Zvolen ' onMouseout='HidePop("78898")' href="/topics/Hungarian_language">Hungarian
Hungarian language
Hungarian is a Uralic language, part of the Ugric group. With some 14 million speakers, it is one of the most widely spoken non-Indo-European languages in Europe....

: Zólyom, is a town in central Slovakia
The Slovak Republic is a landlocked state in Central Europe. It has a population of over five million and an area of about . Slovakia is bordered by the Czech Republic and Austria to the west, Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east and Hungary to the south...

, situated on the confluence of Hron
Hron is a 298 km long left tributary of the Danube and the second longest river in Slovakia. It flows from its source located in the Low Tatra mountains through central and southern Slovakia, pouring into the Danube near Štúrovo and Esztergom...

 and Slatina
Slatina River (Slovakia)
Slatina is the name of a 55 km long river in Slovakia. Its source is located in Poľana, its mouth in Zvolen. It is a left tributary of the Hron....

 rivers, close to Banská Bystrica
Banská Bystrica
Banská Bystrica is a key city in central Slovakia located on the Hron River in a long and wide valley encircled by the mountain chains of the Low Tatras, the Veľká Fatra, and the Kremnica Mountains. With 81,281 inhabitants, Banská Bystrica is the sixth most populous municipality in Slovakia...

. With its ancient castle, the town has a historical center, which represents the seat of an okres
Districts of Slovakia
An okres is an administrative unit in Slovakia. It is inferior to a Region and superior to a municipality.-Characteristics:Several districts form a "Region"...

(Zvolen District
Zvolen District
Zvolen District is a district inthe Banská Bystrica Region of central Slovakia. Until 1918, most of the present-day district belonged to the Zvolen county, apart from Lešť in the south-west which was part of the county of Gemer a Malohont.- Municipalities :*Babiná*Bacúrov*Breziny*Budča*Bzovská...



Zvolen has been inhabited since the Paleolithic
The Paleolithic Age, Era or Period, is a prehistoric period of human history distinguished by the development of the most primitive stone tools discovered , and covers roughly 99% of human technological prehistory...

. In the 9th century, a Slavic
Slavic peoples
The Slavic people are an Indo-European panethnicity living in Eastern Europe, Southeast Europe, North Asia and Central Asia. The term Slavic represents a broad ethno-linguistic group of people, who speak languages belonging to the Slavic language family and share, to varying degrees, certain...

 settlement (today the Môťová neighborhood) became a regional center of what is now central Slovakia. Zvolen remained the capital of Zólyom county until the 1760s. In the 11th and 12th centuries, one of the largest medieval castles in Europe, Pustý hrad
Pustý hrad
Pustý hrad is a castle whose ruins are located on a forested hill in the southern part of Zvolen in central Slovakia. With an area of 76,000 m² it is arguably one of the largest medieval castles in Europe. The original name was Zvolen Castle or Old Zvolen; Pustý hrad is a much later name used to...

, was constructed. The town, originally built under the castle, lay on an important trade route (Via Magna) from Buda
For detailed information see: History of Buda CastleBuda is the western part of the Hungarian capital Budapest on the west bank of the Danube. The name Buda takes its name from the name of Bleda the Hun ruler, whose name is also Buda in Hungarian.Buda comprises about one-third of Budapest's...

 to Kraków
Kraków also Krakow, or Cracow , is the second largest and one of the oldest cities in Poland. Situated on the Vistula River in the Lesser Poland region, the city dates back to the 7th century. Kraków has traditionally been one of the leading centres of Polish academic, cultural, and artistic life...

. Zvolen was granted town privileges
Town privileges
Town privileges or city rights were important features of European towns during most of the second millennium.Judicially, a town was distinguished from the surrounding land by means of a charter from the ruling monarch that defined its privileges and laws. Common privileges were related to trading...

 by King Béla IV
Béla IV of Hungary
Béla IV , King of Hungary and of Croatia , duke of Styria 1254–58. One of the most famous kings of Hungary, he distinguished himself through his policy of strengthening of the royal power following the example of his grandfather Bela III, and by the rebuilding Hungary after the catastrophe of the...

 in the 1230s - as one of the first towns in the Kingdom of Hungary
Kingdom of Hungary
The Kingdom of Hungary comprised present-day Hungary, Slovakia and Croatia , Transylvania , Carpatho Ruthenia , Vojvodina , Burgenland , and other smaller territories surrounding present-day Hungary's borders...

