Banská Bystrica

                 Banská Bystrica and nearby places

 Banska Bystrica is the most important historical, cultural and economic centre of Central Slovakia. It is the capital of Banska Bystrica region and Banska Bystrica district.
 History of the town: 

 The history of the town and its development is closely connected with the history of mining industry, especially that of copper. The first mention about Banská Bystrica was in 1255. There was mined copper, iron and silver and it became a leader in a union of mining towns. The Germans moved to the town in 13th  century and the city got a lot of royal privileges. In 16th century mining uprising was held there. Banská Bystrica was the center of protestants. but in 1776 there was provided Roman Catholic bishopric. In the 16th century crafts and trade activities gained on importance. The first manufactures arose in the 18th century. During the World War II partisans liberated Banska Bystrica from German occupation and the city became the centre of the Slovak National Uprising.


Banska Bystrica is a city of education, that is why there are many primary schools, secondary schools like: medical, pedagogical, grammar, business schools and other vocational schools. In 1992 there was established the University of Matej Bell with different faculties: economic, political, science, pedagogical,  faculty of law and faculty of phylosophy. 

University of Matej Bell

Cultural and historical sights:

Banská Bystrica as a big town has many interesting sights that people or turists should visit in their free time. There are some of them:

The Memorial of the Slovak National Uprising
This interesting architectural building symbolize the history of the Slovak nation during the 2nd World War.  Inside the monument visitors can see the museum of the Slovak National Uprising with exposition. This building presents political, military and community events in history of Slovakia. 

Stone fountain (Water pride of Banská Bystrica)
The Stone fountain is situated at the Town square. The history of the fountain went back to 1536 when on the same place was built a drinking water reservoir. The Stone Fountains is a very important part of the mosaic square and provides a cool refreshment during hot summer days. It has electric lighting, which changes its colour every evening.

State Opera House
The State Opera arised in 1959 in a place of National House. Opera, operetta, musical, ballet and concert  of Slovak and foreign composers and writers attract visitors every month.

The Clock Tower (Leaning Tower)

The Clock Tower is one of the dominating features of Banská Bystrica. In the past, below the clock tower, there was a torture chamber and prison. Today it is available for public. It has 101 stairs and from the tower gallery you can see an amazing view of all town square.

Where to go?:

In Banská Bystrica is situated a lot of places, which tourists should visit. During summer live music is  played on town square. There are different exhibitions and performances, many bars with terrace, where people can get fresh drinks or ice cream. During winter people can ski at a nearby ski resort „Skalka“.



„Majáles“ held annually in May in Banská Bystrica at atletic stadion. It is the event where people go for having fun at different concerts. There are lots of refreshment stands. It is very popular event among young people.  

„Radvanský“ fair 

„Radvanský“ fair was in 2011 officially registered as a  cultural inheritance. Every year it takes place in September. This year it will be 360. fair. It´s mainly a fair of art craft.

Beach swimming pool  

During the hot weather Banská Bystrica offers a swimming pool with six pools and lake. There are lots of toboggans and refreshments. The visitors can play beach volleyball or football there. 


Europa shopping centre  

Europa shopping centre is a shopping-entertainment center and also the largest shopping center in Banská Bytrica. It was building in 2005. There are situated restaurants, caffe bars, shops with clothes or shoes and many others. There is a cinema too. Every day many people visit this centre. 

By Miška, Nika

                          Slovenská Ľupča

                                                             By Martina and Terézia Š.

