I was originally a smaller medieval mansion in Svätý Kríž. In the 17th century, the Archbishops of Esztergom made me a summer residence. One of them, Juraj Lipai, had a strong fortification with bastions built around me during the Turkish oppression.
Later I became the home of Banská Bystrica bishops, the most important being Štefan Moyses. Oh, those were great times, today I just silently remember.
The manor house is known to have been the home of Banská Bystrica bishops for a long time. The first one was the Bishop of the Banská Bystrica Diocese, Count František Berchtold of Ungerschutz who moved his residence here. The manor house was rebuilt and modified to better meet the period requirements of the Bishop’s official residence. Berchtold had an arcaded courtyard built and he planted a plane tree that grows here and gets bigger to these days. He furnished the building with valuable furniture. The archive of the castle estate was kept here as well as an extensive library with 1,100 volumes of rare books and documents related to the history of the manor.
The first Bishop of Banská Bystrica, František Berchtold, who made such a significant contribution to the history of the town and made it one of the most important towns in what was then Hungary during his life and in the following years, died in this manor house. The most important bishop, who lived and worked in the manor, was the first chairman of the Matica slovenská, Dr. Štefan Moyses. Thanks to the work and activities of Moyses, the manor became an important centre of the national liberation movement of the Slovaks for a period of time. In 2018, the town of Žiar nad Hronom bought the Renaissance-Baroque manor house.
A reconstruction of the premises is being completed now with the intention of making the manor a dignified town centre, and at the same time open it to the public. The manor will thus include, e.g., the Episcopal Hall, which originally served the purpose of social gatherings and receiving visits by bishops, as well as the Štefan Moyses Memorial Room with an exhibition of his personal belongings. The manor house will also become a cultural space for artists as well as communities. The premises will serve as an information centre and one of the lively contact points on the Pohronie Castle Road.