Banská Bystrica
Welcome to the Heart of Slovakia
Discover, experience, taste...
Banská Bystrica
welcomes you
Discover the city in the heart of Slovakia!
Come and get to know the famous mining past of this royal town dating back to the Middle Ages and the modern hustle and bustle of this
burgeoning city. Immerse yourself in the charming atmosphere of quaint
alleys and streets; discover the secrets hidden in the nooks and corners
of secluded courtyards and try out some of the local specialties. A heartfelt welcoming and unforgettable experiences await. The city with a heart
awaits your visit.
2 |
Welcome to Banská Bystrica,
welcome to the heart of Slovakia!
Welcoming guests is one of the
best parts of my duties as mayor.
We are proud of our Banská Bystrica and enjoy being able to ensure
that every visitor feels comfortable
and welcomed. We welcome all of
you who have arrived to discover
our historical landmarks, cultural
events and athletic events or with
the ambition to enjoy excellent local beer, chocolate or even grilled
ribs with open arms. Enjoy Banská
Bystrica and take it all in. Enjoy
the view from our leaning clock
tower, meander through our histo-
rical square, visit the Museum of
the Slovak National Uprising or set
off to the top of the nearby Urpin
Mountain (what other city can you
think of has a mountain directly in
the city centre?). The city of Banská Bystrica‘s gates are open to
you. Go and uncover its secrets.
We are sure you‘ll look forward to
returning, almost as much as we
look forward to welcoming you
back. Our hearts are open to you.
Peter Gogola
City Mayor
History and Culture
Discover the secrets
of this city with a royal past
The history of Banská Bystrica is inextricably linked
to the mining of silver and copper. The significance
of the Bystrica settlement grew quickly thanks to
the natural resources at the site, ultimately resulting
in royal recognition in 1255 by Hungarian King Bela
IV and the award of a city charter and related privileges. The golden period of Banská Bystrica‘s history
spanned the 15th and 16th centuries, when the successful Thurzo-Fugger copper company was active.
This was when Banská Bystrica earned the attribute
of “copper”. This historical core of Banská Bystrica,
declared an urban historical reserve in 1955, is still
dotted with a number of architectural gems dating
back to this important period. The city‘s image is also
equally formed thanks to more modern landmarks associated with the city‘s more recent history. Among
the most important landmarks are the SNP Memorial and the SNP Museum, which are associated with
the Slovak National Uprising (SNP) that took place in
View of the square from the Town Hall
The clock tower, which stands imposingly over the upper section of
the square, was built in the middle of
the 16th century. The lookout point
at a height of 20 m above the square
provides a beautiful panorama of the
peaks and ridgeline of the surrounding
mountains and excellent views of the
square and nearby streets. The tower
has also been dubbed a leaning tower
thanks to its slight deflection of 68 cm
from vertical.
4 | History and Culture
The Marian Column dating to 1719
was constructed to give thanks to
the end of the plague; the Baroque
column set on a polygonal base was
installed on the main square in front of
the clock tower and the statue of the
Virgin Mary at the top is 245 cm tall.
The column and the statue themselves
were refinished in a Classicist style in
the 19th century. The author responsible for these works is unknown.
The Church of St. Francis Xavier
features two bell towers and dates
to the beginning of the 18th century;
the more than 200 year-old cathedral
is the seat of the Diocese of Banská
Bystrica. The layout of the cathedral
is based on the design of the Jesuit
Church of the Gesu in Rome and its interior reflects the spirit of the liturgical
reforms of the 2nd Vatican Council. A
complete renovation of the cathedral
was completed in 2001.
The town hall building was created
in the 15th century by combining two
Gothic-style buildings and has now
served as the central office for town
officials for nearly a quarter of a millennium. A number of valuable elements
have been preserved including the
neo-Baroque copper chandelier, the
original doors stamped with the year
1698 and many more precious frescos
and vaults. Currently the building is
also home to Banská Bystrica‘s official
Information Centre.
Stone fountain – While the history of
the fountain dates back to the 16th
century, its current and unique form
was created in the first half of the 20th
century. Your attention will be drawn
to the sound effects and to the changing and varied colourful lighting. The
fountain itself was completely refurbished in 2009.
Barbican – a drawbridge over a man-made moat originally served as access to the castle area in Banská Bystrica.
