Prievidza, a town with rich history, is the administrative centre of the upper Nitra region. The first written mention of the city comes from 1113 while in 1383 Prievidza was given the status of free royal town. The face of the city radically changed in the second half of the 20th century, when industrial development shaped what had originally been a small town of 5,000 into the city you see today. One of the most significant historical sites is the Piarist Roman Catholic Church located in the Old Town. The construction of the church started in 1666, based on plans by Italian architect Biberelli. The church was completed in the mid-18th century.