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Ružomberok ( ; ; ; ) is a town in northern Slovakiamarker, in the historical Liptov region. It has a population of around 30,000.


It is situated at the westernmost reaches of the Sub-Tatra Basinmarker, more exactly its subdivision Liptov Basin, surrounded by the mountain ranges of Chočské vrchy, Greater Fatramarker and Low Tatrasmarker. Rivers flowing through the town are Váhmarker, from east to west, Revúca, a left tributary from the south, on the way to Banská Bystricamarker and Likavka brook from the north, on the way to Dolný Kubínmarker. The town is located around 65 km from Žilinamarker, 190 km from Košicemarker and 260 km from Bratislavamarker (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).


From the second half of the 10th century until 1918, it was part of the Kingdom of Hungary. The first written mention about settlement was in 1233 as terra Reuche. The town was established by the Germans. It got its town rights in 1318. In 1340, Hungarian King Charles Robert confirmed its town rights and extended more. However, its growth was interrupted as it was placed under Likavkamarker rule.

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 the Kingdom of Hungary, particularly after the Kassa Oderberg 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 an event known as the Černová tragedy.

After the break-up of Austria–Hungary in 1918, Ruzomberok became a part of Czechoslovakiamarker. 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, Tescomarker, 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. From september 2007 it is not possible to study at detached workplace of University of Žilina.

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 Likavkamarker village; and the Museum of the Liptov Village in Pribylinamarker. 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), Vlkolínecmarker village, inscribed in 1993 to the UNESCOmarker World Heritage Site list, and the skiing area of Malinô Brdo (also called Malinô Brdo).


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 - Slovak Superliga. In 2006, it won the Corgoň liga and also the Slovak FA Cup.

Famous people


  • 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 Mikulášmarker. Ružomberok had traditionally been more catholic whereas Liptovský Mikuláš more evangelic.

Partner towns

See also


  1. Sights on the page

External links

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