Slovakia’s east (východoslovenský kraj) has one foot in the past. Protected from the west by the Tatras, traditional dialects and folk customs thrive, and the land is bleaker and grander than the west. Stretching northeast up the Poprad Valley to the Polish border, and east along the River Hornád towards Prešov, is the Spiš region, for centuries a semi-autonomous province in the Hungarian kingdom.
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