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Slovakia Legends

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Legend about Jánošík’s Fist

Travelling from Ružomberok, nearby Liskovská Cave, you can spot a big limestone boulder which shape very much reminds of a clenched fist – Jánošík’s fist. Many legends are told about this boulder. One of them dates to times, when Jánošík and his fellow friends were living in the region.

It happened long time ago on a beautiful sunny autumn morning. Ďurko Jánošík was travelling with his group from Oravský Podzámok to Kráľova hoľa Mountain. It was very soon in the morning, you would not see the red twilight sky yet. Nevertheless they were already going along the Likava Castle up to the peak of the Mních Mountain. Suddenly they heard a sharp loud whistle coming from the forest. They immediately understood. It was a warning sent by their fellow outlaws.

Jánošík and his friends passed carefully to the slope. After a while they spotted a carriage going along the road meandering through the countryside bellow them. Two nobles were sitting on the carriage accompanied by a group of horsemen. When the carriage came closer, the boys became pleasantly surprised to discover that it was the baron Révay in person. He was accompanied by his adjutant and protected by about fifteen armed catchpoles. The catchpoles looked also familiar to them, as they already had the opportunity to meet, and not only once.

The baron was widely known as ruthless tyran who had showed no mercy to the common people. Jánošík ordered: "Hrajnoha, Uhorčík stop the carriage! The rest with me! Let’s take them arms and rope them! I don’t want anybody to get killed!"

Shouting, they run out of the forest to the group of armed men. Until that moment, the baron was feeling perfectly safe. Révay and his adjutant didn’t get immediately what was happening. When they found out, they had been already roped. Jánošík was looking at the battle. As he saw sabres in hands of the Révay’s men, he dashed into it. Under his steel fists the catchpoles were falling like dummies.

Jánošík didn’t like needless blood shedding so he was pleased that the attack had been successful. He asked the baron who was scared to death: "Do you recognize me?" Révay, arrogant as usually, answered: "Of course I do recognize you, you dirty peasant! You are going to regret this!"

Jánošík coldly replied: "Your Grace, you are the reason why I do what I do. And I am proud to be born as peasant! Because without hardworking peasants, people like you wouldn’t have any fortune and would be dying by starving. And now, to remember better this day, you try a bit of the tortures you have made suffer your people!"

They took him to the foot of the hill situated above the road. They stretched him on a tree stump and holding his hands and legs, Hrajnoha gave him twenty-five strokes of the cane. Already unconscious, they took him to the carriage and revived him with cold water. Jánošík said: "Now, you will go back to the place you were coming from. I am aware of your hurrying to the squire convention that should be held in the Mikuláš County. But don’t worry; St. Sofia’s Castle will be your harbour until your people from the Castle in the Považie region will come to pick you up.

Hrajnoha then said to Jánošík: "Captain, today has been a great day. You have prevented the needless blood shedding, have protected our lives but have punished Révay as he deserves. We will never forget it. We have decided to carve a big fist into this stone as it has been the witness of your heroic action. The boulder will stay here as a symbol of your great strength and courage.

That’s the story of the big stony fist lying under the Mních Mountain. The boulder was giving jitters to cruel nobles for many many years and today it is a monument reminding us of the legendary hero Juraj Jánošík - the hero representing the poor.

The legend about Svätopluk and three twigs

The king Svätopluk had three sons. As he was getting older and his death was approaching, they were quarrelling all the time who would be the new king. The rule says that the eldest son has to become the king. But Svätopluk had three sons and they were all demanding the throne for themselves.

Svätopluk, lying on the deathbed, ordered to call his sons and tell them to bring three twigs. When they arrived, the father handed the bunch of twigs to the eldest son and asked him to break it. He tried, but he was not able to do that.

Than he handed it to the second one but he failed too. Even the youngest one didn’t have enough strength to break the bunch of twigs. When they had all tried, the old king took the bunch and separated it. He handed one twig to each of his sons and again, he asked them to break them. They didn’t have to spend much effort trying to break them. It was easy.

Svätopluk than told them: "My dear sons, you are like this bunch of twigs. If you help each other and live in the unity, there won’t be anyone to defeat you. But if you fight and you divide the country into little pieces, the enemy will easily defeat you, and you as well as your empire will die." Three brothers decided to reconcile their quarrels and content Svätopluk gave the throne of the Great Moravian Empire into the hands of the eldest son.

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