. The privileges were confirmed on December 28, 1243, after the original document was destroyed in war. Later, King Louis I the Great built a new castle
Zvolen Castle
Zvolen Castle is a medieval castle located on a hill near the center of Zvolen, in central Slovakia.The original seat of the region was above the confluence of Slatina and Hron rivers on a steep cliff in a castle from the 12th century, known today as Pustý hrad...

, which became a popular hunting resort of the Hungarian kings. The future queen regnant Mary of Hungary
Mary of Hungary
Mary of Anjou was queen regnant of Hungary from 1382 until her death in 1395.-Childhood:...

 and emperor Sigismund
Sigismund, Holy Roman Emperor
Sigismund of Luxemburg KG was King of Hungary, of Croatia from 1387 to 1437, of Bohemia from 1419, and Holy Roman Emperor for four years from 1433 until 1437, the last Emperor of the House of Luxemburg. He was also King of Italy from 1431, and of Germany from 1411...

 celebrated their wedding there in 1385.

In 1848-49, Ľudovít Štúr
Ludovít Štúr
Ľudovít Štúr , known in his era as Ludevít Velislav Štúr, was the leader of the Slovak national revival in the 19th century, the author of the Slovak language standard eventually leading to the contemporary Slovak literary language...

 was a member of the Diet, with Zvolen as his constituency. In 1871-1872, two new railways were built and Zvolen became an important railroad hub and important industrial center. Zvolen played an important role during the Slovak National Uprising
Slovak National Uprising
The Slovak National Uprising or 1944 Uprising was an armed insurrection organized by the Slovak resistance movement during World War II. It was launched on August 29 1944 from Banská Bystrica in an attempt to overthrow the collaborationist Slovak State of Jozef Tiso...

. Two of its armored trains, which were made in the local railway manufactory, Hurban
Armored train Hurban
The Armored train Hurban is an armored train used during World War II, during the Slovak National Uprising. The Hurban was constructed on September 25, 1944 in the Railway Manufactory in Zvolen, Slovakia, and was the last armored train used in the Slovak National Uprising.- Combat history :The...

 and Štefánik
Armored train Štefánik
The Armored train Štefánik was a military train used during World War II in Slovakia.The building of the armored train started on September 4, 1944. It was finished on September 18, 1944 in a Railway Manufacture in Zvolen, Slovakia.It was equipped with:* the Czechoslovak mountain cannon vz...

 can be seen near the Zvolen castle.

Zvolen is an important railroad, an important road hub and has a large timber factory and a technical university. An airport
Sliac Airport
Sliač Airport , historically Letisko Tri Duby - is an international airport in central Slovakia, between Zvolen and Banská Bystrica, near the spa town of Sliač. The airport has one runway, which is 2,340 m long...

 in nearby Sliač
Sliač is a small spa town located in central Slovakia, on the Hron river, between Banská Bystrica and Zvolen. The town is known for its healing hot springs and for an airport which has been used for military as well as civil purposes...

 offers direct flights to Prague
Prague is the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic. Situated in the north-west of the country on the Vltava river, the city is home to about 1.3 million people, while its metropolitan area is estimated to have a population of over 2.3 million...

. The town square was modernized in 2002 and local businesses are popular with tourists. In wintertime an ice rink is constructed in the center and festive celebrations run throughout December.


Zvolen has a population of 43,147 (as of December 31, 2005). According to the 2001 census
A census is the procedure of systematically acquiring and recording information about the members of a given population. It is a regularly occurring and official count of a particular population. The term is used mostly in connection with national population and housing censuses; other common...

, 95.9% of inhabitants were Slovaks
The Slovaks, Slovak people, or Slovakians are a West Slavic people that primarily inhabit Slovakia and speak the Slovak language, which is closely related to the Czech language.Most Slovaks today live within the borders of the independent Slovakia...

 and 1.2% Czechs. The religious make-up was 52.5% Roman Catholics, 26.4% people with no religious affiliation, and 15% Lutherans.

Notable people

  • Bálint Balassi
    Bálint Balassi
    Bálint Balassi baron of Kékkő and Gyarmat, , was a multilingual Hungarian Renaissance lyric poet, who wrote mostly in Hungarian...

    , poet and nobleman
  • Karol Beck
    Karol Beck
    Karol Beck is a male tennis player from Slovakia, who turned professional in 2001. He has been ranked as high as 36th in the world .- Career :On October 25, 2004, Beck lost in the final of the St...

    , tennis player
  • Jozef Cíger-Hronský
    Jozef Cíger-Hronský
    Jozef Cíger-Hronský was a Slovak writer, teacher, publicist, later secretary and manager of the Matica slovenská.-Life:...

