Cities in Slovak Republic

Banská Bystrica

Copper town situated in a valley on the river Hron and surrounded by four mountain ranges, Banska Bystrica (85,000 inhabitants) is natural and administrative centre of central Slovakia. Its geographical location makes it one of the most beautiful towns in Slovakia. The riches of the surrounding mountains provided the food for the first settlers of today's Banska Bystrica, who made their living not only by hunting and fishing but also from silver mining. In 1255, the Hungarian King Bela IV granted the town substantial priviliges and attracted German settlers who further developed the mining of precious metals, especially copper, in tandem with its original inhabitants.

Banská Štiavnica

Silver town ( inscripted in UNESCO ) formerly one of the most important mining towns in Europe, Banska Stiavnica (10,800 inhabitants), stretches over the steep slopes of the hills Glanzenberg, Paradiesberg, Frauenberg, in the Stiavnica Hills, in the southern part of central Slovakia. It lies directly over what were once rich deposits of silver and gold. Wealthy miners built their big style city houses in the surrounding area, houses with through courtyards suitable to an agricultural lifestyle. The former wealth of the once free royal city, with only 10 000 inhabitants, far from mai traffic routes and more or less without any industry, can only be guessed at today. In its heyday Banska Stiavnica had four times more inhabitants and mined up t fifteen thousand kilogramns of silver a year. The most progressive methods were applied in the mines, such a the operation of mining equipment using water energy. Explosives and mechanisation of the underground transportation were used for the first time. Brilliant mine technicians proved their skills here, specially remarkable is the work of Matej Kornel Hell and Samuel Mikovini, who managed to push through revolutionary reforms at the time of the first serious crisis.

Bardejov

Best-preserved medieval town the earliest written record dates back to 1241 and can be seen on the yellowed pages of the Ipatyiev Monastery Chronicle. The extensive territory of "terra Bartfa" can be found in written records dating back to 1247. At the turn of the 13th and 14th centuries colonists from Silesia settled down near the settlement lying on the main communication route. In 1320 King Robert granted them extensive rights, which speeded up the process of transformation of the chartered village "Bardejov" into a town. In 1352 the town obtained the right to hold the 8-day fair and the guarantee of freedom for all who took part in it.

Bratislava

A walk through old Bratislava The present-day capital of Slovakia (430,000 inhabitants) experienced a period of historic glory as the coronation city of Hungarian kings. Ten Roman Catholic emperors of the Habsburg dynasty (Habsburg - Loraine) and one queen Maria Theresa were crowned in Bratislava's St. Martin's Cathedral between 1563 and 1830, together with eight wives of the kings.

Trnava

The peak of Baroque art or the Slovak Rome Trnava (70,000 inhabitants), is one of the oldest Slovak towns, gaining the privileges of a free royal town as early as 1238. Founded at the crossing point of important trade routes, it also quickly rose to prominence thanks to the German settlers who were invited to the country by King Bela IV. A large part of Trnava's unique brick fortifications dating back to the 13th century are standing today. Also many medieval burgher houses and a variety of sacred buildings are well-preserved.

Bojnice

Fairy-tale beauty. Records of the existence of Bojnice Royal Castle, built on a travertine hillside, date back to the early 12th century. After many centuries and many owners, the 19th century saw the castle's reconstruction into a chateau in the romantic style, inspired by chateaux in the Loire valley in France. The story goes that the reconstruction had its origins in the love of the owner, Jan Palfy, for a French noblewoman, whose father would not let her marry Palfy unless the living conditions on his estate could compare with what his daughter was used to at home. So, a major reconstruction began in 1889, but neither the count nor his bride saw its completion due to Palfy's death in 1908. It is claimed that his ghost haunts the chateau's corridors, a tale which was the inspiration for the International Ghosts and Spirits Festival which takes place here each May and offers varied entertainment, such as historical games and scary characters.

Kremnica

Gold town lets go for a walk through Kremnica and its surroundings. Let us discover the history of this town which is also called the "golden town", whose ducats granted the thrones of many monarchs. In this town you can feel the history in every street, house and church. Each building tells a story about a period in time, and from this mosaic a brief picture of our history can be composed. Please also accept our invitation to the surrounding villages.

Levoča - gem of the Spiss region

It was proved that the town and its surroundins were settled in the New Stone Age. The old Levoca was situated on the left side of the road from Levoca to Spisska Nova Ves, where the archaeologists excavated the foundations of a Roman church, the size of which was quite respectable: it is 23.5m long, the width of the nave is 12m and the apse is over 8m. It was the Church of St. Nicholas dating back to the 11th-12th century. The next large settlement, or a little town and a rotund church from the 11th century are situated next to what is now Kosicka Gate. When in the 12th century, and also after Tartar Raid in 1241,the German colonists arrived in Levoca, they found the original settlements- the little towns which, with their own new dwellings, became the foundation of the present town.

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