THIS postcard – dating back to the times of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy – shows what is likely to be the most important site in the long history of Kremnica. The Castle Church of St. Catherine has been this rich mining town’s most dominant building since its very beginnings. First, it was a royal fortress used to protect the revenues flowing from the precious ores mined there and then to safeguard money produced from the town’s mint. As well, the monarchy’s Chamber Earl and the representative of the Royal Office resided in the building.
In the Middle Ages, so-called royal houses were built in almost every free royal town. Usually, the royal scales were placed there. Often, people had to change to new means of payment when certain currencies were removed from circulation or older domestic coins were withdrawn. This also happened when coins became scuffed over time or people had reduced their size, causing them to lose weight.
The oldest part of the castle complex dates back to the 13th century. All buildings located within the complex, including the fortification itself, underwent many changes over the centuries and now we can hardly imagine what it looked like eight centuries ago. Today, St. Catherine’s church has outstanding acoustics for organ concerts and each summer the site draws thousands of visitors to its festival of organ music.
15. Feb 2010 at 0:00 | By Branislav Chovan