Horský hotel Kráľova studňa

Stone bridge in Zalámaná dolina


Historic stone bridge in Zalámaná valley

At the entrance to Zalámaná dolina, near Harmanac, there is an almost forgotten stone bridge. Today, it is mainly used by Banská Bystrica Municipal Forests to transport wood and tourists. It is a single-arched bridge spanning the Harmanecký stream, along which the road from Harmanecká tisina to the Láger valley passes. Just before the bridge, the second road leading through Zalámana dolina to Kráľova studňa disconnects from this road. The arch of the bridge rises almost a meter above the Harmanecký stream. The bridge is approximately four and a half meters wide and its length exceeds five meters.

We know nothing about the bridge in Zalámaná dolina from historical sources. It is not even mentioned in the archive materials. Its real age can only be determined by archaeological research in conjunction with a construction-historical survey. Originally, the bridge was located on one of the roads from Pohronie to Turec. It is not excluded that the bridge itself, or its older predecessor, was built during the period of operation of the Thurzovsko-Fuggerovský copper company, an important mining company exporting copper to all of Europe and indirectly even to India in the first half of the 16th century.

In the archive data of the city of Banská Bystrica, it is mentioned that in 1496 the city of Banská Bystrica, in cooperation with the townsman Ján Thurz, had the road repaired that led from Harmanec through Štubňa, below Strečno, Jablunkovský pass to Silesia and further to the ports on Baltic and North Sea coasts. It is on this road that the described bridge is located. The copper company got into a sharp dispute with the city of Kremnica, as the new road avoided the Kremnica rural area, and therefore also the payment of tolls. Kremnica councilors therefore had the road blocked. This act probably also played a role in the origin of the name Zalámaná dolina. On the old road in the area of the Láger valley, coins from the beginning of the 18th century were already found in the past, which confirm its long-term use.

In addition, mining iron was also found here. Its find could document that the copper company used miners not only to work in the mines, but also during the construction or improvement of the road through the Harmanecká Tisina, because the space where the road passed had to be cut into the rock. There is an information board in Slovak and English near the bridge in Zalámaná dolina with information about the construction of stone bridges in the Middle Ages and the export of Banská Bystrica copper to Europe. In this way, tourists coming to Kráľova studňa will get new interesting knowledge from the depths of our ancient history.