Banská Bystrica Regional Government

Úrad Banskobystrického samosprávneho kraja
Contact: Peter Novotňák Chief Executive
Námestie SNP 23, 974 01 Banská Bystrica, Slovakia
421 (0) 48 432 5111, 421 (0) 48 432 5625
421 (0) 48 432 5515

Banská Bystrica Region lies in the southern part of central Slovakia and is the country's largest in terms of area. It covers an area of 9,454.8 square kilometres and has a total population of 657,119 (2005).

With its extensive forests and hilly terrain, Banská Bystrica Region is the least densely settled region in Slovakia, with only 70 inhabitants per square kilometre, compared to the Slovak average of 110.

The terrain varies from the Velká Fatra (Greater Fatra) and the Nízke Tatry (Low Tatras) mountains in the north, through the hills and valleys of the Štiavnické vrchy around Banská Bystrica, to the agricultural flatlands south of Levice. The region has three national parks – the Nízke Tatry (Low Tatras), Muránska planina and the Slovenský raj (Slovak Paradise) - and five protected natural areas (Cerová vrchovina, the Poľana UNESCO biosphere reservation, Ponitrie, Štiavnické vrchy and the Velká Fatra).

Three main rivers - the Hron, the Danube and the Ipeľ - flow through the region: the Hron originates near Telgárt and flows through the whole region to join the Danube at Štúrovo, while the Ipeľ forms a natural boundary with Hungary.

Banská Bystrica Region consists of 13 districts, 24 towns and 516 municipalities. The mountainous north of the Banská Bystrica Region is significantly industrialised and is home to wood processing, metallurgy, machinery, electro-technical, textile, pharmaceutical, construction and construction materials firms. It has significant deposits of raw materials such as brown coal, metallic and non-metallic ores, and several mineral and thermal springs.

Banská Bystrica Region has a mining history which dates back to the 17th century, and metallurgy remains its dominant industrial sector, represented by major companies such as Slovalco Žiar nad Hronom and ZSNP Žiar nad Hronom (aluminium) and Železiarne Podbrezová (iron).