The royal mining town of Horní Slavkov with a thousand-year long tradition of mining tin, silver and other metals spreads across the rugged landscape of three valleys at the edge of Slavkovský les (Slavkov Forest). It was founded as a royal town in 1333 and from 1494 it began expanding in connection with the development of tin mining. The town experienced economic and construction boom in the 16th century, yet its development was abruptly discontinued by the Thirty Years War.
The historical character of the town is rather effaced by modern buildings. Significant cultural monuments of the town include the Church of St. George built in Late-Gothic style in the 1520’s with a reticulated rib-vault, a Renaissance gallery and baptistery, a Late-Gothic group of statues depicting a Mount Olivet scene, and 14 tombstone epitaphs from the 16th century. Preserved loopholes are remnants of the fortification of the church. The church was rebuilt in Baroque style in the 18th century. Next to the church, there is a free-standing bell tower built in Late-Gothic style in 1540 and reconstructed in 1686. A Late Gothic column of the Crucifixion with a helical pillar may be found opposite the church.
The centre of the town square is dominated by the Column of the Holy Trinity dating to the 1700’s. The Baroque Hospital Church of St. Anne built in 1728 on the site of an older structure is located in the north-west outskirts. Visitors may also admire a number of Late-Gothic and Renaissance burgher houses, such as house No. 4 with a portal showing the year 1519, house No. 6 with a bay and a portal, house No. 214 built in the 1500’s, or the most valuable historical monument in the town: house No. 497 known as Pluha's House, which was built between 1510 and 1512. The old Seidelhaus mill is also worth visiting.
Round stone gallows from the 16th century with the coat-of-arms of the town and the year 1598 have been preserved on Gallows Hill.
The rather unsightly housing estate with full-range civic amenities, which was built in the 1950’s in Socialist Realism style and which documents the comprehensive development of mining urban areas in this era, is also worth mentioning.
In 1992, the historical centre, formerly an urban monument reserve, was declared an urban monument zone due to extensive demolition of buildings in the town centre.
Interesting tidbit: Legend of the Kobold