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    The Horehronie region which was a part of the district of the city Zvolen in past, can be delimited by the districts of Banská Bystrica and Brezno. It is situated in the central part of Slovakia, starting at the spring of the river Hron and ending in Hronsek, where the district of Banská Bystrica reaches its end. The river Hron is the second longest river in Slovakia (298 km), flowing into the Danube river in Štúrovo. Around its upper stream it is surrounded by Nízke Tatry (Low Tatras) in the north, by Veporské vrchy (Veporské Hills) in the south, around the city of Brezno it is surrounded again by Nízke Tatry (Low Tatras) and Starohorské vrchy (Starohorské Hills) in the north, Kremnické vrchy (Kremnické Hills) in the west and by Zvolenská kotlina (Zvolenská Basin). Zvolenská Basin is surrounded by Kremnické vrchy (Kremnické Hills) and Starohorské vrchy (Starohorské Hills) in the south-east, by Veľká Fatra (Great Fatra) and by Nízke Tatry (Low Tatras) in the north and west and by Veporské vrchy (Veporské Hills) in the south. The local population still keeps their traditions in their everyday’s life (in the way they speak, dress, sing and dance).
    The city of Banská Bystrica (78 thousand people) is the main centre of the region. It is the biggest and at the same time also the most important tourist centre with rich history and lots of cultural-historical monuments and attractions (such as a city castle, churches, a city hall, historical square, Museum of SNP - Slovak National Uprising). It is an administrative, cultural and economic centre of the Horehronie region. This was the town where the Slovak National Uprising against fascism broke out on August 29, 1944.
    Many memorials in the city and close surroundings commemorate the World War II. events (Museum of SNP, Kremnička, Kalište, Baláže and others).
    The city of Banská Bystrica originally developed from an old settlement in the 12-th century. In 1255 it was proclaimed an independent royal mining town. At the beginning silver ore was mined here. As of the 14-th century it was replaced by copper (Špania Dolina). In the 15-th and the 16-th century during the rule of the Thurzo family from Krakov and the Fugger family from Augsburg it reached its industrial boom. Historical city centre together with the city castle, sacral buildings and townsman houses became a protected historical monument. I is surrounded by city walls (occasionally reconstructed) with well-preserved bastions. The Church of Virgin Mary (with wooden altar made by Master Pavol from Levoča) and the Church of St. Cross dominate the city castle. Also a gothic City Hall together with a Regional Gallery and the Matej’s House are part of the city castle area, too. Newly reconstructed city centre with two-towers‘ Church of František Xaverský, an inclined sight-seeing tower from the 16-th century and with a number of townsman houses (Thurzo’s House - a museum, Benického House and others) are attractive for national as well as international tourists.
    In the neighborhoods you have excellent opportunities to enjoy the culture, sports, trekking, hiking and cycling (Kremnické vrchy - Kremnické Hills, Starohorské vrchy - Starohorské Hills, Tajov, Králiky, Kordíky, Turecká, Špania dolina - Špania Valley). Banská Bystrica is an important crossing point of many marked tourist trails (both short and distant ones). You can find there excellent facilities for down-hill and cross-country skiing in the popular local ski centers (Donovaly, Šachtičky, Turecká, Skalka, Krahule, Králiky, Sielnická poľana and others).
    Another important centre is the city of Brezno (23 thousand people). The first written reference about the city comes from the year 1265. In 1655 it became a royal city. The city centre has a squared shape where the following monuments are the most dominant: a city tower (belfry), church from the year 1785 and originally a classicistic town-hall from the year 1790 (nowadays a museum of the Horehronie region with the expositions of traditional dresses, embroideries and products made of wood). A literary - musical competition is organized here annually in May.
    Brezno is an important crossroad of railways and roads. Thanks to its exceptional location it is a very suitable starting point to many local tourist and ski resorts, such as: Chopok-south (Bystrá dolina, Krpáčovo), Mýto pod Ďumbierom, Čertovica. If you like trekking and hiking, we recommend the ridge of the Nízke Tatry (Low Tatras) mountains and the Veporské vrchy (Veporské Hills). Low Tatras national park extends to the village of Telgárt at the Kráľova hoľa mountain where it meets with the neighboring National Park Slovenský raj (Slovak Paradise). You can also visit many other interesting spots which are situated close to Brezno - such as spa in Brusno (specialized in healing digesting problems), Nemecká (a memorial to the victims burned to death in the World War II.), Horná Lehota, Chvatimech (renovated narrow-gauged small railway to Čierny Balog-Vydrov), Osrblie (area of biathlon), Bystrá (Bystrianska jaskyňa - Bystrianska Cave), Bacúch (the spring of Božena Němcova), Polomka (peculiar traditional dresses and dialect), Telgárt (in past called Švermovo, a unique circular railway tunnel, typical original wooden houses, meteorological station), meanders of the Hron river and its spring below the mountain-saddle Besník.
    The river Hron is the most popular Slovak river for rafting - due to low number of technical obstacles. Usually the rafting starts in Brezno (unexceptionally also from Heľpa if there is enough water) and continues to the river Danube with only one exception - water dam Veľké Kozmálovce (north-west from the town of Levice).
    The Horehronie region together with the region Liptov and Spiš belong to the most attractive and the most visited regions in Slovakia. The whole area is rich on attractive tourist locations that can be visited all year long. If you prefer hiking and cycling, you can visit one of the abovementioned recreational resorts. Historical monuments are concentrated in the central part of the Horehronie region (Banská Bystrica, Slovenská Ľupča, Hronsek). In Špania dolina (Špania Valley) there is a reservation of original folk architecture, and in many villages people still keep their traditions (Polomka, Heľpa, Šumiac, Mýto pod Ďumbierom, Čierny Balog). Springs of mineral water and spas (Brusno) belong to very popular resorts, too. Attractive narrow-gauged small railway from Chvatimech to Čierny Balog with an original steam-engine became inseparable part of the region.



This is my web-site dedicated to the Horehronie region.
I cordially invite you to visit this beautiful part of Slovakia.
Rudolf Kukura

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