What to see in Banska Stiavnica, itinerary including the main monuments and places of interest, including Church of Santa Caterina, Castello Vecchio, Mining Museums and Monte Calvario.
City of Slovakia, Banska Stiavnica is located on the Stiavnica Mountains, a mountainous massif of volcanic origin belonging to the Carpathians, at an altitude of about 600 meters.
The foundation of Banska Stiavnica dates back to the beginning of the thirteenth century, in the territory in which a group of German colonists arrived around the second half of the twelfth century, to extract and work the precious minerals with which the subsoil was rich, an activity that had far more distant origins, dating back to the times of the Celtic settlement in the third century BC, as evidenced by the archaeological finds found on the Glanzenberg hill.
Considered the oldest mining town in Slovakia, thanks to its mines, Banska Stiavnica is also known as the silver city.
With a very interesting past, it was a cutting-edge center in the mining sector, as well as the site of an important mining technique school in the eighteenth century.
The last mine was opened until 2001, but the period of greatest mining activity was between the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.
The town has preserved a medieval housing system, in which beautiful eighteenth-century architectures blend, including churches, historic buildings, stairways and alleys that run along the steep sides of the terraced hills.
Since 1993, Banska Stiavnica and its surroundings have been part of the UNESCO world heritage.
Among the monuments that the ancient center preserves stand out, the Gothic church of Santa Caterina, the Town Hall, the column dedicated to the Holy Trinity in the homonymous square, Casa Hallenbach, the Old Castle and, on the opposite hill, the New Castle, the Klopacka, a building dating back to the mid-sixteenth century, whose bell marked the time of work in the mines, the Frauenberg church, dedicated to the Virgin Mary of the Snow, as well as famous mining museums, whose most attractive exhibits are the open-air one, which offers the possibility to go down to one of the ancient extraction wells, and the one related to the ancient mine, located under the main square of the city.
Another prestigious monument of Banska Stiavnica is Monte Calvario, one of the largest and most significant, from an artistic point of view, from all over Europe, built between 1744 and 1751, in Baroque style on Mount Scharffenberg, in a very suggestive natural environment .