Banská Bystrica (Hungarian: Besztercebánya, German: Neusohl) is located at the foothill of the Low Tatras, the Kremnické Mountains, the Greater Fatra and the Slovenské Rudohorie.
Its geographical location, the mountainous countryside reaching to the outskirt of Banská Bystrica turned the town into one of the most sought-after international tourist centers in Slovakia.
Banská Bystrica ranks among the oldest towns in Slovakia, King Béla IV. granted privileges to the town in 1255. The Thurzo-Fugger mining company was one of the largest and most modern early-capitalist mining and metallurgical companies in Europe.
The original historical center, surrounded by partially preserved town walls with three bastions, is now an urban heritage reserve.
Numerous architectural sights from the period of Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque are a convincing testimony to prosperity and development of the medieval Banská Bystrica. The historical complex consists of beautiful medieval burgher houses, the castle area from the 12th -13th centuries, the reconstructed barbican, the gothic Matthias Corvinus House and the medieval gothic town hall.
The main religious buildings of the center are the Parish Church of Virgin Maria’s Ascension, built in the Romanesque and Gothic styles in the 13th century and the Church of Holy Cross from the 15th century.