Gothic Square is longitudinal and relatively regularly shaped. The square gets its nature from group of houses where lived owners of mines constituting the highest social level. On hills around the square were scattered houses of miners, foremen, wood-cutters, coal miners and carriers. Up to date there is preserved house of miner, currently in reconstruction. Among one of the jewels of the square belongs also bronze statue of praying miner. Dominant buildings on the square are former Town Hall (today House of Miners) and building of district administration. Apart from this central square Gelnica has also square close to evangelist church. It belongs to one of the most idylic places of the town. It is surrounded by ancient houses in Theresian baroque style from the second half of the 18. century.
The typical dominant of the Gelnica is middle size reef with remains of former Gelnica Castle. The castle was established during the reign of Hungary King Ondrej II. in 1234. Placement of the building was specified by Gottfried Klingsoher, officer assigned by the King. The origin of the castle from 13. century is deduced from its oval shape. The castle was built in order to defend the city and mines. Uneasy history of the castle has started in 13. century when it survived the attack of Tartar invasion. In 1274 the castle was captured by rebel Roland. During the stay of Jiskra armies and later the army of brother's (bratrickovske) armies which in that time commanded almost whole Spis region. After recession of brother's armies from Spis region, castle after 230 years ceased to be the property of the king. For the help against brother's king Matthew devised city together with its castle to Zapol'sky family. During the fights for Hungary throne between Ferdinand Habsburg and John Zapol'sky was castle in 1527 destroyed. After Zapol'sky was defeated, Ferdinand Gelnicky dedicated the castle to Alexej Thurza, who reconstructed and extended it. From that time it is called the Thurza castle.
Thurzo family were owners up to 1636, when died the last male descendant of the family - Milan Thurzo. The castle became within a while again property of the state however in l638 it was by Ferdinand III. together with all Thurza property dedicated to earl Stephan Csaky and to his wife Eva Forgač, whose mother was daughter of Alexej Thurza. Gelnica castle changed again its owuer. Succession of Csaky family as the owners of the castle was postponed till 1652 by the uprising of Juraj Rákoczy.
There were several uprisings during the reign of Csáky family, while the castle changed its owners very quickly. In such conditions the castle was completely destroyed. It is not certain whether it happened in 1685 or until 1710. Since 1765 castle area served as the place for training of Gelnica hussars.
Further decay of the castle was accelerated by order of city representatives, based on which the sources from castle walls were used as building material for town-hall and adjacent buildings. This way the castle quickly changed its look. Last wound was caused by the city when in 1839 were ownership and administration ofthe castle transferred to the city, which ordered to remove its damaged parts. The reason for this decision was the fatal accident of carpenter apprentice Hass, who died when moving out the beam from castle ruins.
From this period there is preserved the first authentic photography of the castle based on which castle had four bastions and on the eastern side it had entrance. Besides the main courtyard there were also three adjacent courtyards. In 1963 there started works on examining the castle area and its vicinity. It was discovered that close to the castle are located 14 underground corridors or cellars. During excavation works there were found various articles as keys, unarmed from boots, weapons etc.
Among forgotten historical monuments in the centre of the town belong remains of arches in Dominican Monastery, which was built in 1288 in the reign of Ladislav IV. Monastery existed almost 300 years. It was destroyed during internal riots in 1543.
The centrepiece of the old town is building of the former Town-Hall from 1802. It was created from original renaissance centre by affiliation of other buildings with uniformly changing its facade styled in Theresian baroque. Over the portal projection of the wall is soaring massive baroque tower which is one ofthe typical signs of city Gelnica. The building is today the residence of Mining Museum, which was open on 25. February 1963. It preserves exhibits and tools from mines in the Hnilecká valley.
It belongs to the oldest architectural monuments ofthe city. It is built in gothic style and dates from 14. century. They say that where today stands church was in the past standing different gothic church. Where today stands sacristy was perhaps either its sanctuary or small church itself. Its massive ribs show definitely its older age than is the age of the church. The church is curious by its rarely long and wide sanctuary, which belongs to the biggest in Spis region. It seems that Gelnica residents wanted to have greater church than in other cities in the region. However, the original plan has not been realised.
