The town of Banská Štiavnica

Banská Štiavnica ( Schemnitz in German and Selmecbánya in Hungarian) is a historical town in central Slovakia with a rich multi-cultural past. It is well known for its mining tradition (especially mining of silver), important mining legislations, autonomy and academic tradition. Since 1950 it holds the status of a historical town reserve. The town is the center of the Štiavnica Mountains Protected Landscape Area, which was created on 22nd September 1979 and is 77630 ha large. On 11th December 1993 the town of Banská Štiavnica together with its surroundings became one of the UNESCO World Heritage sights.



The town’s past is closely connected with rich veins of precious metals resting underneath it, especially silver ore. In 1763 the first mining university in Europe was opened here and in 1770 it has been renamed to “the Mining Academy”. It was the first university of technology in the world. The town is home to the Slovak Mining Museum, which includes the Open Air Mining Museum, the Old Castle, New Castle, Berggericht – Mineralogical exhibition, Jozef Kollár Gallery, the Mining tunnel Glanzenberg, Kammerhof – Mining in Slovakia exhibition, and Fritz’s house, where you can find the town archive.

Culture, sights and monuments

Banská Štiavnica hosts several regional as well as international events. The Salamandra days take place annually the second week of September. A traditional part of this festival is a parade depicting the history of the town and its most memorable figures. Other annual events are the live chess Animatus Lusus, Night at the Old Castle, Unforgotten crafts, the Festival of Arts, Crafts and Entertainment, the movie festival 4 Elements, Jazznica music festival, Festival Cap á l´Est, the Constitution Run, and the Track of Youth Run. Since the year 2000 Banská Štiavnica annually holds the Festival of Nice Music at the end of July and beginning of August.


The town is home to a number of sacral as well as secular monuments and sights. The most important sacral sights are the Church of Assumption of Virgin Mary, the roman-catholic church of St. Catherine, the Church of our Lady of Snow, or the Frauenberg Church, the Calvary – a collection of sacral buildings from 1744-1751, the protestant church, and a synagogue from 1893. The secular sights include the Old Castle, New Castle, Klopačka, the Open Air Mining Museum, Berggericht – Mineralogical exhibition, the Mining tunnel Glanzenberg, and Kammerhof. The most important monuments of the town are the Sculpture of Holy Trinity, the Sculpture of Virgin Mary, the Monument to Andrej Kmeť, the Bust of Andrej Sládkovič in the Botanical Garden, and the Monument to Fallen Heroes. Well-known town parks are the Botanical Garden, the Calvary and the Park at the Crossroads.


Banská Štiavnica is a town that everybody will fall in love with. The streets are lined with a myriad of cafes and small shops. It will suit the tastes of tourists who love a bit of a romantic spark and visiting historical and cultural monuments, as well as those looking for a bit of adventure and great hiking across forests. Banská Štiavnica is surrounded by breath-taking nature, whether it is forests, mountains (e.g. Sitno), hiking trails, tajchs or lakes (Počúvadlo, Richňava, Klinger). A holiday in Banská Štiavnica and its surrounding nature is bound to be one of the most beautiful ones in Slovakia. Fans of passive and active free-time activities alike will surely gather a lot of great experience and positive feelings.