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What to see in Banska Stiavnica, one of the most beautiful cities to see in Slovakia

If you are going to make a route through Slovakia you cannot miss Banska Stiavnica, it is one of the most beautiful cities in the country, located in a beautiful natural setting and with many interesting places to visit.

In reality, it is a town of just over 10,000 inhabitants, despite the fact that we call it a city. It flourished from the thirteenth century thanks to the existence of several mines. Its name, Banska Stiavnica, refers us precisely to its particularity as a mining town, since this is what Banska means.

The town is small and is visited in one day, so it can be a stopover on your route to spend the night or simply a day pass, to later arrive at another destination to spend the night. If your intention is to add some trekking or visit a bit of the surrounding natural area, I do recommend that you spend the night here.

In this post I will tell you a little about the history of the city, what to see in Banska Stiavnica and I will add some great accommodations where you can spend a night.


The population is located in what was an old extinct volcano. During the eruptions, minerals and metals were deposited in the subsoil layers of the region. It was this wealth that led, from the 13th century onwards, to the German settlers populating the place to extract the gold and silver that abounded in the region at that time.

The German nobility, which was the owner of the city's mines, was in charge of building several mansions in the historic center of Banska Stiavnica, which at that time was known as Schemnitz. The importance of mining was such that in 1735 the first School of Mining Engineering was founded in Banska Stiavnica. Some years later, in 1762, an Academy of Mines was opened, which was active until 1919.

Many of the places that can be visited in the city, and of cultural interest, are related to mining life.

Holy Trinity Square, the perfect place to start visiting the city of Banska Stiavnica

This square is the most important place to see in Banska Stiavnica. It is an elongated square and is built on a slope. On both sides you will find several palaces that the bourgeoisie of the fourteenth to sixteenth centuries.

One of the most important buildings in the square is where the tourist office is currently located. It was formerly the seat of the Mining Court and in the courtyard of this building you can easily access one of the old Banska Stiavnica mines. Although there are many mines in the town and its surroundings, this is the easiest to access. This is tunnel known as Michal.

The ticket to access the mine is purchased at the same tourist office and you can walk several meters of the tunnel and see a mine from inside.

In the middle of the square there is the Column of the Holy Trinity, dating from 1764. And at one end, you will find the Santa Caterina church. It is Gothic in style from the end of the 15th century. Do not forget to look at the fresco of the Last Judgment.

The Church of the Assumption of the Virgin

In the city there are many churches, but one of the most important is the Church of the Assumption of the Virgin. It was originally a church in the Romanesque style, but after several fires and renovations, the current church is in a neoclassical style. Its balcony and its organ stand out.

Banska Stiavnica mining academy

The old mining academy is located in the Botanical Garden. The Garden is tiny and it houses the headquarters of the important Mining Academy that was built in the second half of the 18th century and was active until 1919.

The Old Castle, one of the essential places to see in Banska Stiavnica

You will find the origin of the castle in a 13th century church. However, before the advance of the Ottoman troops, the city decided to turn the temple into a fortification, cutting down the transept and nave and fortifying the apse. The result is what is known as the Old Castle, which has now been rehabilitated and is now a museum. In addition to the museum, you can visit the old parade ground, the tower and some of the rooms.

The New Castle of Banska Stiavnica

The New Castle was built in 1571 with the idea of ​​defending itself from the Ottoman Empire. Currently, in it you can find different exhibitions including the history of the city, the history of the castle... there are also ancient elements, textiles, ceramics, weapons... It is an interesting visit to do in the city.

The town hall square

The Town Hall Square or Radnicné Namestie, is a beautiful square in the center of the city. In it, you will find the town hall and the Lutheran church, built during the 18th century.

The Calvary, an essential thing to see in Banska Stiavnica

The most essential and incredible place to see in Banska Stiavnica. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2007. The Calvary of Banska Stiavnika has 17 stations instead of the usual 14 and is located on a mound north of the town.

A series of small baroque chapels were built, but also two churches: the lower one and the upper one. The Calvary scenes, located in the chapels, were made in polychrome reliefs, although some are in the process of being restored.

The natural surroundings of Banska Stiavnica

The town is surrounded by forests and many trails that will take you to Lake Banský Studenec (although there are more lakes), this is the most popular in summer for being able to bathe and enjoy a small beach built on its shore. You can do water activities and enjoy a cool swim, despite being summer.


In the city you will find several accommodations. There is not a great variety, but very cool accommodation for little money. Here are some great accommodation options in the city:


I hope you enjoy your trip to Slovakia very much and that this article has been useful to you. You can continue reading many more related articles on the blog.

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A hug and see you soon!


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