The village of Papradno is situated in the submontane area of the Javorníky, in a trough open toward the southeast. The stream of Papradnianka flows through it, formed from sources springing up at an altitude of about 820 meters below Malý and Veľký Javorník.
From its history
The first written record of Papradno goes back to 1525. The village and its surroundings belonged to the feudal estate of Bytča. The village boundry of Papradno was established in the 15th century through separation from the original village boundry of Veľká Jasenica. At present, Papradno has a population of approximately 2,550 inhabitants.
The settlement of the Papradno village boundry, in the course of time, gave rise to mountain settlements of e.g. Podjavorník, Majer, Košiary, Podhúboc and others. Some of them ceased to exist following a long-term abandonment of the buildings. In 1649 Papradno was leased by Countess Biháyr, which resulted in deterioration in social conditions of the Papradno serf people. The abolition of serfdom in 1848 was followed by a gradual development of a freer way of employment and husbandry.
The oldest stone watermill was built in 1619. There was a washboard launderette in the village already before 1623. The symbol of the Walachian settlement of the village, Walachianness and the seat of the Walachian chief in Papradno is a well-preserved imprint – a coat of arms with the emblem of a ram standing on a sward – a seal of the village of Papradno from 1757 which was used by mayors in the long term.
The 19th century witnessed the construction of a distillery in the village. It is said that there used to be a count’s paper mill in the village.
The oldest organization in the village is a voluntary fire brigade which was founded between 1896 and 1898. The village is also home to Hunters’ Association Javorník, Hiker’s Club associated with the village council, Sports Club Žiar, Basic Organization of the Red Cross, Basic Organisation of Physically Disadvantaged and Pensioners’ Club. The Papradno brass band established in 1898 has been a popular musical ensemble. It has been operating until now although with a smaller number of musicians. The folk group Podžiaran often participates in cultural events in the village, in the nearby environs as well as abroad (in the Czech Republic, for example).
The village’s dominant feature is a one-nave Roman Catholic church in late Baroque style built in 1792 under the feudal rule of Count M. Esterházy.
An old wooden Roman Catholic church built around the year 1700 in the middle of an old cemetery mentioned in 1766 burnt down. There is a Baroque statue of St. John Nepomuk from the mid-18th century and a marble cross from 1911 in front of the church. In the year 1974 they opened a cave with a statue of the Virgin Mary of Lurdes in the village. The church houses a spectacular pipe organ which is the fourth biggest in Slovakia.
In March 1773 a Franciscan Hugolín Gavlovič, who wrote, besides other works, a cycle of instructive poems “Valašská škola mravov stodola“(The Walachian school – the Barn of Customs), worked in the Papradno parochial office. His poems are said to be inspired by his experience from the Walachian environment of Papradno.
Three-room timber houses (so-called "bačovy") have been preserved in the village since the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. They have three rooms (a bedroom, an entrance room and a pantry), a shingle saddle roof, and a gable wall. The windows and doors are surrounded with dot-painting, the corners are often whitewashed. Timber farm buildings stand at the end of an open yard.