My home town is Banká Bystrica, the town under The Urpín Hill. This town belongs among the nicest and the biggest towns in the Slovak Republic. It has above 85,000 inhabitants. Banská Bystrica is located on both banks of the River Hron between the three mountain ranges of the Central Slovakia: the Low Tatras, the Big Fatras and the Slovak Rudohorie.
Banská Bystrica has very interesting history. The Hungarian king Belo IV. granted charters to Banská Bystrica in 1255. German settlers together with native inhabitants began to develop the mining of precious metals and also copper, by which whole Central Europe was apparently supplied.
The royal privilegies stimulated business and crafts. Succesful mine owners in the last half of the 13th century built the Romanian Church of the Virgin Mary. The town adopted a seal containing seven red and seven silver stripes which attached to the clock Tower overlooked the construction of many opulent mansions around what is now the SNP Square. From the year 1475 the history of the town was close connected to the Turzo’s family. He controlled almost all of the local copper mines and 20 years later the Turzo-Fogger Mining Society was formed. Today, there is the Central Slovak Museu housed in the Thurzo’s mansion.
The Turkish threat in the 16th century hastened fortification of the town incuding the bastions, which exist to this day. Of the best condition is the Butcher’s Bastion on the grounds of the Slovak National Uprising Museum. During the rebellions of the 17th century the town was plagued by robbery, fire, epidemics and political guarrets. In 1620 Gabriel Bethlen was crowned the King of Hungary in a house at number 6 Dolna Street. Today there is a State Gallery in this building.
The 18th century brought the progress specially in economic development. In Hamor there was the production of copper sheets and kettles. To the area of town’s castle belong the Church of Virgin Mary, The Church of Holy Cross, Matthias’ House, the townhall and the barbican.
The heart of the town is big square of Slovak National Uprising with Marian’s column, slope clock tower, fountain, Thurzo’s House and Benicky House.
During the 19th century the town was a major focus for Slovak national house.The Catholic bishop Stefan Moyses who served this region also was the first Chairman for Matica Slovenska.
The town was the center of anti-Nazi resistance named Slovak National Uprising during the period of the First Slovak Republic in the 20th century. The town serves as the economic, political and military headquarters for 60 days. World War II in Basnka Bystrica ended on 25 March, 1945 when Romanian and Russian troops entered the town. After the war the town developed rapidly. It is an important administrative, economic and cultural center of the Central Slovakia and the seat of many banks, factories and schools.
Banska Bystrica is the seat of the Matej Bel University, which was established in 1992. There are tourist and ski centers like Šachtičky, Suchý vrch, Selce, Králiky, Tajov and Donovaly in Banská Bystrica and a lot of recreation facilities as a covered swimming pool, a football stadium and an ice-hockey stadium.
There is the paper mill in Harmanec and there are cement works, a timber factory and a textile factory in Banská Bystrica.
Banská Bystrica is a very nice town which has rich history, a lot of mountains and beautiful nature. It is said “Alive in Banská Bystrica, in heaven after death.” I am proud of my town!.