Banska Stiavinica, Slovakia

The city of Banska Stiavinica, an empire mining town, is a world heritage site.  The legend is that a shepherd saw two salamanders, one silver and one gold.  He watched them crawl under a rock and discovered the mother lode.  The town’s symbol is a shovel, pick and two salamanders.  Empress Maria Theresa founded the School of Mines here, it was the first technical university in the world.  The town mostly is in need of restoration.  This actually makes it seem more “real.”

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