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Things to do in Banska Stiavnica
Things to do in Slovakia



Banska Stiavnica


Banská Štiavnica is a town in central Slovakia, in the middle of an immense caldera created by the collapse of an ancient volcano. For its size, the caldera is known as the Štiavnica Mountains. Banská Štiavnica has a population of more than 10,000. It is a completely preserved medieval town. Because of their historical value, the town and its surroundings were proclaimed by the UNESCO to be a World Heritage Site on December 11, 1993.

The heart of the town is the historical Trinity Square dominated by a monumental plague column. The square is used for frequent cultural events and there is also a mineralogical museum. Two castles, the so-called "old" one and "new" one, have been transformed into museums.

The open air mining museum offers a 1.5-kilometre (0.93 mi) long underground excursion in mines dating from the 17th century. Visitors will receive helmets, cloaks and lamps to use during the tour. It is also possible to have an English, German or Hungarian speaking guide if this is requested in advance. Another ancient mine open to the public is even older. This mine, situated just under the center of the town, has attracted numerous famous visitors, from Emperor Joseph II to Prince Albert of Monaco.

The town is surrounded by ancient artificial mining water reservoirs called tajchy. Sixty reservoirs were built in the 15th through 18th centuries in order to provide energy for the booming mining industry. They are connected by a more than 100-kilometre (62 mi) long network of channels. These extraordinary historical monuments are now used mainly for recreation.



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