Slovenská Ľupča is a village next to Banská Bystrica. The village lies in the northeastern part of Zvolen basin, about 10 km far from Banska Bystrica, and 30km from Brezno. It is situated on the bank of the Hron River, which flows through the valley between the Low Tatras and Slovak Ore Mountains.
Slovenská Ľupča organizes an annual fair during  holidays. This event lasts for one weekend in May. There are  many stalls offering local food and drinks also funny attractions for children and youth. Many craftsmen come there to show their own products and skills. And for those who love folk music there are special performances and concerts on the main stage on the town square.
In Slovenská Lupča there is  BIOTIKA a pharmaceutical manufactory that was founded in 1953. Nowadays Biotika worldwide ranks among the most important manufacturers Polymyxine B Sulfate.

interesting facts :
The medieval castle, towering above the village, is not only the National Cultural Monuments in Slovakia but also it is the higgest located castle in the Hron area (375 MASL) In the upper castle there is a well with a depth of 62 meters, from which there is an escape corridor outside . On the upper floor of the castle there is the chapel with a richly painted wooden ceiling. In a castle court there is more than 700 years old lime tree  which is the oldest Lime tree in Central Europe.  

Not far from Slovenska Lupča, just 1km, there is a natural monument Lupčianský Skalný Hrb . 
the Rocky MushroomVýsledok vyhľadávania obrázkov pre dopyt ľupčiansky skalný hríb

 Visitors have to visit a dairy farm Braunvieh of Hiadlovský. There you can see domestic animals, the production of cheese and taste the delicious cheese called Hiadlovec, exported to France and a local wine

In Slovenská Ľupča is situated tennis center. In summer there is an nnual tennis tournament. There are organized camps for children.
                                                      Tennis courts 
15 km from Banska Bystrica direction to Brezno in the village Lučatín, there is  "Grajciar"  It´s a small family boarding house with a renovated restaurant. The original building  (forester's lodge) was built in 1889. Guests can meet there hospitable staff,  enjoy delicious food and accommodate during the night.

                                                                         Pension Grajciar


Staré Hory

By Petra Sujová and Daniela Šuleková

,,Old Mountain,, is a village in Slovakia in the district of Banská Bystrica.

It's the only creature of nature, which is a part of the memorials of Slovakia.
You have different kinds of special plants and animals. For example butterflies, birds, wild cats, deer, bears and foxes.

To the memorial place called Majerova skala (rock) is  long two hour walk.

Majerova skala

Old mountain: it's a katholik town . It's​ the oldest town from the local Banská Bystrica. It was founded in the 13th century.

They are in the Low Tatras and Big Fatra at 475m above sea level. It has 500 people living there. They are popular with they nice work with gold and silver. The church is a domination of the town, which was build in the 15th century of Maria. It's​ a famous and powerfull place for people who believe.


Environment ideal for families with children. Nice, clean accommodation, excellent cuisine.


          Špania dolina

            By Tomáš Smida and Juraj Martiník

Špania Dolina is a village and municipality in central Slovakia, near the city of Banská Bystrica. Although its permanent population does not exceed 200 people, it is a picturesque historic village situated 728 m above sea level and is surrounded by the Staré Hory and Veľká Fatra mountains. It has become a popular tourist recreation centre.

Špania Dolina, together with mining villages Staré Hory, Richtárová, Piesky, Moštenica and Tajov gave the name to the nearby town Banska Bystrica (Banska means Mining in Slovak). To attract German settlers to develop the mining of precious metals in the area, mainly copper, Hungarian King Belo IV granted the settlement town privileges in 1242. “Waldbürgers” – as the families were called – who built their houses around the town square, owned the mines. The house of Karoli, Jung, Ernst, Königsberger, Mühlstein, Kolmann, Lang were well known in those times. The mining prospered but required more and more investment. In the 80s of the 15 th century the proprietors were able to run the mines only on the loans from Jan Thutzo, a nobleman and businessman from the Spiš region. Later Jan Thurzo (1437-1508), bought up almost all the mines in the region from their desperate owners and brought in a foreign investor (Jakub Fugger). Together in 1495 they formed a powerful copper company called, the Ungarischer Handel or Neusohler Kupferhandlung.

