Banská Bystrica – town castle

History

The town castle in Banská Bystrica was erected in 1479-1512, when a group of the most important municipal buildings was surrounded by stone walls. Masonry fortifications replaced the earlier, timber and earth ones from the 14th century. Despite the reconstruction of individual buildings included in the town’s castle, its layout did not change until 1761, when the town was consumed by a fire. Both churches and their valuable interior burned. The castle walls were also destroyed, and after the fire were mostly dismantled. As the last one, the Mill Tower was pulled down in 1947.

Architecture

Within the castle, in its central part, there was a gothic church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and in the southern part of the fortifications, the town hall was erected in 1500. A four-story tenement house, called the Matthias House from the name of king Matthias Corvinus, was incorporated into the northern wall. A chapel was also added to the northern wall, later rebuilt in the church of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, which was connected with a tenement house standing next to it. The walls were reinforced with four towers: Parish Tower, Miners Tower, Writers Tower and Mill Tower (Mühlstein). The entrance to the castle was led by a barbican with a tower in the south-western part of the circuit. It had a large gate for carts and a smaller gate for pedestrians and a drawbridge that was flipped over an artificially dug moat. Apart from the circumference of the fortification, on the eastern side, there was a quadrangle Tower of Andrew (Ondrejov Basta), but it is not known whether it was dismantled during the construction of the castle or whether it served as warning or defense function with it.

Current state

From the original buildings, the northern fragment of the fortifications with three towers: Parish, Miners and Writers, the barbican with the tower, the gothic parish church, the rebuilt church of Holy Cross and the so-called Matthias House and rebuilt old town hall – Preatorium, have survived to this day.

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bibliography:
Bóna M., Plaček M., Encyklopedie slovenských hradů, Praha 2007.