We can say that the attractiveness of the local environment has primary reasons. In this region we can find rocks of crystalline complex, classic rock of the Permian and the Lower Triassic. Mesozoic carboniferous rocks are a significant component from the landscape and especially speleological point of view. In the western part of the territory Neogene volcanites and pyroclastic rocks prevail but also travertine occurs there.
The region of Banská Bystrica is very interesting because of manifold geological structure that is the cause of diversified relief in this part of Slovakia also because of raw materials resources, especially ores. Unfortunately, it is this ore potential that can be declared a historical one nowadays but in the past ore mining was the main factor affecting the life in this region. Mining of Cu ores in the area of Špania Dolina, Staré Hory and Ľubietová was world-famous. Before the discovery of America this region was noted for the largest Cu deposit in the then known world. The towns of Banská Bystrica and Kremnica were the centres of entrepreneurial families of Thurzo and Fugger, who were mining precious metals (gold, silver and copper) in wide surroundings of these towns and exporting them in the whole world.
Many localities represent even now a source of interesting demonstrations of rare minerals (malachite, azurite, chalcanthite, realgar, auripigment...). Devillin (herrengrundit), libethenite a euchroite were discovered here and first described in the world. Many monuments connected with mining can be still found in the above-mentioned localities but many of them are in desolate state. They include buildings of shafts and smelters, knocking towers and adit mouths. Of great importance is also the ingenious water system, which is about 40 km long.
The area around Banská Bystrica is interesting also from ethnographic point of view. You can find here well-preserved architecture of local population, let alone burgher architecture of the towns of Banská Bystrica and Kremnica. Bobbin lace from Špania Dolina is a world-famous rarity.
From the tourist and landscape point of view many tourist paths are located here and this is a big advantage for geopark building. Surrounding mountains offer excellent possibilities for winter and summer sports. Hardwood and mixed forests around Banská Bystrica provide not only a refuge for animals but shelter also botanically very interesting localities.
Characteristics of Banská Bystrica Geopark
- geopark position in the "heart of Slovakia": easily accessible from all parts of Slovakia, infrastructure on a sufficient level. Linking with other attractive mountains (Low Tatras, Great Fatra, Poľana). The locality is interesting for Slovak and foreign tourists.
- diversity of geological environment: a possibility to use some localities for educational and excursion activities, wide mineral "record" of the Earth development
- broken terrain: from grassy uplands of the Low Tatras up to the floodplain of the Hron river. Possibilities for winter sports, tourism, water sports....
- region history: one of the most significant mining regions in Slovakia. Many historical monuments. Many written references about this area is a big advantage.
- accommodation possibilities: sufficient level
- biological potential: forests rich in fauna and flora
- degree of the topic elaboration: up-to-date concept of geoparks in Slovakia - B category, a high degree of public and private sectors cooperation, support of expert and academic public.