The castle was finished in 1512 with the construction of the
Barbican, which effectively encircled the city tower and its
three bells. The heaviest of these bells weighs nearly one
tonne. Currently these premises house a stylish cafe and restaurant, and, with their historical feel and atmosphere, are
the perfect place to host concerts and other social events.
Matej‘s house, which is eye-catching at first glance thanks to its
height, has a total of five floors and was completed in the second
half of the 15th century. This landmark is noted for its integration
into the neighbouring Miner‘s Bastion as well as for the herald
of King Matthias Corvinus and his consort Beatrice located on
the building‘s facade. Currently the house is home to the Central
Slovakia Museum‘s travelling exhibition on the history of Banská
Castle Area
The Church of the Virgin Mary‘s Ascension, built in the 13th
century on the foundations of a previous Romanesque basilica,
is the oldest structure in the caste area and in the city itself. The
Church is home to some of the best works of Gothic art in Slovakia including the bronze baptistery, the altar in the Chapel of
St. Barbara produced by Master Paul from Levoča and unique
statues of Jesus on the Mount of Olives on the Church‘s southern
SNP Museum – this architecturally imposing structure built in
1969 is divided in the centre, which architect Dušan Kuzma chose
to represent the fissure, tragic history and war between the two
sides during World War II. The interior of the building houses the
Museum of the Slovak National Uprising and its “Slovakia and
Fascist Resistance Activities 1939 to 1945” exhibition. The exhibition provides an excellent overview of the decisive political,
military and social events in the history of Slovakia from 1918
to 1948 within the context of the history of Europe. The outdoor
exhibition of heavy military equipment and military aircraft in the
park in front of the museum is also not to be missed.
Radvan market – The period before the Feast of Our Lady of
Sorrows (15 September) at the end of summer in Banská Bystrica
is annually associated with the Radvan market. Its hundred-year
history and the huge popularity among visitors make it one of the
largest markets in Slovakia, and it was recently added to the list
of intangible cultural heritage in Slovakia in 2011. In addition to
standard attractions, the market also provides ample space for
traditions and crafts as well as gastronomy, concerts and street
Radvan market
The State Opera, which was formed in 1959, is one of the most
progressive theatre companies in Slovakia. Less common works
from well-known domestic and international authors are performed in addition to more well-established opera, operetta, ballet, musical and drama performances. The Opera also provides
a forum for young and ambitious talents and soloists and gives
performance of original works by modern Slovak authors. Since
1979 the State Opera has also organized the opera portion of the
International ZHZ (Zámocké hry zvolenské) Theatre and Opera
The State Opera
Na Rázcestí Puppet Theatre – The repertoire of the Na Rázcestí
Puppet Theatre, which has been active in Banská Bystrica for
more than 50 years, features something for everyone in all age
groups. The theatre focuses on performances for children as well
as for young people and adults. While the performances for children primarily involve puppets, performances for adults combine
various means of expression, theatre genres and methods. Since
1994 the theatre has also organized the Bábkarská Bystrica International Festival of Puppetry.
Na Rázcestí Puppet Theatre
The Central Slovakia Museum has three exhibitions and documents the development of the community and nature in the Banská Bystrica Region and Banská Bystrica itself. The exhibition
in Thurzo‘s House provides visitors with the opportunity to gain
insights into various aspects of the history and culture of our region. Matej‘s House is home to a collection of the treasures from
the most valuable collections. It also hosts premises focused on
the important individuals and crafts from Banská Bystrica‘s past.
The final exhibition, the Nature of Central Slovakia, is located in
the Tihanyiovsky Manor House in Radvan.
Exposition in Matej’s House
6 | History and Culture
The Dance Studio Theatre in Banská Bystrica is a professional
dance theatre, which focuses on enhancing the popularity of modern dance and performance of original theatre projects. The Four
(+1) Days of Dance for You Festival, which was established and
organized by the theatre, has become a representative sample of
the best that modern dance productions and co-productions Slovakia has to offer. The Dance Studio Theatre has performed on a
large number of Slovak stages, participated in many prestigious
international festivals abroad and has also completed two film
productions and multiple documentaries inspired by its activities.
