Bánská Bystrica: eastern city of angels
The great coat of arms is firmly held by an angel. They say that he Creator once sent him to see the world. When he arrived at the beautiful silver river, he decided he would not return to Heaven, and he would stay at the place he had discovered. But God insisted on his return, and so the angle just shed an angelic tear and vanished. Bánská Bystrica stands on the angel’s beloved place today.
Wedged between the hills, only the church towers peak out from the undulating landscape - Špania Dolina, a picturesque mining village, which thrived from mining copper ore for 400 years. A number of original buildings remain from the village’s copper era (not only those associated with mining), thanks to which Špania Dolina is a folk architecture reserve today.
If you love discovering UNESCO World Heritage Sites, then visit Hronsek. People from around the world admire the wooden church here from 1726, which was built without a single nail. Up to 1,100 people can attend services and chamber acoustic concerts in it still today.
The typical local combination of honey, plums, and walnuts will bring sweet poetry to your tongue. Savour a Bánská Bystrica honey tort - it is baked at the local Národní dům Hotel based on an incidentally discovered recipe from the beginning of the 20th century.
Honour the Slovak patron saint of pilgrims and visit Koliba at St. Christopher to regain your strength. Traditional Slovak cabbage soup, sheep cheese with mini potato dumplings and renowned lamb ribs will warm you up. Inside the cabin immersed in the woods not far from the city they assume Christopher’s difficult task and take care of the passing pilgrims in an exemplary fashion.
Whether you are a football, swimming, hockey, cross-country, ski-jumping or ice skating fan, here in Bánská Bystrica you will find the perfect sports facilities and, above all, a whole range of possibilities how to compare your strength with other athletes. The city holds the European City of Sport title for the entire year 2017.
You will definitely find sneakers, headband, map, pen and a reliable partner handy at the Nox Quaerox, which will illuminate the city on 10 November. The night orienteering of pairs will cost you a small start-up fee in addition to a little bit of effort, but you will be motivated by the fact that the proceeds will be donated to the Light of Hope Foundation that works as a help centre for paediatric oncology.
The focal point of Bánská Bystrica is the remarkable monument to the Slovak National Uprising, which took place here against fascist forces at the end of the Second World War.
The City Castle watches over its city with a little oversight. Instead of guarding the city’s wealth, however, today it opens its gates to curious tourists.
Autor: Sabina Bařinová
You could read this article on the autumn on-board magazine Leo Express.
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