Banska Stiavnica, one of the most picturesque and valuable historic towns of Slovakia, owes its mediaeval glory and its cultural, historic and technical monuments to the subterranean wealth of gold, silver and other ores. The world’s first secondary school of mining, founded there in 1725, evolved into a mining college in 1762. In 1782, in this heyday, the town was the third largest one in the Kingdom of Hungary, after Pressburg and Debrecen. In 1993 Banska Stiavnica was inscribed on the UNESCO´s World Heritage List, thanks partly to the unique mining heritage sites in the area.
The local water reservoirs, known as “tajchs“and strewn all around the town, are jewels of the surrounding Stiavnicke Mountains. These artificial lakes are remains of a sophisticated mining-related water management system whose construction began in the 16th century and included a network of rainwater collection channels.
On each barrier is situated so called Monk. Wooden construction reminding small cottage. But inside is concealed technical device – sluice gate used for water regulation.
In all of them you can swim on your own liability. We have selected the most interesting as we already swimmed in all of them. Many times 🙂
The reservoir, built near Banska Bela in an elevation of 550 metres before 1747, was used, together with Halca Lake, as a source of water for stamping mills at Kozelnik in the late 18th and in the 19th century. After the foundation of Czechoslovakia a military swimming centre was set u pat the lake. It is suitable for swimming, but there is a problem with lack of parking places. People often used to stop cars by side of roads.
Tajch Evička and Vindšachta
The Evička reservoir is situated in the village of Stiavnicke Bane and was firts mentioned in 1638, driving the pumps of the Karol and Magdalena shafts, was re-used to power also the ore dressing installations in the Stevulov Valley. In 1700 its dam was repaired and heightened. The reconstruction work has been performed during the years 2013 and 2014. Just above is situated Vindsachta reservoir. Both lakes are suitable for swimming. Vindsachta is little bit bigger and offers also water cycling. You can sunbath straight on the stone barrier like on all other reservoirs in surroundings.
The reservior was built in the late 18th century and its elevation of 472.40 m makes it the lowest-altitude tajch. Designed to supply the stamping mills in the Kozelnik Valley and a lead smelter in Banska Bela, it was acquired in 1909 by the Mining and Forestry Academy to serve as a wild fishery and forestry management training site. Available also for swimming but we do not recommend as it was kind of dirty in last years.
Dolný a Horný Hodrušský tajch
Dolny Hodrussky tajch (Lower Hodruša Lake) lies in a valley above the town of Hodrusa – Hamre. Nowadays it is the only one still working reservoir. It is very often used for recreation and swimming.
The Upper Hodrusa lake is situated above the Lower lake and it is used mostly as a source of water during winter to make snow.
Tajch Klinger is situated in west part of Banská Štiavnica just above open air Mining museum.
To build his reservoir was used material from demolished dam and also transported from area called Červená studňa. The material has been transported on rail tack, which was the first one in Slovakia.
In 1913 was the water from this reservoir used for tobacco factory (doesn’t exist anymore) in Banská Štiavnica for watering tobacco.
Tajch Klinger was used in the past as well as city bathing pool. But as one of the student of Mining academy drowned was the swimming in this and other lakes fined. Of course these bans vanished by the time and now are Klinger and other reservoirs again used for swimming. Definitely, one of our favorites.
The most known of all. Mostly because of its size and services. Belongs to the most visited. Nit offer restaurants, accommodation, little Zoo and water sports. It is also starting point for hiking on the Sitno hill with ruins of old stone castle on the top together with view tower.
Also well known tajch used for recreation. Suitable for swimming and water sports. Offers accommodation as well as restaurants.
Situated in village Banský Studenec. Suitable for swimming and offers also food services. It is the longest of all reservoirs.
Other important lakes which you can visit are Vodárenské tajchy situated just above the main square of Holy trinity. Ottergrund, the highest situated artificial lake. Rozgrund used as a source of drinking water for Banská Štiavnica. Červená studňa used in winter for skating. There are few more which you can visit but the conditions are not very good.
We described for you the most interesting and well preserved artificial lakes – Tajchy. If you visit Banská Štiavnica this is a “Must see”. You will understand what the people were capable of to create to mine the rare ore.