Banská Štiavnica is a Slovak old mine city in central Slovakia, it 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 to be a UNESCO World Heritage Site on December 1993. (Banská’ is ‘Mining’ in English.)
I was strolling to the Old Town from the bus terminal.
Banská Štiavnica prospered as a town of the mines of the gold and silver in the Hungarian kingdom from the middle Ages. On the other hand, it has some painful history such as the damage of the earthquake of the 14th century and having been the town of the fight with Turkey.
I arrived at the Old Town Square (Trinity Square) and got a map at the tourist information center and entered the tunnel of the old mine there.
1. Nový zámok (New Castle) 2. Starý zámok (Old Castle) 3. Berggericht (Mining Court) 4. Galéria Jozefa Kollára (Joseph Kollára Gallery) 5. Kammerhof (County office) 6. Dedičná štôlňa Glanzenberg (Hereditary gallery Glanzenberg) 7. Banské múzeum v prírode (Mining Museum) 8. Kostol svätej Kataríny (St. Catherine’s Church) 9. Botanická záhrada (Botanical garden) 10.Evanjelický kostol (Lutheran church) 11.Klopačka (Administration office of the mine) 12.Kostol Nanebovzatia Panny Márie (Church of the Assumption)
3.Berggericht is formerly the seat of the Mining Court and later also used by the Mining Academy, currently houses a Mineralogical Exposition. Visitors are invited to see a mining gallery called Michal, 75 metres of which is available for the public. The museum also houses Banská Štiavnica Information centre.
After that, I wandered around the old town.
According to the legend, a long time ago, there was a lazy shepherd in the village. One day, he was dozing in the sun side of the flock. When he woke up, something sparkling caught his eyes, he found two lizards. One of them had something glittering with gold on its back and another with silver. They escaped and hid under a rock. The shepherd rolled and moved the rock aside and to his surprise he found nuggets of gold and silver.
Nový zámok (New Castle) is one of the most elegant architectural dominants of the town. It stands as if on guard near the entrance to Banska Stiavnica. It’s a whitewashed Renaissance fortress on the Frauenberg hill and it was built in the period of 1564-71 with the purpose to protect the town against possible invasion of Turkish army.
4. Galéria Jozefa Kollára (Joseph Kollára Gallery) is the three restored burghers’ houses (Bošáni´s, Richter´s and Jonáš´s house) and situated on the Holy Trinity square. The exhibition of old art displays 240 essential collections from either Banská Štiavnica region or medieval mining region following prominent authors.
5. Kammerhof is the former residence of the Comorian county office (Kammerhof). In the middle Ages it was the headquarters of the mining industry and also the residence of its leader: the “count of chamber”. Now it’s the headquarters of the management of the museums near the city.
The Roman Catholic Church of St. Catherine in Banská Štiavnica was built in the years 1488-91 in late Gothic style. Its nave is topped by a star-shaped vault. The crypts below the church contain burial places of prominent citizens and vogts of the town. The surviving original Gothic inventory includes a stone baptismal font, a 15th-century cross, and a late Gothic sculpture of the Virgin Mary. The organ is from the end of the 18th century.
12. Kostol Nanebovzatia Panny Márie, The Parish Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary (13th century) was built in the Romanesque and Gothic styles and contains precious Gothic altars and sculptures. One of the altars was carved by the famous Master Paul of Levoča.
I found a strange bunch of keys near Trinity Square.I did not know what the bunch of the keys means. So I asked a women who was just passing about these keys. The woman replied slowly in English.
- “Don’t you know it? It was a sad love story … (She was talking rapidly in Slovakian, sometime in English.) … poor tutor…beautiful daughter…fell in love… She married another man and … (She kept talking in Slovakian) … It is beautiful and eternal love. This story is on the school books.” She was moved to tears. “Do you understand?”
- I said thanks to the woman politely. “Thank you, madam. I was very impressed.” But I do not understand the story well.
Loved each another, Andrej Sládkovič and Marino Pischlová, but thay were not joined.
Now I know the story roughly, but I still do not know the relationship between the bunch of keys and the story.