Thurzo – Fugger joint venture (1493 – 1546). In 1494 Jan Thurzo stated to excavate a new type of a shaft, which was called the main, later Ferdinand shaft. It reached the depth of 250 m. and was used for mining as well as draining the whole ore field until the last quarter of the 16 th century. The Thurzo-Fugger ‘s company with its huge complex of copper smelter s, warehouses, skilful organisation of transport, and advanced accounting system, became one of the largest and most modern early-capitalist firms . They also realised that it was important to care about workers, thus established Brother’s Treasury that gave workers sickness and old-age insurance, and paid pensions to their widows and orphans. Thurzo also bought two houses in Banska Bystrica Main Square , built the new Renaissance house and rented the Chamber house. That entitled the Thurzo-Fugger company to enter the local market with cheaper products . The competition resulted in conflicts with the town’s officials. The company then increased its profits by capping workers’ wages that culminated in a miners’ riot in 1525. The furious aristocracy forced the company to withdraw from the local markets, but the Hungarian King rented the mines back to the Fuggers, who administered them until 1546. After that, the monarchy took over, and established the new Mining Chamber to run the mines.

After the first difficulties new shafts Maximilian, Maria and the deepest one Ludovika, reaching the depth 440 m, were excavated. Wheels powered by water from the unique mining watercourse replaced the old horse driven ones. Approximately 36 km long system of wooden troughs, leats, and ditches directed water from the Prasiva Mountain in the Low Tatras to the four shafts in Spania Dolina. The watercourse was in operation until the beginning of the 20th century.

                                       Water system

Shaft Ludovika

The face of the village was gradually changing. Small, scattered miners’ houses on the steep hillsides were replenished by new technical buildings (workshops, dressing floors, storage houses, ore crushers, sample rooms, administration and maps houses) as well as private houses and workshops (blacksmith’s, carpenter’s, tallow house, doctor etc.)
In the end of 17 th century Spania Dolina mines were able to employ only 800 workers. Women and children worked at the dressing floors separating the waste rock. They supplemented the families’ income by making bobbin laces. Thus a tradition of Spania Dolina’s bobbin laces started and in 1883 a bobbin laces craft school was established. The threads for the laces were manufactured in a small local factory.

In the 18 th century the cooper ore deposits were almost exhausted. In the 19 th century the production went to decline. The changes within the monarchy and the turbulent 40s brought the cooper ore mining to its end. The mines closed down in 1888.


   by Lucia and Terka 

Hronsek is a village in Slovakia in Banská Bystrica region. It is only 14 km far from Banská Bystrica. The first written mention of the village was dated in the year 1500. Although Hronsek is not very big,  its extremely rich in historical monuments. In its cadastre, there are four artistic and historical monuments, a memorial house and six old lime trees included in the list of protected natural species.
Across Hronsek goes a cycling route from Banska Bystrica to Zvolen , so called Family Path so  if you want to relax during the route it is a good place.

The most important monument is the Evangelical wooden church, listed on the UNESCO the 1726th. Wooden bell tower which is next to the church, built on a stone base also had to be built according to the penal code as a church. If you decide visit the church you can do ti from 9:00a.m. to 17:00 pm.

 The oldest building in the village is the Gothic-Renaissance mansion from 1576, called "Water Castle". The original Water Castle was built as a fortification against the Turkish invaders. Formed by a defensive wall with four towers with a drawbridge through the moat  Water castle currently belongs to the unique historical monument. Currently the owners began with its reconstruction in pursute of giving the castle its original state.

The last monument is Soos-Géczy baroque castle, dated 1775. It is built in baroque style with bastions. The front facade has rococo details. The castle is located in the garden, which is rare, because of its more than 200 years old lime tree.


view of the baroque castle now                                               view of the baroque castle before, 1940

You can relax in the beautiful area of the castle where is located a playground. You can refresh yourself at the inn Hronsek, you can find it in the center of the village - beautiful setting and very tasty food.
The village has its own two folk groups playing and singing folk music and songs. These groups have played many successful concerts and performances.

Every year many events are organized there, such as carnival for children, Hronsek ball, fire brigade competition, exhibitions and „Festive day of village“, where villagers organize many competitions and performances.

Near the village there are many tourist attractions such as Golf Resort “three oaks” in Sliač, Holidaypark Kováčová, Ski Resort Malachov, Aqualand beach swimming pool in Banská Bystrica, etc.


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