HISTORY TALKS...

Rivalry in times of threat

THE STORY of the clock tower in Banská Bystrica is an interesting example of how even when faced with imminent danger, people won’t put their plans on hold.

The tower was built in 1552, when the city was faced with the threat of an Ottoman invasion. The Ottomans were lured to central Slovakia by the region’s mining towns. Enormous wealth was hidden behind these towns’ defensive walls, and they were far away from Vienna or other imperial army forces that could help defend them. Thus, the region’s towns were left to defend themselves, which is why they were often heavily fortified.

Banská Bystrica’s residents, however, were apparently more concerned about their city clock. While nearby towns Banská Štiavnica and Kremnica each had two city clocks, Banská Bystrica had only one - and a poorly functioning one at that. Though the city could have simply replaced the clock, the council decided to build another clock tower instead, arguing that the existing clock could not be seen from everywhere.

Neither the construction nor the operation and maintenance of the clock tower were cheap. The city paid a clock administrator on a weekly basis to maintain, guard and set the clock. In the following centuries the tower burned down several times, but the people of Banská Bytrica’s replaced it each time.

Even though the demanding and repeated construction of the tower seems to have been pointless, it did play a role in defending against the Ottomans: a platform near the top of the tower was used by guards to patrol the area and warn against approaching invaders.

We can see the clock tower with two other towers just behind it in this World War II-era postcard.

Top stories

Thousands join Plea for Humanity

Do not let people die on our doorstep, Slovaks call on their government. 

Illustrative stock photo

Increase in number of Slovak millionaires outpaces the rest of Europe

THE NUMBER of millionaires in Slovakia has increased year-on-year by more than 9 percent to 4,200 – which is twice as fast as growth among the rest of Europe.  

Štefan Harabin

Harabin sits on a new panel

FORMER Supreme Court president Štefan Harabin has ultimately lose his panel and become a member of a new one which will be led by one of his biggest critics.

Slovak Matej Tóth celebrates victory at the World Championships in Beijing

Slovak Matej Tóth won first gold in athletic discipline at World Championships

SLOVAK race walker Matej Tóth (of VŠC Dukla Banská Bystrica sports club) won a gold medal in the 50 kilometre walk at the World Championships in Beijing, while also winning the overall title in the prestigious IAAF…

Source:

MOST READ ARTICLES


  1. Thousands join Plea for Humanity
  2. SIAF air fest was attended by 140,000 spectators, many pilots
  3. Fico: Countries on outer Schengen border should protect it properly
  4. Slovakia and its shameful policy on refugees
  5. Increase in number of Slovak millionaires outpaces the rest of Europe
  6. Slovak police discovered dozens of illegal migrants, politicians react
  7. Harabin sits on a new panel
  8. SNP anniversary in Banská Bystrica featured black flags
  9. Compassion is no complicated concept
  10. Grape crop appears to be good, but quality of wine remains questionable
  1. SIAF air fest was attended by 140,000 spectators, many pilots
  2. Slovakia and its shameful policy on refugees
  3. Spiš Castle among top 500 ultimate bucket list destinations
  4. Slovak police discovered dozens of illegal migrants, politicians react
  5. Increase in number of Slovak millionaires outpaces the rest of Europe
  6. Korean companies are still coming
  7. Thousands join Plea for Humanity
  8. Fico: Countries on outer Schengen border should protect it properly
  9. Slovak grandfather receives birthday wishes from all over the world
  10. Slovak man's story part of Titanic exhibition in Bratislava
  1. Slovakia and its shameful policy on refugees
  2. Crooks may land €2 million in land deals for Jaguar Land Rover
  3. Interior Minister surprised by news of refugee camp close to Austrian border
  4. Refugees die in a truck near Slovak border in Austria
  5. Slovak man's story part of Titanic exhibition in Bratislava
  6. Slovak grandfather receives birthday wishes from all over the world
  7. SIAF air fest was attended by 140,000 spectators, many pilots
  8. A Slovak placed online ad offers money for shooting migrants
  9. Bratislava Flagship Restaurant
  10. Spiš Castle among top 500 ultimate bucket list destinations