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Things to do in Zvolen
Things to do in Slovakia



Zvolen


Zvolen is a town in central Slovakia, situated on the confluence of Hron and Slatina rivers, close to Banská Bystrica. Is is surrounded by Polana mountain from the East, by Kremnické vrchy from the West and by Javorie and Štiavnické vrchy from the South.

Zvolen is a seat of a county. It is also an important transportation hub in Slovakia.

Zvolen has been inhabited since the Paleolithic. In the 9th century, a Slavic settlement became a regional center of what is now central Slovakia. Zvolen remained the capital of Zólyom County until the 1760s. In the 11th and 12th centuries, one of the largest medieval castles in Europe, Pusty hrad, was constructed. The town, originally built under the castle, lay on an important trade route (Via Magna) from Buda to Kraków. Zvolen was granted town privileges by King Béla IV in the 1230s - as one of the first towns in the Kingdom of Hungary. The privileges were confirmed on 28 December 1243, after the original document was destroyed in war. Later, King Louis I the Great built a new castle, which became a popular hunting resort of the Hungarian kings. The future queen regnant Mary of Hungary and emperor Sigismund celebrated their wedding there in 1385.

In the Rákóczi's War of Independence the Kuruc army in the battle of Zvolen defeated the enemy forces from Austria, Denmark, Vojvodina and Hungary.

In 1848-49, Ludovít Štúr was a member of the Diet, with Zvolen as his constituency. In 1871-1872, two new railways were built and Zvolen became an important railroad hub and important industrial center. Zvolen played an important role during the Slovak National Uprising. Two of its armored trains, which were made in the local railway manufactory, Hurban and Štefánik can be seen near the Zvolen castle.

Zvolen is an important railroad, an important road hub and has a large timber factory and a technical university, the Technická univerzita vo Zvolene. An airport in nearby Sliac offers direct flights to Prague. The town square was modernized in 2002 and local businesses are popular with tourists. In wintertime an ice rink is constructed in the center and festive celebrations run throughout December.



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