Welcome to Banská Štiavnica
Banská Štiavnica has a glittering history, quite literally. Gold, silver and minerals brought enormous wealth to Slovakia's oldest mining town. Wonderfully intact Gothic and Renaissance buildings date to its 16th-century prime (though miners are believed to have toiled here for centuries before). It grew into the third-largest town in the Kingdom of Hungary. After the 19th century, minerals were depleted, mines closed and townspeople began to leave. But for visitors, Banská Štiavnica's frozen-in-time feel is part of the allure. Medieval castles, burghers' houses and sacred sights all contributed to the historic centre's Unesco listing in 1993, and you can still get a flavour of the old mining days at an open-air museum.