Banksa Stiavnica is a UNESCO World Heritage site in central Slovakia. Once a leading center of innovation in the mining industry, today it is known more as a destination for tourism and recreation. The site was settled as early as the Neolithic period and later by the Celts, Slavs and Germans. During the Middle Ages, it was the main producer of silver and gold in the Kingdom of Hungary, but the town began to decline in the 15th century.
The heart of Banska Stiavnica is the historic Holy Trinity Square, which is dominated by the Holy Trinity column. Many sightseeing tours start from this square. To gain an understanding of the region’s mining history, visitors shouldn’t miss the open air mining museum, which features a mile-long excursion in a 17th century mine. The town is also surrounded by dozens of artificial mining water reservoirs built in the 15th through 18th centuries and connected by an extensive system of channels. Nearby, Mount Sitno is the highest peak in the region and provides good hiking opportunities.
Banska Stiavnica is also notable for its Renaissance era Old Castle and its New Castle, which is visible throughout town.
Banska Stiavnica can be difficult to reach directly by public transport. Coming from Bratislava, you can change for a bus at Levice, Zarnovica, Ziar nad Hronom or Zvolen. Traveling by train also general requires a connection. The train station is three kilometers outside of the center of town and is a 10 minute walk to the small central bus station on Krizovatka Street.