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February 8, 2011

Life beyond Tourism – Tourism belongs to life

Life beyond Tourism – Tourism belongs to life
by Egon Krák, 2011
Slovak example: Banská Štiavnica, City in UNESCO World Heritage List

The issue as a spirit of  Life Beyond Tourism® Manifesto brought us several years ago a new ferment – not the idea which was still alive in Slovakia for a long time, but without any particular result could be seen – in the meaning: shining extract or definition of tourism experience in pretty good form well made for any kind to follow it. The most important value of this extract I supposed is that all articles of this definition must be realized on municipal or regional public life and policy simultaneously – together.

There is no better example as Italy when we speak about tourism – a country like a textbook, country as an open air museion…country full of historical monuments from different epoques… for everybody who is ready to recognize and study tourism phenomenon the best way is to have an Italian experience and knowledge  – together with the other examples from countries which succeded Italy in many forms how to be more civilized, well educated, intercultural and understandable: France, Great Britain, Benelux, Austria, Germany, Spain and many others.

There is no doubt the best way how to have a really good base for tourism development on municipal ( district ) level is political life and economical prosperity of the whole country – in the meaning of the high quality of general plan of action, statement of aims and ideals, public life and affairs, commerce… Appearence of this condition make possible all other things – which on the other hand cannot work without genius loci, spirit of the place with all cultural and historical values, enriched by traditional, unique art and knowledge. It seems after that we could be satisfied – there is everything which  …contributes to the dissemination and recognition of such universal values as respect and harmony among peoples, turning the tourist experience into a unique opportunity for knowledge and for the promotion of intercultural dialogue ( cit. Manifesto Life Beyond Tourism®).

The city of Banská Štiavnica could be a extraordinary example of a new vision of tourism in Slovakia in all aspects  – the area inscribed in the UNESCO World  Heritage List from 1993 includes a wide territory surrounding the town of Banská Štiavnica. The City Banská Štiavnica, the oldest mining town in Slovakia, played an important role as early as before the second third of the 13th century, i.e. before the period when the first town privileges granted in the Hungarian Empire were bestowed by King Bela IV. The town acquired its privileges not later than in 1238 or 1237. However, an existing document dated 1275 in Banská Štiavnica contains the oldest town seal  known to exist in Europe, picturing the town coat of arms with archaic mining tools…The richness of the minerals found here was the cause of the inhabitation of this hilly region.  The oldest documents about the earliest settlement connected with ore mining and processing are from the 10th to the 8th centuries B.C. (the late Bronze Age) – a hill-fort situated on Sitno Mountain. An agglomeration of settlements in this territory dating back to the 11th century has been confirmed by archeological finds in the town proper  as well as in the „Old Town” locality on Glanzenberg Hill. These finds also document further changes in settlements connected with intensification of mining and arrival of immigrants from the area of Tirol at the turn of the  13th century (the future town centre began to be urbanized, the fortified area guarded point was extened into a castle). In the 1330’s the town of Banská Štiavnica was of considerable area. There were two churches – three-naved basilicas, 500 metres apart from each other, which exhibited a high degree of building mastery  and their artistic late Romanesque style is an evidence of the influence of Cistercian architecture from Low Austria in the 12th century. The Dominicans, after more than 30 years of their stay out of the town due to the fear of the Tartar invasion, and when the town had further expanded, built a monastery near the church.

The character of the dispersed buildings around the main roads is documented by archeological finds in the ground plans of the one-room buildings as well as  those of production objects, incorporated into Gothic and Renaissance architecture. The great prosperity of the mines in the following two centuries, reflected by utulization of new progressive technologies of  mining and processing of precious metals, resulted in the densification of the town. The town developed on both slopes of later Trinity Square and along the road to Štiavnické Bane. The spread of the town southward towards Ilija and Svätý Anton is documented by the building of the hospital Church of St. Elizabeth in the poverty quarter as early as 1310.

In 1488 – 1492 the one nave Church of St. Catherine with late Gothic vaults was built in the town centre. This project was followed by the magnificent developing of Trinity Square, located below the old parish church, in the middle of  the 16th century. The church was rebuilt into its late Gothic form in 1497 – 1515. In 1526 the Hungarian army was defeated in the battle at Moháč by Turkish troops, which began moving towards the central Slovak mining towns.

In the building boom of the 16th century, the plans of the square developing and the town rebuilding overlapped with the defence safeguarding. The older burgher houses were rebuilt and enlarged, the pompous Renaissance palaces and the seats of the the Mining Chamber and the Head Chamber Earl’s Office were built. Dispersed buildings lining the main streets and the square began to take the existing form. In order to protect the town  against the Turks, the parish church was rebuilt into the fortification,  today known as the Old Castle.  The guard tower, the New Castle, was built in the western part of the town.

The area inscribed in the UNESCO World  Heritage List includes a wide territory surrounding the town of Banská Štiavnica, located in the centre of the Štiavnica Hills. The main is The Town Monument Reserve: The archeological researches have been implemented several times in the historic core since 1968, especially in connection with renewal of the important cultural monuments. Following are the specific localities which yielded  the archeological information: the ChamberCourt  at Kammerhofská Street 2 and 3, A. Kmeťa Street 20, Radničné Square 8, Holy Trinity Square 2, Radničné Square 16.   ( cit. after )

Banská Štiavnica has an extraordinary starting point for developing high level of tourism, tourism which represent an extraordinary example in every form – and especially in educational backround: in different objects of Higher Education Area there are several institutions ( traditional and new )in the city – the last one Academy of Music and Art were established just some weeks ago. Education is life– and the development of social life is the way to be more civilised – and it cannot be done except education, the same way as tourism.

Also view the presentation.ppt here

1 Comment »

  1. Check out more about the Manifesto on our Blog:

    Comment by bloglbt — February 8, 2011 @ 11:57 am

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