The Dance Studio Theatre
Summer in Banská Bystrica
Hron River rafting
Give in to the temptation
of sun-drenched meadows
Summer days, with bountiful sunshine and refreshing
nature, are an ideal time for walks through the squares
and trips to the surrounding area. Choose from a
number of hiking trails that amble over the green hills
on a bicycle or strike out on your own in search of
fascinating views. Looking for a bit more adrenaline?
Options include an unforgettable rafting trip on the
Hron River and paragliding. Maybe you‘d rather enjoy cloudless skies close to the water? The swimming
park and lake directly in the city and the healing spas
nearby will help fulfil every summer desire.
Hron River rafting – experience the
fun and the rush of adrenaline on a
rafting trip down the Hron River. The
Na Mlynčoku marina facility in Slovenská Ľupča organizes Hron River
rafting trips and rents and transports
boats and equipment.
8 | Summer in Banská Bystrica
Horseback riding has a positive and
therapeutic effect and contributes to
better conditioning, not to mention the
fact that it‘s an excellent way to enjoy
time outdoors. Learn all about horses
and horseback riding at any number
of small family farms and ranches and
then apply your new skills on a trip
through beautiful nature. You‘ll find a
list at
Swimming: The local Aqualand swimming park in Banská Bystrica offers
both swimming and children‘s pools in
addition to a range of other attractions
including water slides, beach volleyball, mini golf, table tennis, weightlifting and paddle boats for cruises on
the lake. Another refreshing option in
the swimming facility in the nearby spa
town of Kováčová.
Cycling: The area around Banská
Bystrica offers hundreds of kilometres
of trails for more experienced cyclists
and those occasional cyclists looking
for an active way to relax. Favourite
cycling destinations include Panská
koliba, Šachtičky, Králiky and Donovaly, which are served by a comfortable cycling bus in operation from
June to September during weekends
and on holidays.
The articulated wooden church in Hronsek
Harmanec cave
Špania Dolina
10 | Summer in Banská Bystrica
The articulated wooden church in Hronsek dates back
to 1725 – 1726 and was subject to strict construction rules,
one of the better known is that no metal nails could be
used in its construction. The church itself is laid out in the
shape of a cross while the vaulted ceiling itself resembles
the shape of an overturned boat. Interesting features in
the interior include a Baroque altar from the middle of the
18th century with a sextuplet of interchangeable pictures,
a wooden chandelier with six arms and a valuable Baroque
organ. In 2008 the church and the nearby Baroque wooden
bell tower were added to the UNESCO List of World Cultural Heritage Sites.
Harmanec cave is one of the most beautiful caves in Slovakia and is located in the foothills of the Greater Fatra range
to the northwest of Banská Bystrica; the cave is known for
its abundance of soft white calcite flowstone, which has
resulted in beautiful curtains, rock waterfalls and pools. Up
to 9 species of bats use the cave to hibernate in the winter
and a total of 720 m of the cave has been made open to
the public since 1950 on a daily basis, except for Mondays,
from May to October, along a specially constructed educational trail.
Špania Dolina – since 1979 a large portion of this town has
been preserved as a Folk Architecture Heritage Preserve for
its typical mining characteristics. The picturesque former mining town is in the Staré Hory Mountains with the major landmark being the early-Gothic Church of the Saviour‘s Transfiguration dating back to 1254; a covered wooden stairway,
impressive in its own right, with 162 wooden steps leads up
to the church itself. The town‘s main square is also home to a
major mining landmark, the Klopačka miner‘s house dating to
the 16th Century, which is currently home to a stylish bed and
breakfast with a restaurant offering excellent local specialities.
Another attraction worth a visit is the Chapel of the Holy Sepulchre dating back to the 16th century, which itself is a smaller
replica of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem and
is one of the only of its kind remaining in Slovakia to the present day. The town also features a number of typical miner‘s
houses from the 19th century, with clay and white plaster
facades and wooden shingle roofs. The local copper mining
museum (Naše múzeum medi) located in the town offices will
lead you through the town‘s mining history. If you‘d prefer an
outdoor activity, hit the trail and enjoy the educational hiking
trail focused on mining. Špania Dolina is truly alive during the
entire year. Food lovers will enjoy a traditional competition for
cooking “štiarc”, which is a kind of potato batter cooked with
pork cracklings, typical of the local area; theatre fans are welcome to attend a theatre festival and music lovers can enjoy
the jazz festival held in June. International painting and sculpture symposia are also held in the town.
