What to see in Banská Bystrica, an itinerary including the main monuments and places of interest in this city in Slovakia, including the National Uprising Museum, Thurzo Palace, Namesti Square and the Clock Tower.
City of Slovakia, Banská Bystrica rises on the river Hron, on the south-eastern slopes of the Low Tatras.
It was founded in the thirteenth century by some German colonists, who settled in the area to extract and work the precious mines of which the subsoil of its territory was rich, where the mining towns of Banská Štiavnica, famous for the extraction of silver, also arose , and Kremnica, rich in gold mines.
Banská Bystrica was a thriving mining center for the extraction of copper until the seventeenth century, when the deposits ran out.
In Slovakia the city is remembered because it was at the origin of the Slovak National Revolt against the Nazis in 1944, which ended with the bloody suppression of the insurrection by the German army.
In a building located on the edge of the historic center is the Museum of the Slovak National Uprising, which illustrates this episode and other phases of the area's military history.
The museum also includes a park where heavy military equipment is exhibited.
The main square, called Námestí SNP, is characterized by beautiful stately homes belonging to wealthy mining entrepreneurs, such as the Thurzo Palace, which houses the Central Slovakia Museum, with archaeological finds and an ethnographic exhibition.
The sixteenth century Clock Tower overlooks the square, now used as a panoramic tower, and in front of it stands the column with the statue of the Virgin Mary, in Baroque style.
Nearby stands the Church of San Francesco Saverio built in 1715 on the model of the Church of the Gesù in Rome, in Baroque style, with various modifications and renovations dating back to the nineteenth century.
Included in the historic center are some buildings of a fifteenth century citadel, starting with the Parish Church of Our Lady, a thirteenth century Romanesque church, which was the Castle Church, rebuilt several times and also called the German Church, where can admire in a chapel dedicated to Saint Barbara, a magnificent Gothic-style altar carved by the master Pavol of Levoča.Recommended readings
- Banská Bystrica (Slovakia): what to see
- Banska Stiavnica (Slovakia): what to see
- Bratislava (Slovakia): what to see in the capital
- Slovakia: what to see between Carpathians and Danube
- Kremnica (Slovakia): what to see
Behind the parish church, some sections of the ancient city walls connect the Church of Santa Croce, built at the end of the fifteenth century in place of an ossuary, and also known as the Slovak Church, to Casa Matthias located in the complex of the ancient Castle, built in 1479 by the Hungarian king Mattia Corvino for Beatrice of Aragon, his second wife.
Leaving the square along Via Dolná you will find the Church of Santa Elisabetta, which was part of an ancient hospital for miners.
The building, modified and enlarged in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, preserves the chapel of the same Gothic style from 1303.