Staré Hory (Old Mountains)
Staré Hory is a mountainy village that consist of several settlements such as: Staré Hory, Dolný Jelenec (Lower Jelenec), Polkanová, Turecká, Valentová, Richtárová, Prašnica and Rybie.
Old Mountains village was mentioned in 1536 as a mining village on the territory of the Banská Bystrica county. However, it was founded already in the 13-th and 14-th century. Local mines were very rich on silver and silver-copper ore. They were used by townsmen from Banská Bystrica and later (till 1546) by the Thurzo-Fugger Company. Metallurgical furnaces existed here already by the end of the 15-th century. The Thurzo Company built a huge smeltery with 10 furnaces. The equipment was later moved to Banská Bystrica. After 1546, when the mines became the property of a Mining Chamber, most of them were already exhausted. However, some private miners used the mines till the 18-th century. Several mining and collier settlements arose in the surroundings. Except for miners, many locals were concerned with woodcutting, lace handcraft, embroidering, later - with working in industrial factories in Harmanec, Podbrezová and Banská Bystrica. An interesting water power-plant was built at the hill above the village between the years 1923 - 1926.
A lot of brick houses (sometimes double-houses or even quadruple houses) scattered all around remained from the times of busy mining industry. Lace handcraft school was opened by the end of the 19-th century. The main goal was of course to support the local lace handcrafts. Laces were sold at Friday's open market in Banská Bystrica to domestic as well as foreign merchants.
In the village there is a simple one-floor baroque building of a former mining castle from the second half of the 18-th century with a coat-of-arms of the city Banská Bystrica. The building of a former rest home is from the first half of the 18-th century and a classicistic chapel of St. Anna is from the year 1794.
A late-gothic Roman-Catholic church is the most dominant object in the village. Its vault was built by the end of the 15-th century; in 1850 it was enlarged and rebuilt in the Classicistic style. The church still has well-preserved gothic vaults, rococo preacher's place and high tower-like pastophorium. The main late-baroque altar is from the middle of the 18-th century has a statue of Holy Mary in the centre from the beginning of the 16-th century. In the village there are also several wayside chapels. Old Mountains are known as a pilgrims centre, where people from all around Slovakia meet together.