IN THIS precious postcard from 1909 we see the Belá or Belianska Gate (Belianska Brána) in Banská Štiavnica. It was among the main town gates and, as its name suggests, it faced towards Banská Belá, a nearby town.
The gate was built between 1588 and 1589 as part of the town’s extensive fortifications against the threat of Ottoman attack. Rich mining towns like Banská Štiavnica (Banská refers to mining) were a great temptation to the Ottomans but they never managed to conquer such a town in Slovakia.
The gate’s inner side was adorned with a small town crest which can be seen just above the arch. A large Hungarian crest and the town’s crest were on the outside walls of the gate. As can be seen, the structure was used for housing at the time of this postcard.
Although Belá Gate resisted attacks from the Ottomans, it was destroyed by the German army in March 1945 during its retreat through this region.
21. Feb 2011 at 0:00 | By Branislav Chovan