Museum of the Slovak National Uprising | Attraction Guides | History Hit

Museum of the Slovak National Uprising

Banska Bystrica, Region of Banska Bystrica, Slovakia

Sarah Roller

24 Jul 2021
Image Credit: matuska / Shutterstock

About Museum of the Slovak National Uprising

The Museum of the Slovak National Uprising (Muzeum Slovenskeho narodneho povstania, colloquially known as the Múzeum SNP) is dedicated to the history of Slovakia’s resistance against the Nazi government.

History of the Museum of the Slovak National Uprising

Before the outbreak of the Second World War, much of the western part of Czechoslovakia was annexed and then occupied by Nazi Germany, which then allowed the eastern part to become an “independent” country. Wartime Slovakia was a Nazi puppet state, led by Jozef Tiso.

In 1943 Edvard Benes, head of the Czechoslovak government in exile in London, began planning for an overthrow of the puppet government. On 29 August 1944 the Slovak National Uprising (Slovenskeho narodneho povstania or SNP in Slovak) began in Banksa Bystrica. The rebels included not only Slovaks, Czechs, Poles, and Hungarians, but fighters from as far away as Britain, Canada, and the United States. Although the uprising was ultimately unsuccessful, it remains an important part of Slovakia’s history, and 29 August is celebrated as a national holiday.

The museum was designed to be a museum as much as a monument. Built between 1966 and 1969, it’s archetypically brutalist, taking the form of a concrete, semi-angular geometric shape. An eternal flame and sculpture entitled The Victims’ Warning stands in the museum as part of the memorial.

The Museum of the Slovak National Uprising

The Museum of the Slovak National Uprising gives a comprehensive view of the conflict, including the political climate in Czechoslovakia and Slovakia at the beginning of the war, the different factions who opposed Nazi rule, and the stories of individual members of the rebel forces. It uses audio-visual displays as well as artefacts, and is presented fully in English as well as Slovak.

Outside the museum is a display of Czecholsovak, Russian and German tanks, guns, an airplane and a life-sized model trench. This display is free, and open even when the museum is not.

Getting to the Museum of the Slovak National Uprising

The museum is located in Banksa Bystrica in the main square. The town is roughly 2 hours drive north east of Bratislava via the E58 and E77.

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