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Povážská Bystrica

Published: 12.8.2010
The town of Považská Bystrica is situated in north-west Slovakia between Trenčín and Žilina, along Váh-river.

Favourable climate of this small basin surrounded with ring of mountains, fertile soil of small Domanižanka-river as well as advantageous position on an important merchant way leading along Váh-river, drew the people there since ancient times. The traces of oldest colonization let there several preserved fragments of ceramics from stone era, at least 4500 year old.


The first written notice about Považská Bystrica comes of 1316. The history of the town is closely connected with local Bystrica Castle. John and Rudolph Podmanitzky, rapacious knights, belonged to most known owners of the castle. In 1432, Považská Bystrica was plundered and burnt by Hussite troops. However, all town documents were destroyed, and the inhabitants missed any legal documents. So, King Zikmund re-newed, on base ofcitizens´ request, their privileges in 1435.

In 1716, systematic records of all public affairs started to be introduced in Bystrica. So, you can be informed from these registrations, for instance, about a fact that a Mayor was a head of the town, and elected notary was in charge of executiong of all legal affairs. On the other hand, so called public manager (economist) had all real estates under his administration. However, 19th century brought a time period of disasters for the town. The community overcame inundations (high water) several big fires as well as disease epidemies. So, the development of social life was possible even after 1918. Various clubs, schools and small enterprises were established in the town. Great contribution brought the transfer of ammunition factory branch from Bratislava to Považská Bystrica. So, new job possibilities were created there, thanks to this new factory, and many flats, houses, cultural, social and sportting establishments came into existence since that time period. In 1948, Považská Bystrica became district town.

Complete reconstruction was effceted during 1970-1980, and the town´s face was completely changed. New dwelling houses were built, including three new hotels and restaurants, all town´s roads and parking places were reconstructed. To most important monuments belongs, no doubt, a chateau with two corner towers, built below local castle as well as chateau in Renaissance style in the community of Orlová. Upstairs, on a top in the altitude of 391 metres above sea level, there is arising St.Helene chapel of 1728. 

Text: Denisa Arvajová

Translation: ing. Jan Jonáš

Photo: wikipedia.com - Celbos, Pudelek, Marzo2k


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