Catching my breath in Banská Štiavnica

Climbing up a slope of crooked cobblestones, equilibrium seems a step or two away. Above, the sky scattered with luminescent freckles looks all the more beautiful within the patchwork framing of crimson roofs.

A simple deep breath in and I am centered in this central Slovak town, where the pocketful of people that surround me seem propelled by the ordinary magic of slow-living, deep breathing and meaningful conversation.

It’s hard to put my maladies to words, in part because I am starting to forget about them. I am only keenly aware of twinkling café lights marking our path up the hill and a cool breeze slithering between the little gaps created by the hand entwined in mine.

Nádherná Banská Štiavnica

As a journalist in Bratislava, where we are trying to tread water in the second wave of the coronavirus, I have been too keenly aware of alarming numbers and ticking clocks.

But during my time in Banská Štiavnica, a medieval mining town that honors its history more than any other Slovak town I have come across, I hardly ever seemed to know what time or even day of the week it was, nor did I care.

All that seemed to matter was which cafe my boyfriend and I decided to savor a scrumptious morning cappuccino in or how many times I managed to beat him during a game of cards.

Our days were spent chasing after the visible dregs of history scattered throughout town. We learned of ill-fated lovers, resilient miners and their tireless steeds. We greeted the beginnings of autumn on the road to Calvary and discovered the delightful delicacy of Turkish coffee at a café atop one of the lush hills cradling the town.

Soon after arriving, I realized that náhderná (gorgeous) Banská Štiavnica deserves more than one blog post.

So, if you care to indulge me, meet me by the twinkling lights marking the edge of Trinity Square next Monday and I will take you on a tour of the best cafes in town.

First up: Klopačka

Until then,



  1. Elena RM

    “and a cool breeze slithering between the little gaps created by the hand entwined in mine.” – so lovely!

    Banská Štiavnica was definitely one of my favorite visits in Slovakia, especially during winter (winter wonderland!). Nice to relive in through your blog 🙂


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