Founded during the Hungarian Kingdom, Červený Kláštor operated as a Carthusian monastery until 1563, when it was transformed into a nobleman's home. Over the centuries the monastery has been sold, secularised, damaged by fire in 1907 and further wrecked during WWII. A 1950s rebuild restored its outbuildings.

You'll need your own wheels if you're visiting Red Monastery from Ždiar or other Eastern Slovak towns, though many visitors hike from villages along the Dunajec River.

It's possible to stay overnight in the monastery's plain but reasonably modern rooms (single/double without breakfast from €15/28).

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