Click to: riverhouses.org/2020-slovakia
Slovakia in south-central Europe is one of our homeschool countries-of-the-week, so why not spend a few minutes today learning about one of Slovakia’s World Heritage Sites: the Historic Town of Banská Štiavnica and its Surrounding Landscape.
Banská Štiavnica is one of the oldest centers of mining and metallurgy in central Europe:
“The Historic Town of Banská Štiavnica and the Technical Monuments in its Vicinity is an outstanding example of an important mining settlement that has developed since the Middle Ages…. Located in the mountains of Štiavnické Vrchy, this extensive property covers a total area of 20,632 ha and includes the urban centre of Banská Štiavnica as well as the surrounding landscape featuring vital relics of the mining and metallurgical activities of the past, especially gold and silver. Most of the mining resources are located outside the urban area but within the Štiavnické Vrchy Protected Landscape Area.
“The town of Banská Štiavnica, the oldest mining town in Slovakia, was established in the 13th century, although evidence of mining dates back to the late Bronze Age. While it served as an important town during the Middle Ages, the surviving urban centre was formed during the 16th century. It is characterized by the grand Late Gothic and Renaissance burgher houses, the town hall, and the Late Gothic Church of Saint Catherine. In the same era, a fortification system was built which has visible remains in the fortress of the Old Castle, the Renaissance watchtower of the New Castle, and the only surviving town gate — the Baroque-style Piarg Gate.
“The establishment of the first Mining and Forestry Academy in Europe in 1762 demonstrates the importance of this town as a centre for the education of mining experts. Moreover, an extensive complex of technical works, connected with mining and processing of polymetallic ores, can be found in the town and in its vicinity. Surviving components include shafts, tunnels, mining towers, a knocking tower, and a sophisticated water management system. The system of artificially built water reservoirs — ponds and collecting ditches — built in the 16th century and developed in the 18th century, served the needs of the mining industry and provided fresh drinking water for the town.“ (UNESCO World Heritage Centre #618)
The landscape around (and under) the town of Banská Štiavnica is laced with historic mining structures, shafts, and tunnels.
World Heritage Sites are cultural or natural landmarks of international significance, selected for recognition by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization. More than 1000 such sites have been recognized in over 160 countries, and we feature one every Wednesday, drawn from one of our homeschool countries-of-the-week. You can find a complete list online at the UNESCO World Heritage Centre and in Wikipedia.
The World Heritage Centre also has a free and comprehensive World Heritage education kit for teachers, as well as a wonderful full-color wall map of World Heritage Sites (riverhouses.org/2019-wh-map), available for the cost of shipping. Why not add them both to your own homeschool library. 🗺
What world treasures will you be exploring in your homeschool this Hercules Term? 😊
❡ Books in the running brooks: You can always turn to your River Houses almanac, atlas, and history encyclopedia (riverhouses.org/books) for more information about any of our countries-of-the-week. The almanac has profiles of all the nations of the world on pages 745–852; the endpapers of the atlas are indexes that will show you where all of the individual national and regional maps may be found; the history encyclopedia includes national histories on pages 489–599; and you can find additional illustrations, flags, and other mentions through the indexes in each of these volumes. For an ideal little lesson, just write the name of the Weekly World Heritage Site on your homeschool bulletin board, find its location in your atlas, read the WHC’s brief description aloud, look at a picture or two, and you’re done. Over the course of the year, without even realizing it, your students will absorb a wealth of new historical, geographical, and cultural information. 🇸🇰
❡ The great globe itself: This is one of our regular Homeschool States & Countries posts featuring historical and natural sites of international importance. Download a copy of our River Houses World Heritage Calendar (riverhouses.org/calendars) and follow along with us as we tour the planet, and add your name to our weekly mailing list (riverhouses.org/newsletter) to get great homeschool teaching ideas delivered right to your mailbox all through the year. 🌍