Zamagurie is the northernmost part of the Spiš region. This outwardly rugged and inhospitable country in fact overflows with unique folk architecture, historical buildings and natural beauties. The architectural gem of this area, Červený Kláštor (the "Red Monastery"), was founded in the 14th century by the Carthusians. During the 18th century, the monastery was inhabited by Camaldulian monks, including the botanist Cyprian (who legend has it could also fly). The Pieniny Hills are the symbol of Zamagurie, with the majestic "Three Crowns" at their centre. Their plunging outcrops are washed by the frontier river Dunajec, which has carved out a beautiful gorge with its fierce currents. Polish sources date the transport of goods and passengers on the Dunajec right back to the 13th century, while the oldest mention on the Slovakian side is a record in Latin from the year 1708. A living reminder of the transport of timber and other goods down the Dunajec and the Vistula to the Baltic Sea is the local rafter's hat, to which the raftsman would attach one sea-shell after each journey to the sea. Rafting as a tourist attraction started flourishing around the middle of the 19th century.
Dunajec Rafting Association can offer you an attraction which is unique in Europe - running the rapids of the Dunajec on wooden rafts amidst the wonderful natural scenery of the Pieniny National Park. The 9 km-long route leads from Červený Kláštor down to the village of Lesnica, and the run lasts 70-90 minutes. To liven up the programme it is possible to hire a Goral music ensemble to play at a camp-fire session while a ram roasts on a spit or goulash is prepared. The rafting season begins on April 15th and ends on October 30th, with regular journeys from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day.
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