Kysuce is a traditional informal name of a region in north-western Slovakia, situated around the Kysuca river and bordering the Orava region in the east and the Czech Republic in the west. It consists of two districts, Čadca and Kysucké Nové Mesto. The region is surrounded by the numerous mountain ranges, for example Javorníky in the west, or the Moravian-Silesian Beskids in the north. The highest hill is Veľká Rača (1236 m). In the past, Kysuce region was part of the Trenčín county.
The oldest known settlement in the Kysuce region is Kysucké Nové Mesto, which was first mentioned in 1321 as a toll collecting place, which was part of a trade route between Žilina and Těšín via Jablunkov Pass, but otherwise the region was relatively uninhabitated.
Kysuce region began to be settled in the 16th and 17th centuries at the time of Valach colonization. The new inhabitants were mostly Slovaks, from foreign settlers Rusyns, Poles and Romanians, but also Czechs and Germans. Many towns were established first around this time, for example Čadca in 1572. Many people live in small villages or lone cottages in the mountains (which are called kopanice). Today main towns in the Kysuce region are Kysucké Nové Mesto, Čadca and Turzovka.
Like the neighboring Orava region, Kysuce region has long winters and long-lasting snow cover, and cold and rainy weather in general, what forces local people to heat their homes from September/October until May, and during winter months, many of the villages and cottages are difficult to access.
Traditionally, Kysuce is considered to be one of the poorest regions in Slovakia. Inhabitants of Kysuce have to commute for work elsewhere, for example to the coal mines in the Ostrava Region in the Czech Republic, as the region has little industry, particularly today. The worst situation was in the 1990s when many factories were shut down or reduced. However, the regional economy is now recovering and growing thanks to the good ski and cross-country conditions and the Snow Paradise center in Veľká Rača-Oščadnica is one of the most developed ski resorts in Slovakia. There are also many other tourist attractions available, for example the switchback railway near Nová Bystrica, or museum of the Kysuce village also near Nová Bystrica, which was created in 1974 primarily for the purpose of saving buildings from the villages inundated by the Nová Bystrica reservoir.
The region is located at the main road and railway between Žilina and Ostrava, as well to Poland. The first railroad that connected Kysuce to the other parts of Austria-Hungary was built in 1871 as part of the Košice-Bohumín Railway. Currently, there is only one short part of the D3 motorway between Oščadnica and Čadca. Connection to Orava is currently under construction and should be opened in 2008. It should replace the original road, which was inundated along with the construction of Nová Bystrica reservoir, leaving 11 km gap between the two ends of formerly compact road.
- Official site of the Kysuce region (Slovak)
- Kysucké múzeum Čadca (includes museum of the Kysuce village and switchback railway) (Slovak)