Gothic style have its original cross arches in adjacent ship and in sanctuary, pastofory standing on spiral twisted base of high tower shape with figure decoration with dignity representing the Spis gothic style from 15. cen¬tury and stone sedilies on the south side of sanctuary.
The ship was built later, approx. in 15. century. Over the middle ship is rising baroque roof from 18. century with gothic fragments. Today shape has the tower from 1867-1869.
From the original gothic equipment remained only baptisery. It comes from the end of 14. century, it is made of bronze, ornamented by vineyard and medallions. It is work of master Konrad from Spisska Nova Ves. Stone statue of St. Barbora is from late gothic period in pastofory, which is decorated by gothic grid with star shaped ornaments from late 15. century. Other monuments of the church are dated from 18. century. They represent four renaissance relief plas¬tics of evangelists in sanctuary sedilies, painting from procession painted on both sides from the late 18. century, ceremony repository in sacristy from se¬cond half of the 18. century and monstrance and ciborium from 1764 made by Jan Szilasi.
Building of the roman-catholic parish office
It is double floor building in baroque-classicist style from 1774. On the front facade it has a portal with loose staircase and on the floor regularly seg¬mented windows and two niches which contain baroque styled statues of millers.
It is classicist style building built in 1784 with expenditure of 30 thousands golden coins, which were collected by 200 worshippers, 6 guilds and mining company Roberti, which ordered to build ambo and altar. Miners of the mine Roberti dedicated to the church so called Choir of Miners and mine ofSt. John Evangelist dedicated the painting of emperor Jozef II., whose name as a sign of gratitude is engraved in two boards over the main entrance to the church.
On the altar there is oil-painting of Samaritan and Christ from Karol Jakobey from 1887. In the breast of Choir of Miners there is longitudinal oriel where is placed group of statues representing miners at their work.
Stone bridge over river Hnilec
The bridge was built in 1837-1845. It is massive two arches building made of quarry stone. There is memorable board placed with year 1837 and monogram of the city G.B (Golnitbanya). In 1974 it was restored and added to the registry of Technical monuments.
Genesis of the Mining Museum
Genesis of the Mining Museum has its old history also in Gelnica. At the end ofthe reign of Maria Theresia in 1766 city council in Gelnica appealed to collect all documents and materials related to mining and to take care of its safe storage. However this call remained long time without any notice and only in 1932 this superior thought was realised by Leopold Gruss, who started to collect various material. He stored everything in the premises of burgher's school, however for public it was not yet available. Its main purpose was to help during teaching. After his death teacher Samuel Fabrici continued in his effort, and per¬suaded the city council about the assignment of one building which served as granary and stable. This building was restored and adapted to serve public as museum and thus in 1938 it was for the first time open to public. This opening did not last long since the building required much more work to be done in order to serve museum needs. However, this approach was not understood by city coun¬cil and the museum had to be closed on 15. March 1939 and also because of the approaching war.
After the liberation the museum was open to public in 1948 and its temporary installed exhibits visited in 1948 approx. 250 people. Admission fee was not collected.
The important task for the museum activity was that in 1949 estab¬lishment of 9-members committee of the local museum, which was nominated on 1. February 1949. Committee on its discussions in 1949 dealt with activity of the museum, working program for next period, as well as with proposals to repair and maintain the building of the museum.
In February 1963 were after general reconstruction of internal premi¬ses of the building installed stands with following public exhibits: astronomy, geology of Czechoslovakia, geology of Spis, anthropology, archaeology, and exhibition of mining industry during feudalism. The amount of exhibits was continually increasing.
On 1. February 1965 became Mining Museum affiliated branch of the Museum of National Geography in Spišska Nova Yes with orientation to history of mining city.
The most precious exhibits of Mining Museum:
- DEATH OF A MINER - author - Julisz Szent Istvany (oil-painting) 1928
- MADONNA WITH CHILD - belongs to so called beautiful Madonnas, beginning of 1 s" century