The Museum of the Slovak National Uprising (Múzeum SNP) is located near the main square of Banská Bystrica in central Slovakia. The mountainous terrain of Banská Bystrica and the surrounding villages was the epicenter for the Slovak National Uprising against fascism during World War II. The museum is dedicated to the history of this uprising against the Nazis and the Slovak fascist government.
This unusually-shaped museum was designed as both a monument and a museum by architect Dušan Kuzma. The museum is a concrete, semi-angular geometric shape divided into two parts and separated by a courtyard. The building and the surrounding grounds were built between 1966 and 1969. In the courtyard between the two halls stands a towering sculpture called “The Victims’ Warning;” an eternal flame burns there as a memorial.
The museum’s exterior park includes several Czechoslovak, Russian, and German military vehicles, as well as cannons and a Soviet Li-2 plane that was used to bring supplies to resistance fighters. There is also a life-sized model of a trench built in the ground near the weapons and a miniature village to be used with remote-control model tanks. Visitors can enter both the plane and the trench.
The primary museum exhibition contains artifacts, images, and maps that tell the story of the Slovak resistance. Items included range from clothing to weapons to tools of espionage. There are also several memorials to those who died in the struggle along with a description of each of the villages destroyed by the Nazis as retaliation for the uprising.
Know Before You Go
The Museum of the Slovak National Uprising is located close to the main city square, which just happens to be called the Slovak National Uprising Square. The admission fee at the time of writing is 2 Euros per adult, plus an extra fee if you want to take photos. There is a small paid parking lot for the museum with reasonable rates (turn next to the airplane).