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The city Kremnica is located in Kremnica Mountains and is 50 km far away from Banská Bystrica. In the past it was one of the most rich cities in the Hungarian Kingdom. The city received fame and wealth first of all because of gold mining – that explains the frequently used adjective for the city “Golden Kremnica”.
Kremnica was mentioned for the first time on 17th November 1328 in one document by Hungarian king Charles Robert of Anjou . On that date received the village Cremnychbana its town charter. Economy and monetary reform introduced by King Charles Robert contributed strong to the development of the city – above all repealing of monopoly right to precious metal mining for the king and establishing of royal mint.
Many new settlers were coming to the city – mostly from middle Slovak mining area and from abroad (Italy, Bavaria, Austria, Silesia, Bohemia, Flanders) and minters were invited mainly from Kutná Hora. Soon became Kremnica the seat of mining and mint chambers (seat located in the city castle) and until the beginning of 16th century also seat of Chamber Count (comes). Kremnica experienced its major upswing during the first two centuries of its existence. In the middle of 14th century was the annual gold production in Hungarian Kingdom ca. 1000 kg, what means approximately 80% of European and 1/3 of worldwide gold production in that time. Proportion of Kremnica involved in Hungarian gold production was at least 50%.
From the gold gained in the middle Slovak mines has started the Kremnica Mint with minting of coins with purity of 23 carats and 9 grains. Pattern for those coins were coins coming out from Florence – that is why the coins from Kremnica Mint were initially named as florins. Later name for coins ducat is derived from the inscription on the reverse side of one coin from Venetia – “Sit tibi, Christe, datus, quem tu regis iste ducatus“. The ducats produced in Kremnica Mint were characterised with high level of purity and they has been continuously minted 551 years (since 1330 to 1881). Kremnica Mint started in 1499 as one of the first mints to produce silver thalers. In 1710 introduced here the well-known Swedish engineer, engraver and medal maker Daniel Warou a new screw press, referred to as “Balancier”. Kremnica Mint served then as model for introducing such technology also in other mints in Vienna and Prague. Since 1892, after the Austrian-Hungarian currency was introduced, the company was equipped with Uhlhorn coin minting machines. The machines were delivered by German inventor Diederich Uhlhorn from Grevenbroich. After the World War I. the basic equipment of Kremnica Mint – 12 Vulkan minting machines were delivered by company Vulkan Maschinenfabrik A. G. from Vienna. These machines have simply construction and easy maintenance and some of them are still used – of course the Kremnica Mint has also modern equipment.
Since the end of 15th century is the Kremnica Mint well-known also because of medal-minting. The first ever known medal from Kremnica Mint is medal to remember the Coronation of Ladislav II. as a child from 1508.
- Area of the city castle - please note that the castle cannot be visited any time, it has opening hours like museums. The city castle is enclosed by two former defence walls, curtain wall and the second, outer wall. To access the area you have to enter the stairwell and the southern, so called Parish tower. St. Catherine Church dominates this area. According the specialized literature the first church was here built before 1400, from that building remained only exterior walls. In the church you can see more details typical for Cathedral Building Lodge of St. Stephen´s in Vienna at the time of Master Michael Chnab (Knab). Star-ribbed vault in the sacristy has its origin in the Southern German Late Gothic. Very interesting are also the profile and base points of vault. The current appearance acquired the church due neo-Gothic restoration in 1883-1886; the restoration works were carried out by Ferenc Storno and his son Kalman from Sopron. The church has since 1992 valuable organ from Krnov with 3500 organ pipes and 46 organ stops. Visitors can each summer admire the fascinating sound of this organ –The European Organ Festival, Kremnica Castle Organ, take place here in July and in August. The organists ranks to the top artists worldwide. Until now were presented organists from 22 countries.
In this area you can find also the oldest preserved building of the city – Ossuary – an building with two floors, the lower room was former ossuary and has Romanic vault, the upper room with fragments of Gothic wall paintings has Gothic ribbed vault.
In the northern tower from middle of the 14th century there is exhibition of archaeological finds from castle research. The cylindrical Miners bastion was built around 1350, acquired in the second half of the 15th century polygonal sacristy in the chapel of Virgin Mary Birth. About 1610 was the building rebuilt again to bastion. In the small Clock Tower(originally it was also bastion and has 2 floors) there is an exhibition - Kremnica bells and bell casters.
From the former city hall there are preserved only basement and the first floor – at the present time there is an exhibition of baroque plastic arts made in the St. Catherine Church – work of unknown Master – and work of Dionyz Ignac Staneti made in the Virgin Mary Church, which used to be in the past on the main square.
- Mint - Kremnica Mint is one of the oldest continuously producing companies in the world – it works almost 700 years. Guided tour through the museum consists from 2 parts – old mint and new mint and the visitors can choose, which part (or both) of tour they would like to see. The tour through museum starts in one vaulted room, where the visitors can see more vitrines with coins – for which country in which year the mint produced coins. The Mint is worth a visit.
- Museum of coins and medals – is under administration of National Bank of Slovakia. Established as local history museum by archivist Pavol Križko it is one of the oldest museums in Slovakia. Museum has total 5 floors and for visit this museum u should take enough time. 2 underground floors show the history of mining and metallurgy in Kremnica. Further the visitor will be familiar with history of the city, with establishing the Mint, with guilds and handcrafts. Numismatic and historical collection – Two faces of money – show the history of money and medals in Slovakia. A visit to this museum is sure worthwhile.
- Mining museum in Andreas adit – thanks to enthusiastic people the city Kremnica has also an underground mining museum. Similar to other mines in Slovakia – u will get coat, helmet and light and u can enter the adit and become familiar with history and present of gold deposit and with hard work of miners in various time periods.
- maybe also coins, you are using or you have used, were minted in Kremnica Mint? The Mint has produced and produce still the coins worldwide. After the World War II. for following countries: Poland, Romania, Greese, Cuba, Mongolia, Algeria, Tunis, Guinea, Sudan, Senegal, Mali, Cape Verde Islands, Lebanon, Iraq. Since 90-years for: Slowenia, Bangladesh, India, Mauritania, Cyprus, Albania, Russia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Israel, Palestine, Nepal, Somalia, Andorra, Congo, Panama, Cook Islands, North Korea, Namibia, Liberia, Hong Kong, Belgium, Spain, Germany, France, United Kingdom, USA, Norwway, Argentina, Malaysia....
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