Špania Dolina Folk Architecture Reservation

Špania Dolina lies on the south west slopes of the Low Tatra Mountains, north of Banská Bystrica. Its origins, boom and decline are linked to the deposits of precious metals. The oldest traces of mining on its territory date from the Bronze Age. The first written note of the village goes back to the 13th century. The greatest boom of the copper and silver ore mining is associated with the period of existence of Thurzo- Fugger Company at the turn of 15th and 16th centuries. Besides mining, the population was involved in manufacturing of tin vessels and bobbin lace. The irregular housing development of the village, tailored to the challenging terrain, is dominated by the Church of the Changing of the Lord, from the 13th century, made accessible from the square via a covered stairway. Besides the mason buildings relating to the mining administration, the substantial part of the built-up area is comprised of ground floor and storied miners’ cottages chiefly of log construction on stone underpinnings. Both stone and the wooden walls were covered with clay and whitewashed with lime. The gable roofs with slab gables were originally covered with shingles. The majority of the preserved folk architecture houses date from the 19th century and 86 of them have been included in the Central List of Monuments Fond. A small history exposition of the locality is situated within the structure of the wooden knocker.