Slovak Royal City – Golden Kremnica
Slovak Unique21. March 2023
In this article, I would like to introduce to you the city Kremnica, which really fascinated me during my visit. There are several reasons: the oldest operating business in the world, one of the two last barbicans in Slovakia, the most magnificent plague column in Central Europe, or a museum of kitsch. This is just a pinch of what Golden Kremnica has to offer.
Gold and silver have been mined in Kremnica and its surroundings since the 10th century, which is why it is called Golden Kremnica. The Hungarian king Karol Róbert of Anjou granted city privileges to the older mining settlement Cremnychbani, making Kremnica a free royal mining town in 1328. There are many interesting places in the city that are definitely worth visiting.
The city castle in Kremnica is a complex of medieval buildings that were built gradually from the 13th to the 15th century. There are 6 expositions in the castle grounds in 4 buildings (the Roman corner, the Small Tower, the North Tower and the Town Hall). The castle protects the fortifications, which are connected to the city walls. The city walls of Kremnica can be classified as one of the best-preserved in Slovakia.
In 1956, the historical center of Kremnica was declared a city monument reserve. The medieval City Castle is a national cultural monument.
The massive barbican protected the city from attacks and at the same time represented the entrance gate to the fortification. Currently, the barbican in Kremnica is one of the last preserved barbicans in Slovakia. For instance, another one is located in Bratislava – Michal´s Gate. Cultural and Information Center is currently located in the Barbican building.
Monumental column of St. Trojice is one of the most important Baroque monuments of its kind in Slovakia. With a height of 22 meters and 54 statues, it is the grandest plague column in Central Europe.
The pillar was built in front of the parish Church of the Virgin Mary in 1765-72, where it replaced the original column. Artistic value of the work is complemented by a complex conceptual plan, taking into account, in addition to the main mission, which was protection against the plague, also the specifics of the city – the patrons of miners and the city of Kremnica. The Plague Column features larger-than-life statues of saints – a fascinating sight.
The oldest operating company in the world
The city is home to the Kremnica Mint, which is the oldest still-existing mint in the world and one of the oldest continuously producing enterprises in the world. Struck coins once supported the thrones of many monarchs. Kremnica has already become an important center of coinage in the past. Silver pennies were the first coins minted in the mint.
The Kremnica mint also minted a gold florin, later called a ducat, which made the mint famous. It was minted from almost pure gold (23 carats and 9 grains) and has maintained this purity with minor variations for six centuries. It was used primarily in larger transactions and in foreign trade.
In addition, the mint also minted silver grosches, denars, toliars, polturs, grajciars, and Hungarian crowns. After 1918, Czechoslovak and Slovak crowns, as well as foreign circulation coins for more than 40 countries, began to be minted in the city of Kremnica.
The production of the mint also includes medal production, i.e. medals, plaques of various kinds, awards, badges, special stamps or tokens.
Since the introduction of the Euro in Slovakia, the Kremnica Mint has produced commemorative coins with a nominal value of €2, silver collector coins with a nominal value of €10 and €20, and gold coins with a nominal value of €100 for the NBS.
Kitsch Museum and the Alley of Famous Noses
The Kitsch Museum is an exclusive museum of its kind in the whole of Europe. It is part of the European Festival of Humor and Satire – Kremnica Gags. A collection of more than 2,764 exhibits of various kinds is available. If you want to understand what kitsch actually is, or just have fun, I definitely recommend visiting this place. 🙂
Alley of famous noses was created on August 28, 2004 at the 24th festival of humor and satire Kremnica Gags. The main idea is to preserve the memory of great Slovak humorists.