by Wildcat Dianne
May 17, 2003
The Town Hall (Pretorium) is a three-story building located east of the Town Castle Area. Built after 1500 in the Late-Gothic Style of architecture, the Town Hall was built on donations from a local mine owner and the Zvolen County Administrator and became the seat of the Town Council. From 1564-1565, renovations were done on the Town Hall where arcaded galleries were added to the three exterior walls, and in the 18th Century, the facade underwent a Baroque redesign.
Banska Bystrica's Clock Tower is also located in the northern part of the Town Castle Area and was built in 1552, but the basement torture chamber dates from 1506 and was also the town weighing house, hence giving the Clock Tower its other name, The Green or Weighing Tower. The Clock Tower also went under several renovations including getting a new stone gallery in 1665 and a new Baroque polygonal upper floor and helm roof from 1782-1784.
The third most important part of the Town Castle Area is The Shooting Gallery. Originally built as part of the Castle Fortifications in 1512 over a moat, the shooting gallery was an important gatehouse in order for people to enter and leave Banska Bystrica. A fire in 1761 destroyed the original Shooting Gallery, and its present-day look dates from the late 18th Century. The gate house got its name, the Shooting Gallery because it was defended by prisoners manning the "murder holes" facing the road. Prisoners would throw or pour things at enemy soldiers or people walking by the gatehouse at any time.Admission to all three of these buildings is limited do to renovations, and the Town Hall is still part of the local government of Banska Bystrica, but The Clock Tower, Town Hall, and Shooting Gallery are still worth looking at from the outside.
From journal Banska Bystrica: The Heart of the Slovak National Uprising.