Visit the Black Mulberry Region and discover the "City of Queens" Bátovce. This picturesque village located northeast of Levice on the main road to Banská Štiavnica was once a royal town. Across the village of Bátovce
Discover the “town of queens” Bátovce, a picturesque village located in the middle of Levice, Banská Štiavnica and Dudince, which was a royal town in the past. Visit the Black Mulberry Region, where this unique tree grows in the largest number in Central Europe.
The village of Bátovce is surrounded by beautiful nature in the centre of the Bátovská valley, at the confluence of the Sikenica and Jabloňovka streams. Today it is inhabited by 1165 inhabitants, but in the past it was a royal town.
Do you know that a baroque stone bridge leads over the Sikenica? It was built in 1780 and is still in full service for road traffic.
Why the City of Queens?
The first written mention of Bátovce is found in the false foundation deed of the Abbey of Bakonybel, by which King Stephen I. was to give the Abbey of St. Maurice a market toll. Although the deed from that year is fake, the toll really belonged to the abbey in the Middle Ages. The reference to Bátovce reads: ‘tributa de Foro Regine’, which means that Bátovce was a market centre in the early Middle Ages, belonging to the Queen’s estates.
Like Pukanec, Bátovce was settled in the thirteenth century by German mining engineers and workers. However, they did not work in Bátovce, but traded at the markets, which have a long tradition in Bátovce. It is because of the markets that Bátovce was given the nickname ‘the town of queens’. Already in the early Middle Ages it was a market centre belonging to the estates of the queen. However, the markets in Bátovce are not a matter of history. Even today, there are regular Farmers´ Markets held and the renowned Bátovský jarmok, which is visited by up to 5,000 visitors every year.
Sacral and historical monuments
The Roman Catholic Church of St. Martin can be seen from several kilometres away. This originally Romanesque building dates from the first half of the 13th century and its original Romanesque nave is one of the largest of its kind in our territory. This indicates a lot about the importance of Bátovce at the time of the construction of the first church. The beauty of the altars and wall paintings in the interior of the church will be appreciated even by a visitor who is not a fan of history and architecture.
As in Pukanec, the German inhabitants brought the Protestant denomination to Bátovce. Thus, Bátovce also boasts two distinctive churches. The Evangelical church from 1873 is a national cultural monument of Slovakia. The view of the church from the outside is monumental, but this is nothing compared to the view that the visitor gets inside. The regular clean lines and the huge space give the impression of great acoustics not only during services, but also during concerts.
Originally a country house, the Kúria has a rich history and has also had a wealth of uses. According to the available information, it served as a tavern, there was a dance hall upstairs, and the cellar served as the municipal prison. Today, in the renovated premises there is a wedding hall, upstairs there is a small municipal museum presenting the life in the village in the past. Visitors can see the furnishings of the peasant’s room, working tools on the farm, historical photographs and various written documents. An exhibition of curiosities of socialism, many of which we remember as part of our households, will also amuse you.
Fancy a trip to the countryside?
From Bátovce Square, the 5-kilometre nature trail “Around the City of Queens” will introduce you to the local natural attractions. The trail is 5.3 km long. The terrain is easy and it takes about four hours to complete. The trail is marked with a green sign and starts at the village square, where the first information board is located.
The first stop, where you will want to spend a few moments, is the Lipovina water reservoir. Its surroundings offer the possibility of a barbecue, fishermen may take the opportunity to catch a carp.
However, the nature trail continues on and on the other side of the reservoir you will discover a forest path that will take you to the traditional wine cellars. Today they are mainly used for recreational purposes as cottages, but some of the inhabitants still process or store wine here. From the vineyards there is a beautiful view of the landmarks of the village.
In addition to easy hiking suitable for families with children, you will learn a lot of interesting information. The trail is ideal for a pleasant walk at any time of the year.
Tip for an experience
Be sure not to miss a visit to the traditional farmers’ market in Bátovce. It has been running for more than a year and is run by the Tekov Hont civic association, the Hont Tekov householders’ association and the municipality of Bátovce. All those involved are convinced that it all makes sense. It is necessary to go back to the landlordism, food self-sufficiency, local products and the local economy itself. The Farmers’ Market is held every Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. in the Farmers’ Yard on the square in the village of Bátovce. It has become very popular among visitors. The Hont Tekov Association and the Tekov Hont OZ strive to ensure that the range of products offer is actually grown or produced from local ingredients by the sellers.More about the market can be found here