The educational trail focused on mining in Špania Dolina will help you get to know the town‘s mining history and
leads out to areas where its bygone fame has been hidden
by the local forests. The trail starts near the Klopačka building, where it then follows an inclined route along the former shafts and tunnels to the Maximilian slag heap, which
offers a beautiful lookout and panorama of the surrounding
mountains. The trail includes dozens of stops and will take
around two and a half hours; the total climb along the trail is
70 m, making it excellent for families with children thanks to
its overall low level of difficulty. A rocky lookout on Suchy
Mountain above Banská Bystrica is home to a hidden area
exceptional for its ease of access, beautiful nature and the
adventure itself of the journey to get there.
The rocky lookout over Trávny Ždiar, which is known as
Little Slovak Paradise, is reached by taking an interesting
trail between ancient trees and large boulders along eight
iron ladders hidden in the rocky slopes. The reward for all
your effort will be a beautiful view of the Kreminca Mountains, the Greater Fatra range and mountain slopes. The
image will stay with you for years to come.
The Na Vartovke Observatory was once a guard tower
built as part of the signal line built during the occupation of
Hungary by the Ottomans. Now the site can be reached following the yellow-blazed hiking trail. The observatory offer
daytime and night-time observation of the skies, organizes
excursions, lectures, press conferences, astronomy days
and events, film screenings, scientific, artistic and literary
competitions as well as trainings, seminars and educational trips. The type and form of any such program can be
individually adapted to the needs of participants.
The Calvary on Urpin Mountain winds up the northeast foothills of Urpin Mountain to its current site including
the historical alley with Stations of the Cross reaching the
Church of the Holy Cross and a modern convent. Urpin Alley is another attraction and features protected trees, primarily broad leafed linden. Some of the trees are 200 to
300 years old.
The educational trail focused
on mining in Špania Dolina
Marked hiking trails around
Banská Bystrica:
1. Banská Bystrica (city train station) – Na Vartovke Observatory – Banská Bystrica (Podryba)
5 km
2. Banská Bystrica (Pieninská Street) – Panský
diel – Šachtičky – Špania Dolina, 7 km
3. Staré Hory – Majerova skala (Majer Rock) –
Pod Líškou – Krížna, 7 km
4. Harmanec – Veľký tunel (Large Tunnel) – Nad
Túfnou – Košarisko – Kráľova studňa, 10 km
5. Špania Dolina – Šachtičky – Pod Jelenskou
skalou – Bully – Donovaly, 13 km
Winter in Banská Bystrica
Experience winter in a city
surrounded by snow-capped
Banská Bystrica‘s location surrounded by mountains
provides enviable options for alpine and Nordic skiing as well as other winter sports. Give one of the
many well-equipped ski centres nearby the city a try
or visit one of the more traditional winter events. The
opportunities to ramble are limitless. Then spend an
evening warming up near a roaring fireplace in a cosy
restaurant or bed and breakfast or relax in a wellness
centre. Spoil yourself in a healing spa and revive your
body, spirit and mind.
Sled dog races, Králiky
Alpine skiing at larger ski resorts and
smaller ski centres with their familystyle atmosphere around Banská
Bystrica are excellent options for the
most demanding skiers and snowboarders and for absolute beginners
and families with children. Quality skiing surrounded by beautiful mountain
landscapes with magnificent panoramas is a given thanks to modern
groomed trails and lift equipment, a
12 | Winter in Banská Bystrica
Štiavničky indoor pool
wide range of refreshment options in
snack bars and restaurants slope side,
night skiing and skating as well as ski
service facilities, ski schools and ski
and snowboard rental services. Come
and enjoy a great run down our snowcovered slopes.
Ski centres
1. Selce – Čachovo ski centre (9 km)
2. Šachtičky ski centre (10 km)
3. SKI Králiky (12 km)
4. Ski Turecká – Krížna (17 km)
5. Park Snow Donovaly (25 km)
SKI Králiky
Nordic skiing – hundreds of kilometres of groomed Nordic ski
trails are waiting for you in the area around Banská Bystrica. The
Kremnica Mountains are the real paradise for Nordic skiing with
the Skalka facility, and its White Track SNP (Biela stopa SNP)
stadium, at its very heart. Ski trails literally lead in all directions
(of course all are marked with a unified set of orange placards).
