Selmecbánya (Slovak Banská Štiavnica, German Schemnitz, Hungarian often just Selmec) is a town in Slovakia, in the Selmecbánya District of the Besztercebánya District, the seat of the district. Today, the leading sector is tourism and catering, [source?] which has started to rise especially in the last two decades.
It is one of the most important mining towns of the former Kingdom of Hungary. Selmecbánya is an ancient mining town where silver was mainly mined. In the Middle Ages, fabulous wealth was hidden here in the depths of the volcanic mountains. In connection with mining, many small and large settlements were established in the surrounding mountains, which in the course of history usually formed an administrative unit with the city, but today some of them are separate villages. In the second half of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, it was united with the neighboring Bélabánya for a long time: under the name Selmec and Bélabánya.
It is located southwest of Besztercebánya and Zólyom, in the Selmeci Mountains, in a valley, north of the 1009 m Szitnya mountain. It is a picturesque town, its streets are terraced at different levels.
It borders Teplafőszékely to the north, Bélabánya to the northeast, Tópatak to the east, Szentantal to the southeast, Illés to the south, Gyökös and Bacsófalva to the southwest, Hegybánya and Hodrushámor to the west, and Vihnye to the northwest.
There are several legends about the founding of the city. According to the best known, the silver and gold deposits near the city were found thanks to two salamanders by a shepherd named Sebenitz at the foot of Óhegy. IV. In 1238, Béla raised it to the rank of free royal city. Although the written sources are silent about the Tatar visit, their presence can be assumed. After the Tatar invasion, the king settled Bavarian and Saxon miners, whose legal code was confirmed in 1245. In the Middle Ages, Hungary's most important silver and gold mines were located here for centuries. It had the title of Free Royal City, where mining was in the hands of the citizens called the Waldbürgers - these rights were acquired by the treasury only later. In 1443, a terrible earthquake destroyed the city.
It had its heyday from the 15th to the 18th century. It was here that gunpowder was used in mining for the first time in the world (in 1627). In 1717, the training of mining specialists in the school system began here, which on June 22, 1735 III. Károly's "Instrucito" work raised it to Higher Education level, thus creating the world's first technical higher education institute, the Bergschola (Higher Mining Officer Training Institute). In her document called Systema dated October 22, 1762, Mária Terézia confirmed the decision of the court chamber, thus raising the bergschola to academic rank. By 1770, the world's first mining academy (Academia Montanistica)
In 1782, it was the third largest city in Hungary, after Bratislava and Debrecen, with 23,192 inhabitants (about 40,000 inhabitants including suburbs). In 1786, he won the right to hold national fairs.
Description of the settlement at the end of the 18th century:
SELMETZ MINE: Semnicium, Stiavnicza. The famous Szabad Királyi Mine City in Hont County is located in a valley surrounded by various rocky mountains, 3/4 to Sz. Antal, 3 to Körmötz Mine, and six meters to Besztertze Mine. It was formerly called Banya, then Szebenicza, and the current name Selmetz comes from the word tót meaning Zemnitze mine. The old city was built on another hill, and it was already built in 745, and now it is called the old castle, or Old Selmetz. - Over time, after the Germans tried to eliminate the Totok from places, it became very Germanized; but many ponds are already inhabited. Its inhabitants are Catholics and Lutherans. Old fashioned