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Trip Planner Europe  /  Slovakia  /  Banska Bystrica Region  /  Zvolen

Zvolen

3.9
Castles · Ruins · Monuments
Zvolen is a town in central Slovakia, situated on the confluence of Hron and Slatina rivers, close to Banská Bystrica. It is a seat of an okres (Zvolen District).EtymologyThe name is of Slovak (Slavic) origin meaning "the chosen one, splendid, excellent". The Hungarian Zólyom and the German Sohl were derived from the Latinized form Zolium (earliest mention 1135). An adjective "Old" (Altsohl, Starý Zvolen, Antiquum or Vetus Solium) distinguish Zvolen from Banská Bystrica (Sohl, Neusohl).HistoryZvolen has been inhabited since the Paleolithic. In the 9th century, a Slavic settlement (today the Môťová neighborhood) became a regional center of what is now central Slovakia. Zvolen remained the capital of Zólyom County until the 1760s. In the 11th and 12th centuries, one of the largest medieval castles in Europe, Pustý hrad, was constructed. The town, originally built under the castle, lay on an important trade route (Via Magna) from Buda to Kraków. Zvolen was granted town privileges by King Béla IV in the 1230s - as one of the first towns in the Kingdom of Hungary. The privileges were confirmed on 28 December 1243, after the original document was destroyed in war. Later, King Louis I the Great built a new castle, which became a popular hunting resort of the Hungarian kings. The future queen regnant Mary of Hungary and emperor Sigismund celebrated their wedding there in 1385.
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