The towns of Kordíky, Králiky, Malachov and Horné Pršany are
among the favoured destinations in the Kremnica Mountains. The
Low Tatra and Staré Hory Mountains also offer quality ski trails.
Nordic skiing trails
1. Banská Bystrica (Fončorda) – Uhliská – Suchý vrch
(Pony farm) – Jasovo – Králiky, 10 km
2. Šachtičky – Žiare – Jelenská skala – Polianka – Donovaly, 13 km
3. Horné Pršany – Horná skala – Tri kríže pass – chata
Hostinec – Malachov, 15 km
4. Kordíky – Kordícke pass – Skalka – Králiky, 15 km
Nordic skiing
Sled dog races – international sled dog races, which enjoy immense popularity, are held annually at the start of the year not far
from Banská Bystrica. Sled dogs such as Siberian huskies, Samoyed and Alaskan malamutes and their experienced mushers
compete in various disciplines, all at a single site. The races
themselves are a fascinating theatre and an unforgettable experience for every visitor. The White Track (Biela Stopa) Nordic ski
race held in Králiky in the Kremnica Mountains is another traditional winter event.
Enjoy the sauna world at the Štiavničky indoor pool.
The completely renovated pool facility offers a 50-metre swimming pool, a kid‘s pool with a fountain, a relaxation pool with whirlpool jets, a water slide, steam bath
and the newly renovated sauna world featuring a range
of sauna options, including traditional Russian and
Finnish saunas, an herbal sauna, Turkish sauna and an
infra-sauna. An outdoor cool-off pool, ice waterfall and
whirlpool for 12 are available along with massage services and an exclusive bar.,
Sled dog races
Spas – number of healing mineral springs with complete spa
resorts are located a few kilometres from Banská Bystrica. Sliač
(, Kováčová ( and
Brusno ( spas are all happy to provide
you with a spa stay package customized to your needs. Hotel
wellness centres also offer pleasant options to relax in both mind
and body by enjoying the soothing effects of water, sauna and
massage after an active day. Hotel Kaskády in Sliač-Sielnica
( specializes in Ayurvedic procedures
and Fuggerov dvor in Selce ( will surprise with its family atmosphere.
Hotel Kaskády
14 | Winter in Banská Bystrica
Gastronomy and City Life
Taste and savour our
excellent regional cuisine
Banská Bystrica-style ribs
Zeleny Kopec chalet and the nearby
pastures produce a variety of products made from sheep‘s milk including savoury Bryndza cheese for which
Slovakia is famous and tasty sheep‘s
cheese. Traditional Slovak fare is available at the cosy chalet in Šachtičky
and in the stylishly furnished St. Christopher‘s Chalet.
16 | Gastronomy and City Life
Banská Bystrica-style honey cake –
when you‘re in Banská Bystrica, which
is called the copper city, you‘ll certainly not want to miss trying our Banská Bystrica-style honey cake. Enjoy
a piece at Hotel Národný dom or buy
one as a gift for a loved one, you most
certainly won‘t regret it.
Sit and enjoy the pleasant service in any of our many
great restaurants and get a taste of the region. Taste
our local Urpiner beer, which is produced using traditional technology, or enjoy a sweet treat from the
renowned Old Bystrica Bakery or another delicacy,
Banská Bystrica-style ribs. Bon appetite! Experience
Banská Bystrica‘s nightlife. You‘ll find everything
you‘re looking for, from an evening in one of the many
traditional cellars, to live music and dancing the night
away with a mixed drink.
Local Urpiner beer, produced at a
brewery in Banská Bystrica, is evidence of the fact that Slovak beer can
compete with other Czech and European beers at the highest level. Regular confirmation comes from various
tasting competitions, where Urpiner
has taken home a variety of international awards. In 2012 it received a total of nine Czech Beer Seals and took
home a silver medal from the presti-
gious European Beer Star 2012 competition in the category of Bohemian
Style Pilsner. These successes can be
clearly attributed to the highest quality
ingredients, a traditional recipe, classic technology and the beer‘s original
and fresh taste.
