Spišská Nová Ves is a town in the Košice Region of Slovakia. The town is located southeast of the High Tatras in the Spiš region, and lies on both banks of the Hornád River. It is the biggest town of the Spišská Nová Ves District (okres).
Tourist attractions nearby include the medieval town of Levoča, Spiš Castle and the Slovak Paradise National Park. A biennial music festival, Divertimento musicale, is held here, attracting amateur music ensembles from all over Slovakia.
Spišská Nová Ves today
Spišská Nová Ves is a tourist destination today, both because of the town itself and because of the natural environment of the nearby Slovak Paradise mountains. The core of the town is a lens-shaped square (a square with bulging sides), typical of medieval towns. It is a cultural, administrative and business centre of the Spiš region, and is rich in art and historical monuments.
Foremost is the three-naved Gothic church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary standing in the centre of the town. Its construction dates back to the 14th century and its architecture has been partly preserved. The bas-relief of the Virgin Mary’s Coronation on the Gothic tympanum on the south portal of the church is considered to be amongst the most beautiful in the Spiš region. It contains carvings by Master Paul of Levoča. The side pillars are topped by Gothic pinnacles terminating in crossed rosettes. A rosette with tracery crowns the entrance of the church. The tower is 87m high, the tallest church tower in Slovakia. The neogothic top of the tower dates from 1893 and was executed by the architect Imrich Steindl. The neogothic altar dates from the end of the 19th century. The church contains several liturgical treasures : a cross-shaped silver (and partly gilded) reliquary by the Sienese court jeweller Nicolas Gallicus (first half of the 14th century – but the initials NC may also refer to a possible contributor Nicolaus Castellanus), a silver (partly gilded) crucifix and monstrance attributed to Antonio from Košice (early 16th century), a chalice by Jan Kolbenhayer (1795) and a rare bronze baptismal font (second half 13th century). The Calvary Group (1520) is another masterpiece from the workshop of the Master Paul of Levoča. The church vaulted ceiling contains early renaissance paintings with the Evangelists and four angels playing on musical instruments.
The Evangelical church, standing next to the town hall, was built in Classicist style between 1790 and 1796. It has a cross-shaped ground plan. Inside is an altar piece of Christ on the Mount of Olives, painted by Danish painter Stunder. The water well is decorated with an alabaster relief of Christ with the Good Samaritan.
Another valuable architectural monument is the Province House, now housing the Spiš museum. It has a baroque façade, but the basement dates from the 13th century. This house was the town hall from the Middle Ages until 1777. The peace treaty between John Jiskra of Brandýs and the Hungarian king Vladislav was signed here in 1443. Its façade includes the underpass “Levoca gate” with in the middle of its arch the crest of the Province of XVI Spiš towns. The upper part of the façade is decorated with rococo stucco motives (rocaille) representing in Latin the moral qualities required of a town official : (from left to right) PONDERE SOLO (According to importance only), UTQUIS MERETUR (as one deserves), SUUM CUIQUE (give everyone his due), DIE NOCTUQUE (day and night), IN SOMNIS CUSTOS (guardian during sleep), HINC OCULOS NUSQUAM (not turning his eyes away).
The Town Hall was built between 1777-1779 in the Classical style, and was reconstructed in the mid-1990s. The main façade faces south while the main entrance is on the north side. The south façade has three big arched windows situated between four semi-columns under a massive tympanum. Within the tympanum is the city’s coat-of-arms between two griffins.The two inner columns have Ionic capitals. The council chamber occupies two floors and is lavishly decorated with pilasters and sgraffito with motifs of drapery alternating with the city coat-of-arms.
The theatre building “Reduta” was built in art-nouveau style between 1899 and 1902 by the Budapest architect Koloman Gerster. He divided its northern and southern part by a risalith (a projection jutting out of the façade). He accentuated the corners of the building by four turrets. He prolongated the western part into a semicircular vestibule. The stage wall is decorated with murals by the Slovak – local artist Jozef Hanula. Today the building combines a theatre, a richly decorated concert hall and a restaurant