THE MINING Academy at Banská Štiavnica, the first university of mining and one of the oldest technical universities in the world, marked its 250th anniversary in mid October. The celebrations culminated on October 12 when representatives of universities and high schools from Slovakia, Hungary, Austria and the Czech Republic, all considering themselves as successors of the Mining Academy’s tradition, gathered in Banská Štiavnica the SITA newswire reported.
The launch of the Mining Academy ranks among the most important moments in the history of Banská Štiavnica, a town with a long history of mining of silver and other precious metals. Queen Maria Theresa established the school in 1762 by her decree. In the 19th century the school began to also focus on forestry and changed its name to the Mining and Forestry Academy, but it continued to serve primarily as a source of knowledge for mining.
In 1919, when Hungary split, the school moved to the Hungarian town of Sopron. But to this day several universities in central Europe acknowledge its traditions and influence.
In 2001 six faculties of universities in Miškovec, Sopron, Košice, Zvolen, Ostrava and Leoben signed a declaration of continuation of the intellectual heritage of the academy. Another five faculties joined in 2009.