"Terra Banensium, Land of Mines." Banska Stiavnica by halikowski

Banska Stiavnica Travel Guide: 27 reviews and 74 photos

view from Stiavnicke Bane road approach

There are nice views down the steep-sided slope to the Mestky Archiv and the Uradny Dom. The view is otherwise across to Kalvaria, constructed at the apogee of the town's fortunes 1748-51, but now - and in spite of two restoration projects - badly damaged and derelict. Management consultants are sent by their company `Accenture' in Bratislava to spend their weekends helping the restoration work (first task is to clear an access road for vehicles)

Popular legends of origin

A shepherd on the hillside observed a pair of lizards glistening with gold. When he saw them disappear underneath a rock, he overturned it, to find precious ore in the earth. These are the legendary origins of precious metal mining in the area. Actually while there are plenty of indicators of interest in metals from prehistoric times(see the collection in the Thurzo House, Banska Bystrica), mining only began as a concerted exercise from the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, when Banska Stiavnica was recognised as a `civitas' or town.
This legend explains why the lizard / salamander is the icon of the town.

Statny Ustredny Bansky Archiv

A state archive branch, set up in 1974, with a large collection of maps and documents relating to the mining that went on here since the 13th century. A fine building, the archives are on the second floor. Headed by the very pleasant and competent Mgr. Elena Kasiarova, sometimes they organise exhibitions.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:a magic mountain, a world outside the world
  • Cons:isolated, excessively sleepy
  • In a nutshell:worth a shortish visit.
  • Intro Updated Jul 9, 2008
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“`somos ciganos' (as the Portuguese cleaning-lady adrift in the New World tells me)”

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