Dolný Kubín lies at an altitude of 468 metres (1,535 ft) above sea level and covers an area of 55.055 square kilometres (21.3 sq mi). It is located in northern Slovakia on the Orava River, between the Lesser Fatra, Oravská Magura and Chočské vrchy mountains. It is located around 15 km from Ružomberok, 45 km from the Polish border and 270 km from Bratislava. The town is composed of 10 boroughs: Banisko, Beňova Lehota, Brezovec, Kňažia, Malý Bysterec, Medzihradné, Mokraď, Staré mesto, Veľký Bysterec and Záskalie. The first written reference of the town of Dolný Kubín dates from 1314. It was founded in the 14th century and initially belonged to the Orava Domain. It was granted town privileges (town status, town charter) in 1632, and its importance was further strengthened in 1633 when the town was granted the right to hold markets. In 1683 the town became the seat of the Orava county and in 1776 also the seat of a processus district. In the 19th century Dolný Kubín was a centre of Slovak national life and the poet Pavol Országh Hviezdoslav and other Slovak national revivalists were active in the town. The town experienced major developments mainly after World War II, when electrical works as well as other enterprises were established.