Facts about Slovakia

Central Europe


Parliamentary republic




49,035 sq km

CET / GMT+1.00


Banska Bystrica

Banska Bystrica Cultural-Historical Centre Cultural-Historical Centre Cultural-Historical Centre

Interesting places in Banská Bystrica:
  1. Slovak National Uprising Museum (SNP Museum)
  2. an open-air exhibition of World War II tanks, artillery, aircraft and armoured trains situated in the city park
  3. historical buildings on the SNP Square
  4. a City Castle on the Štefan Moyzes Square
  5. Europa Shopping Center situated at the edge of the H. Vajanského Square
Distance from Bratislava 220km (136mi)
Advantages a favourable position in the Low Tatras Mountains’ close vicinity

Banská Bystrica belongs to the Slovak largest and most attractive historical cities. It houses the Matej Bel University. The city is a cultural-historical centre able to satisfy everybody’s interests and to fulfil everybody’s wishes. You can enjoy a walk along the city’s historical part or an exhibition of World War II heavy armament in the park situated next to the SNP Museum. Thanks to the surrounding mountains you have also chance to go hiking or skiing. Harmanecká Cave is located in the city’s close vicinity and the Low Tatras National Park overlooks Banská Bystrica from the North. Ski Park Donovaly is located only 28 km (17.3mi) from Banská Bystrica. This popular ski-area is ideal for spending a winter vacation. To get there by car takes only few minutes.

Many historical monuments of Banska Bystrica city are situated on the SNP Square: a Tower clock built in 1552 or a Black Death Column towering in the middle of the Square. Thurza´s House will also attract your attention. Nowadays it is home to the Central - Slovakian Museum. Štefan Moyzes Square with the Castle looming over it lies beside the SNP Square. The Castle Tower with a barbican protecting the main gate and a Roman-Catholic Virgin Mary’s Assumption Church are everything what has preserved from the City Castle up to the present times. The Church originally from the thirteen century was later reconstructed in Gothic and Baroque styles. The Castle was declared a National Historical Monument.  The originally Gothic Matthias’s House and the St. Cross Church are situated in the Castle’s close vicinity. Walking along the Square, visitors can also admire the Matthew’s House and the State Gallery.

A walk along the open-air exhibition of World War II heavy armament you can enjoy in the park surrounding the SNP Museum. Everybody has a chance to look more closely at tanks, artillery, aircraft and armoured trains. A memorable experience, especially for children, is certainly an open public exhibition of an aircraft used in times of the Slovak National Uprising.  The SNP Museum is specialized on an anti-fascist resistance of the Slovak National Uprising and the World War II development. To get to the SNP Museum from the SNP Square you have to walk down the Kapitulská Street and turn left.

Visitors can relax in cafés, restaurants and pubs located on both Squares of the city or enjoy shopping in local shops and boutiques. Banská Bystrica is an important historical and cultural Slovakia city. You have the possibility to enjoy cinema or theatre performances. It is also home to the State Opera. In case you like more shopping, Europa Shopping Center situated at the edge of the H. Vajanského Square, will provide you with a wide selection of shops, cafeterias and snack shops.

City transport in Banská Bystrica

Since Banská Bystrica has favourable railway and road connections, it is easy to get there by car, by bus or by train.

 Using a long-distance bus line, the journey from Bratislava takes about three hours. While travelling around Banska Bystrica city, you can use the taxi service or the city public transport performed by buses and trolleybuses. As most of historical monuments are located on the Square in the town centre, it is not difficult to visit them just by walking. The SNP Museum with the exhibition of World War II heavy armament is also situated close to the Square.

To get to the SNP Square from the Bus Station you have to use the underpass and carry on along the street filled with shops that will lead you straight there.

To get to the SNP Square from the Bus Station you have to use the underpass. Then you have two possibilities:
  1. Cross the park surrounding the Hotel Lux, climb the long staircase leading up to the SNP Museum. Behind the car park turn right to the Kapitulská Street that will lead you to the SNP Square
  2. Walk along the Freedom Square and behind the Prior Supermarket turn left to the Dolná Street that will lead you to the SNP Square

History of Banská Bystrica

Banská Bystrica’s history can be tracked back to the times when the gold, silver, iron and copper mining operations started in the region. The city was awarded the privileges of free royal town by a Bela IV’s document issued in 1255. The metal mining was a decisive element in the town’s further development. It converted Banská Bystrica in a rich city. German settlers started to arrive into the area and constructed the Roman Virgin Mary’s Assumption Church. The St. Cross Church built by Slavs in the fifteenth century stands just beside it.

Banská Bystrica used to be the most important mining Slovakia city. It was an important protestant centre. A protestant Gabriel Betlen was declared a king of Hungary in Banská Bystrica in 1620.
The city was significant also in times of the World War II for being an anti-fascist resistance centre. The Slovak National Uprising broke out here in1944.

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