Slanica Island of Art - Permanent exhibitions

In a beautiful countryside of Slanica Island in the middle of the Orava dam are placed permanent exhibitions of traditional folk art from the Orava Gallery’s collections. In the interior of the church is installed the exhibition “Slovak Traditional Folk Sculptures and Paintings”, while in the exterior was created the lapidary “Orava 18th and 19th Century Stone Sculptures”. The exhibition of the floated villages and construction works of the Orava dam is displayed in a former tomb. Thanks to their uniqueness, the exhibitions are among the most visited sights of the Orava region.


from 7th of May to 23rd of September, daily

Oravská priehrada, Námestovo - local area Slanická Osada

GPS: N49°24'0.33" E19°30'50.12"


The exhibition selectively represents mainly wooden carving sculptures, stone sculptures and paintings on glass made by self-taught folk artist. Most works are from the 18th and 19th century, when Folk Art in Slovakia achieved its biggest boom. All exhibits displayed sacral themes. The way they were displayed was ruled by the moral and aesthetic ideals of Christianity and by the major feasts of the ecclesiastical year. Works followed the iconographic schemes of Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque art, which folk artists often adapted by observations made in their own lives. paratory committee for the establishment of the Orava Gallery with its president Ctibor Belan and members Jozef Mlynarčík, Mária Medvecká, Běla Kolčáková, Ignác Kočák and Pavol Sika set to work, and has since 3rd of September 1965 with effect from 3rd of November 1965 established Orava Gallery based in Oravský Podzámok. In 1971, the gallery moved to a former County House in Dolný Kubín, which is still in use as the gallery’s administration and exhibition centre till now. In the same year the Gallery prepared an opening ceremony for the island and exhibitions and to this day there is nothing similar in Slovakia.

Wooden carving sculptures, paintings on glass and exterior stone sculptures depicted, besides figures of Jesus Christ, the Holy Trinity and the Virgin Mary, also the most popular saints as St. John of Nepomuk, St. Florian, St. Wendelin, St. Barbara, St. Catherina, ST. Urban, St. Donatus., etc. Statues were intended to protect from disease and natural disasters, to ensure fertility and good harvest. They were placed in the iconic corners of rooms, roadside chapels, on columns or house facades. The most popular theme was a Marian theme. Mary, as a loving guardian – an intercessor, to which the people looked to in their prayers, became the object of portrayal in many forms, especially in a joyful mother's role - the Madonna with a child, or its a painful counterpart – the Pietà – a mother holding in her arms her dead son. The still living tradition of Marian devotion acquired in folk environment a touching human dimension, to which individual art works added an extraordinary expressive power and a deep conviction. Despite the shape imperfections, works excel in their inner beauty coming out from the sincerity of the religious beliefs of their creators.

We also recommend visiting the permanent exhibition of the Traditional Folk Art in the Orava Gallery in Dolny Kubin.

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