Spectator on facebook

Spectator on facebook

HISTORY TALKS...

Sandrik in Dolné Hámre

THE REGION of Štiavnické vrchy, the Štiavnica Hills, is among the most renowned mining areas in Europe, with underground mines existing for perhaps a thousand years. The last boom in the area, though short-lived, occurred at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries.

THE REGION of Štiavnické vrchy, the Štiavnica Hills, is among the most renowned mining areas in Europe, with underground mines existing for perhaps a thousand years. The last boom in the area, though short-lived, occurred at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries.

In 1894, a businessman by the name of Berks started a silver processing facility in Dolné Hámre but the complex was named after Ján Sandrik, who owned the land. The Sandrik works had a slow start because silver products were not affordable to many Slovaks. But a fortuitous break came after a young graphic designer, Jan Peterka, arrived from Bohemia and won gold medals for his designs at the World Expo in Paris in 1899 and at the Millennium Exposition in Pest in 1900. Peterka was then given authority to manage the whole facility even though he was only 29 years old, and he subsequently developed a successful, modern silver processing operation.

Several other interesting facts are connected with the Sandrik works. As early as 1897 the company started a vocational school and the company also built dormitories for its employees to resolve the issue of long, daily commutes.

In 1904, it even opened a cinema for employees, only the third cinema in Slovakia. Additionally, the Sandrik works had its own brass band and football club.

The Sandrik works was exceptional in its policies toward employees compared to other companies operating at that time in Slovakia.

This postcard shows the Sandrik complex in the 1920s.

Top stories

End of investigative show a cause for concern

Media freedom watchdogs believe the scrapping of the only investigative show on public-service television is a threat to its independence.

Jaroslav Rezník

Slovakia is 26th on the Employment Flexibility Index

Higher work surcharges will push Slovakia down.

Proxy for Roma criticises minister Kaliňák for ethnical and group discrimination

The government proxy slammed Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák for the draft law on repressing criminality in Roma settlements, for populist discrimination and preferring repression to prevention.

Roma communities, illustrative stock photo

Slovak racer Svitko finished at Dakar Video

After a serious fall in the tenth leg, Slovak motorcyclist Štefan Svitko resigned from the 40th year of the Dakar Rally due to pain in his upper body.

Štefan Svitko