Zvolen ( ; Hungarian: Zólyom, is a town in central
Slovakia, situated on
the confluence of Hron and Slatina rivers, close to Banská
With its ancient castle, the town has a
historical center, which represents the seat of an okres
Zvolen has been inhabited since the Paleolithic
. In the 9th century, a Slavic
settlement (today the Môťová
neighborhood) became a regional center of what is now central
Slovakia. Zvolen remained the capital of Zólyom county
until the 1760s.
11th and 12th centuries, one of the largest medieval castles in
hrad, was constructed. The town, originally
built under the castle, lied on an important trade route (Via
Magna) from Buda to Kraków.
Zvolen was granted town privileges
by King Béla IV
in the 1230s
- as one of the first towns in the Kingdom of Hungary
. The privileges were
confirmed on December 28, 1243, after the original document was
destroyed in war. Later, King Louis I the Great built a new castle, which became a popular hunting resort of the
The future queen regnant Mary of Hungary
and emperor Sigismund
wedding there in 1385.
In 1848-49, Ľudovít
was a member of the Diet, with Zvolen as his constituency.
In 1871-1872, two new railways were built and Zvolen became an
important railroad hub and important industrial center. Zvolen
played an important role during the Slovak National Uprising
. Two of
its armored trains
, which were made in
the local railway manufactory, Hurban
can be seen near
the Zvolen castle.
Zvolen is an important railroad, an important road hub and has a
large timber factory and a technical university. An airport in nearby Sliač offers
direct flights to Prague.
town square was modernized in 2002 and local businesses are popular
with tourists. In wintertime an ice rink is constructed in the
center and festive celebrations run throughout December.
Zvolen has a population of 43,147 (as of December 31, 2005).
According to the 2001 census
, 95.9% of
inhabitants were Slovaks
and 1.2% Czechs
. The religious make-up was 52.5% Roman Catholics
, 26.4% people with no
religious affiliation, and 15% Lutherans
The local ice hockey
team HKm Zvolen
plays in the Slovak Extraliga
Twin towns - Sister cities
Zvolen is a member of the Douzelage
association of 23 towns
across the European Union
active town twinning began in 1991 and there are regular events,
such as a produce market from each of the other countries and
- Other twinnings:
File:Zvolen hrad.jpg|Zvolen CastleFile:Zvolen city centre2.jpg|Town
centerFile:Zvolen1.JPG|Church in ZvolenFile:Pancierovy
vlak-Zvolen.jpg|Armored train HurbanFile:Rivero Slatina en
Zvolen2.JPG|Slatina river in ZvolenFile:Zvolen1596.jpg|Zvolen in