Transformations of place, memory and identity through urban place names in Banská Bystrica, Slovakia

  • Alexandra Bitušíková Faculty of Arts, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic
Keywords: street renaming, urban space, memory, identity, heritage, Banská Bystrica, Slovakia


The paper looks at the renaming of streets as a significant aspect of post-socialist change using an example of the city of Banská Bystrica, Slovakia. It discusses politics, processes and practices of (de-re)commemoration in street names, which reflect transformations of memory (remembering and forgetting), identity, heritage, power and resilience related to public space in a post-socialist city. Changing street names creates new connections between the past and the present and reflects political power struggles for control over contested space between various groups that tend to privatise their own history, heritage, memory, identity, places and symbols. The case of Banská Bystrica demonstrates strategies of the street renaming based on the decommunisation of names (done by restoration of the names from older periods or by introducing non-commemorative names), and on commemoration of names based primarily on local (or regional/national) heritage, events and personalities that might become areas of contested heritage.


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How to Cite
BitušíkováA. (2022). Transformations of place, memory and identity through urban place names in Banská Bystrica, Slovakia. Hungarian Geographical Bulletin, 71(4), 401-417.