The historical center of Banská Štiavnica remains closed to the public after Saturday’s devastating fire. It wasn’t until Sunday afternoon that the firefighters officially confirmed that they had definitively extinguished the fire. Firefighters worked all night and after putting out the fire concentrated on pumping water out of the houses.
The water that had to be used to extinguish the rapidly spreading fire caused great damage to the buildings. The buildings in the center are standing next to each other, which caused that the fire could not be stopped for a long time due to the strong wind that had been blowing since Saturday morning and the wooden trusses and ceilings.
The exact extent of the damage in the historic center of Banská Štiavnica, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is not yet known, but the first reports are coming in. The government announces that it will help the city, the Czech Republic has already offered its professional capacities.
Video: At the last minute, I convinced the firemen to put out our roof, says the head of the archive in Štiavnica (author: Martina Koník)
Jozef Kollár’s gallery turned out relatively well
Seven historic buildings are without roofs and some even without upper floors. The bank of love, where the fire started, then a restaurant, two private houses, the Mining Museum. In fact, more than seven buildings burned down, because the Museum is made up of four buildings and the Bank of Love is actually two houses.
The flames also spread to the old town house on the hill above the museum, where the Eleusinian cultural center is located.
The Berggericht Museum with its rare mineralogical collection is the most damaged building, said Zuzana Denková, director of the Slovak Mining Museum. Thanks to the help of volunteers, it was possible to evacuate the entire exposition, depositories and exhibitions, she wrote at night. “I passed both objects a while ago. The gallery remained untouched by the fire, just the areas adjacent to the Berggericht are wet.”
Among other things, the Slovak Mining Museum includes the Berggericht and the Jozef Kollár Gallery. Late at night, museum management predicted the extent of damage to the Berggerichte, where the mineralogical collections are housed, would be “fatal” and also expressed concerns about statics. They wrote on Facebook that it will most likely be necessary to remove the torso of the roof structure, which has sunk into the building in many places.
On Sunday, they came a little more optimistic, although still only partial information. “I also went through the Berggericht and the ceilings did not collapse, actually only one,” Denková wrote on Facebook. According to her, the firefighters will help with the drainage of the most critical areas.
“I believe that the government will help us as it promised today, because our museum was gnawed to the bone even before this tragedy,” she added. “I am happy that we did not lose precious archives in the Slovak Mining Archive. And that no one was hurt.”
Prime Minister Eduard Heger announced directly in Banská Štiavnica on Saturday that the government would help the city, and he repeated it on Sunday. He wants to organize a government meeting there in two weeks. Mayor Nadežda Babiaková told the Prime Minister that she needed