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Discover the Lesser Carpathians and their mining history

Discover the Lesser Karpaty Geopark with mining areas, where trips to rich history and even richer nature meet on one road.

The Little Carpathians are not only wide views to all sides of the world or excellent wine. In the following lines, we will offer you some good tips that you will benefit from if you are fascinated by the history of mining. So let's hit the road! 

First, a little trip into the past

Historically, the mining period in the Small Carpathians, specifically in the area of Modra and Pezinka, can be divided into two periods. The first is the period of medieval mining, permitted by the Hungarian king Karol Róbert as early as 1339. The mining settlement Zumberg was established in the Pezinka area at that time, where gold was panned from the streams and mined from the veins springing to the surface. Gold mining in the Pezinka area experienced its second boom in the 18th century thanks to the mining entrepreneur Jozef Entzler. 

The area of Modra was searched for gold and sulfur deposits mainly in the 18th and 19th centuries, with the first written mentions coming from 1773. Several underground and above-ground mining works were created in the area. Compared to the Pezinka area, however, despite its intensity, mining in Modran has not met with great success. 

After mining and mining works, we were left with several monuments and interesting places, which today are connected by tourist educational trails of medium difficulty under the umbrella name of the Lesser Karpaty Geopark.

Geopark Malé Karpaty

Gateway to the Small Carpathian forests and mining - Modranský náucný trail 

Several interesting stops await us on the 3.2-kilometer two-way route.  

The Harmónia water reservoir is the ideal start of the whole trip. The stop connects to the tunnel first mentioned in 1821, which served as a shelter during the Second World War. 

We continue with the stop Kamenolomy - underground mines, right in the magical Carpathian forests. The mines are associated with the name of the mining councilor František Kornel Hell from the well-known Hell family - pioneers of Slovak mining. There was insufficient gold content in these tunnels to warrant long-term profitable mining. 

The third part of the route is the aptly named Three Hills location with sections of odklop, pinga, shaft and tunnel. Of particular interest is the preserved pinga – a surface mining pit and the occurrence of the visually appealing mineral specularite. 

On the next Medveda skala, there is the Bartolomej tunnel, probably from the beginning of the 19th century. Its history is again linked to the Second World War, when the tunnel premises were used as shelters by partisan units, especially in the period after the suppression of the SNP. 


The specialty of the Modran tunnels area is the occurrence of rare, protected types of mushrooms. Here we can find, for example, the wild boletus, the red-yellow porcini mushroom, the hedgehog roe deer or the unique roe deer sceptre.

Let's go deeper into mining history: The Pezinok mining educational trail 

Richer mining in Pezinok brings a richer history and wider familiarity with the development of mining in this area. 

The Pezinok route starts symbolically at the site of the original Zumberg mining settlement from the second half of the 13th century. Today there is a chapel of the patron saint of miners - St. Clement. 

The second stop is the iron spa, which operated here until 1923. From there, we will reach the original base of the old mines and the Ferdinand-Karolína pyrite deposit, where mining work was still carried out in the 1950s. 

The fifth stop of the journey is dedicated to the most important period - Gold mining, its history and personalities. From them, we will then move on to later subsurface mining, antimony ore mining and pyrite tunnels. Here you can still see the original mining works. 

The penultimate stop of the educational trail, the Processed Ore Treatment Plant, introduces us to the development of ore treatment and processing. The end of the journey, the Mining Plant, will present the history of metallurgical plants in Pezinka in the 20th century. The history and authentic remains of old mining works on the Pezin educational trail are, of course, accompanied by the rich Little Carpathian nature, which gives the educational trail a pleasant relaxing character. 

Mining educational trail Pezinok

More tips 

For enthusiasts of more adventurous tourism and lesser-known places, we recommend a trip to the Siva and Červená bani near Časta, near the Červený Kamen castle. Authentic history with a veil of mystery breathes upon you here, as the mines can be partially entered and there are probably other, as yet undiscovered mining works on the site. For more relaxed natures, the well-known Limbaš hot spring is a bonus.

For fans of geology, we definitely recommend the mining exhibition in Pezinok, where you will find an exhibition of objects related to mining, historical photographs, maps of the original mining works, an exhibition of minerals and a unique "mine in the center of the city". The non-profit organization Barbora also organizes the Pezinský Permoník event. 

Pezinský Permoník

The mining areas of the Lesser Carpathians are a place where trips to rich history and even richer nature meet on one road. And you can't miss it. 

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