Banská Štiavnica

Banská Štiavnica

Banská Štiavnica, a town situated in the midst of the Štiavnické Mountains in central Slovakia, has been added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage sites. A former mining town, Banská Štiavnica (population 10,900) is one of the most beautiful and historically attractive cities in Slovakia. The extraction of precious metals has a very long history in the central region of the Štiavnické Mountains. This area was already mentioned as ‘Terra Banensium’, the land of the miners, in a document from the year 1156. Silver deposits abounded under the ore that was extracted, and Banská Štiavnica was therefore also referred to as ‘Silver Town’. During the 18th century, Banská Štiavnica became the largest mining centre for precious metals within the entire realm of the Hapsburg monarchy. A mining education system and the sciences gradually became established here.

In 1735, Hungary’s oldest mining school was founded here. It was elevated to the status of mining academy in 1762 by Empress Maria Theresa – this was the first university of its kind in the world. In 1846, the academy was merged with the forest academy, which had been founded in 1808. The city returned to its former fame and prosperity, and Banská Štiavnica was Hungary’s third-largest city at the end of the 18th century with 23,000 inhabitants. The points of interest in the historic city centre are part of the area of the city that is protected as a historic monument. Banská Štiavnica’s town monument reserve includes 360 historic monuments. Together, they constitute an ensemble of unique cultural and historic value, which is also situated in the wonderful surroundings of the Štiavnické Mountains.

Banská Štiavnica (c) Slovakia
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