    , writer
  • Ján Lašák
    Ján Lašák
    Ján Lašák is a Slovak professional ice hockey goaltender currently playing for Jokerit of the SM-Liiga. Lašák was drafted by the Nashville Predators of the National Hockey League in the 2nd round of the 1999 NHL Entry Draft and spent the following four seasons in North America before returning...

    , ice hockey player
  • Vladimír Maňka
    Vladimír Manka
    Vladimír Maňka is a Slovak politician andMember of the European Parliament with the Direction,part of the Socialist Group and sits onthe European Parliament's Committee on Budgets.He is a substitute for the...

    , politician
  • Vladimír Mečiar
    Vladimír Meciar
    Vladimír Mečiar is a Slovak politician who was Prime Minister of Slovakia from 1990 to 1991, from 1992 to 1994, and from 1994 to 1998. He is the leader of the People's Party - Movement for a Democratic Slovakia...

    , politician
  • František Velecký
    František Velecký
    František Velecký was a Slovak actor.Velecký was a very particular figure of Slovak acting, being antipode to venerated mainstream showbiz celebrities. Although he had never received any formal training he managed to earn a great respect of both filmmakers and audience members...

    , actor

Twin towns - Sister cities

Zvolen is a member of the Douzelage
The Douzelage is a town twinning association with one town from each of the member states of the European Union.The name is a combination of the French words "douze" for twelve and "jumelage" for twinning and stands for the twelve founder members, one for each European Union member state in 1991,...

, a unique town twinning
Town twinning
Twin towns and sister cities are two of many terms used to describe the cooperative agreements between towns, cities, and even counties in geographically and politically distinct areas to promote cultural and commercial ties.- Terminology :...

 association of 24 towns across the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

. This active town twinning began in 1991 and there are regular events, such as a produce market from each of the other countries and festivals. Discussions regarding membership are also in hand with three further towns (Agros
Agros, Cyprus
Agros is a village built on the Troödos Mountains, in the region of Pitsilia, in southwest Cyprus, which has built amphitheatrically among high mountains at an altitude of 1100 metres with a population of approximately 1,000. Agros is one of the most interesting villages of Cyprus and the...

 in Cyprus
Cyprus , officially the Republic of Cyprus , is a Eurasian island country, member of the European Union, in the Eastern Mediterranean, east of Greece, south of Turkey, west of Syria and north of Egypt. It is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.The earliest known human activity on the...

, Škofja Loka
Škofja Loka
-Art colony:Before the civil war in the former Yugoslavia the Serbian town of Smederevska Palanka and the town of Škofja Loka held art colonies Groharijeva kolonija run by an art teacher from elementary school Olga Milošević in Smederevska Palanka. Now, after the split of SFR Yugoslavia, the two...

 in Slovenia
Slovenia , officially the Republic of Slovenia , is a country in Central and Southeastern Europe touching the Alps and bordering the Mediterranean. Slovenia borders Italy to the west, Croatia to the south and east, Hungary to the northeast, and Austria to the north, and also has a small portion of...

, and Tryavna
Tryavna is a town in central Bulgaria, situated in the north slopes of the Balkan range, on the Tryavna river valley, near Gabrovo. It is famous for its textile industry and typical National Revival architecture, featuring 140 cultural monuments, museums and expositions...

 in Bulgaria
Bulgaria , officially the Republic of Bulgaria , is a parliamentary democracy within a unitary constitutional republic in Southeast Europe. The country borders Romania to the north, Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, as well as the Black Sea to the east...

Other twinnings
Town twinning
Twin towns and sister cities are two of many terms used to describe the cooperative agreements between towns, cities, and even counties in geographically and politically distinct areas to promote cultural and commercial ties.- Terminology :...

Zwoleń is a town in Poland, in Mazowsze Voivodeship, about 30 km east of Radom. It is the capital of Zwoleń County. Population is 8048 .- People :* Stanisław Chomętowski* Jan Karol Tarło* Stanisław Tarło...

, Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

Prachatice is a town in the South Bohemian Region, Czech Republic.-History:The town of Prachatice has its origins in the 11th century, following the beginning of trade on the "Golden Path"...

, Czech Republic
Czech Republic
The Czech Republic is a landlocked country in Central Europe. The country is bordered by Poland to the northeast, Slovakia to the east, Austria to the south, and Germany to the west and northwest....

Tótkomlós is a town in Békés county, in the Southern Great Plain region of south-east Hungary.-Geography:It covers an area of 125.4 km² and has a population of 6638 people .-People:* János Jankó...

, Hungary
Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

Rivne or Rovno is a historic city in western Ukraine. It is the administrative center of the Rivne Oblast , as well as the administrative center of the surrounding Rivne Raion within the oblast...

, Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

External links

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