Grilliada Grilling Competition – This food festival will appeal to
all of your taste buds. The only festival of its kind in Slovakia
takes place in the second half of May in order to open the grilling
season and engulfs the entire area in the aroma of grilled specialities. Restaurants complete for the favour of both professionals and the public. Vegetarians and meat lovers alike will not go
home disappointed. In addition to meat specialities of all kinds,
grilled cheeses and vegetables are also served along with culinary specialities and refreshing beverages from the region. An
integral part of the festival is the accompanying entertainment,
competitions and a great mood.
Calendar of events
The Snow Track of Banská Bystrica
Banská Bystrica
Sporting event for Nordic skiing fans
Europa SC High Jump
Banská Bystrica
International indoor athletics weekend focused
on the high jump discipline
Race Of Krňačky
Sledding races and community event, 40th year
Tajovský’s Speakies
Regional review of amateur theatre groups
Spring At The Square
Banská Bystrica
Traditional Easter celebration including an Easter market
and presentation of traditional crafts
United Europe Jazz Festival
Banská Bystrica
International Dixieland festival
Banská Bystrica
Food festival specifically focused on grilling
Cultural sUmmer Of Banská Bystrica
Banská Bystrica
Summer holiday music and cultural program
Banská Bystrica Days
Banská Bystrica
City days with a rich and varied cultural program
Outbreak 9!
Banská Bystrica
International hip-hop festival
Mining Days Of Town
Banská Bystrica
Presentation of the city’s mining traditions
Merida – Green TRack SNP
Banská Bystrica and region
13th year of the Banská Bystrica – Tajov – Kordíky -Malachov
cycling marathon
International Aviation days SIAF
International air show with pilots and aircraft
from home and abroad
Banská Bystrica and region
City marathon and attractions for children
Anderle’S RadvaŇ
Banská Bystrica
International festival of traditional puppet theatre
Banská Bystrica
Traditional Radvan market, which preserves the traditions and
values of the past and features the mining city’s craft masters
festival barbakan
Banská Bystrica
Unique festival combining film, music, modern and literary arts
Banská Bystrica
A competition for guitarists and bass guitarists from Slovakia
and the Czech Republic
Music Days Of Banská Bystrica
Banská Bystrica
20th annual music festival
Christmas IN Banská Bystrica
Banská Bystrica
Christmas season program from 30 November to 6 January,
Christmas market, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s celebration
Summer terraces – Historical squares are beloved for their hustle and bustle, especially during summer, when one can choose
from a number of summer terraces located in the very heart of
town. Coffee, non-alcoholic beverages and cold beer are served
in the pedestrian zone with beautiful views of the square in order to provide refreshment and relaxation during a hot summer‘s
day. The wide range of cafes, wine bars and pubs are open year
round. Everyone is invited inside during the colder winter months
to the traditional cellars and old burgher houses that are steeped
with local atmosphere.
Summer terraces on the square
Shopping – Banská Bystrica also offers excellent shopping options in the largest shopping centre in the Banská Bystrica Region, the Europa Shopping Centre. The shopping centre offers
a wide variety of options for relaxation and entertainment in addition to a range of international brands. The centre often hosts
community and cultural events, exhibitions and fashion shows.
This has made the Europa Shopping Centre a shopping, tourism,
cultural, community and information centre for the entire region.
Europa SC
The program may change at any time. For more information about events, please visit:
Ministry Of Fun
Ministry of Fun – The diverse range of clubs in Banská Bystrica
is sure to satisfy everyone‘s preferences. Dance, jazz, art and
beer clubs all attract visitors with great music, excellent drinks
and their unique and perfect atmosphere. We can also be proud
of the largest and most modern club in Slovakia, the Ministry of
Fun, which regularly hosts renowned names from the local and
international music scene. Come and enjoy concerts, various exhibitions or a private party in the sky boxes.
18 | Gastronomy and City Life
Jazz festival
Published by:
City Banská Bystrica
Československej armády 26, 974 01 Banská Bystrica
In cooperation with
VISIT BB, s. r. o.
Nad plážou 33, 974 01 Banská Bystrica
Igor Staudinger, Vladimír Veverka, Michal Rengevič et al.
Banská Bystrica Information Centre
Námestie SNP 1, Banská Bystrica Town Hall Building
Infolinka: 048 / 415 50 85, 0907 846 555
[email protected],

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