The art gallery in Praetorium is focused on temporary exhibitions of contemporary national and international art. It serves primarily as an experimental space for curatorial and research projects, but also for presenting more extensive monographic exhibitions of renowned Slovak visual artists. The exhibition previews (vernissages) are accompanied by a program of curatorial and author’s guided tours, lectures and discussions, creative workshops and educational projects. The modern three-storey exhibition space in Praetorium building of Central Slovak Gallery comprises five large rooms with total exhibition area of 400m2.
The Praetorium (Old City Hall) building was built as part of the Banská Bystrica City Castle after 1500. In the former administration building, there were offices for mayor and city notary, halls for City Council meetings and jail located underground. After an extensive restoration in the second half of the 16th century, the building was given Renaissance character with an arcade loggia. After the great fire in 1761 the damaged Praetorium building was falling into disrepairs until the early 19th century, when it began to serve primarily the school’s needs. The last extensive restoration of the old City Hall took place in 1944, when the late Baroque interior was rebuilt in a Functionalist style. In 1951, the first exposition of SNP Museum was opened here. The regional gallery in Banská Bystrica, today’s Central Slovak Gallery, has acquired the building in 1969 and in 1970 opened its first international exhibition.