SR, Nitra: Agrokomplex – Unusual Exhibition Ground
First things first. The construction of the exhibition grounds began in 1973 as a part of food industry propagation. It was a construction of uncommon proportion in Slovakia consisting of many bigger and smaller pavilions. Year later the construction was finished and almost two years later there happened national agricultural exhibition. During the years there also took place another thematic exhibitions. The exhibition grounds were developing during the time – the park architecture was applied here, modern forms of use of soil, new inventions in mechanization etc. It had been happening publicly and public liked to visit this grandiose place devoted to Slovakian diligence.
Perhaps it sound a bit as socialistic propaganda, but it is true! :- ) After 1989 the exhibition grounds were opened and more focused to commercial market. So today we can see great international exhibitions showing innovations in automobile industry, engineering, construction, forestry, gardening, and of course food industry and agriculture. However, before we get to a schedule of events, lets see the complex itself.
In front of the entrance to the complex there is a huge parking lot where we comfortably parked our car. Not far away from the exhibition grounds was also a stop of the public transport. For those who are fond of walking we have an information – from a bus stop in Nitra to the exhibition grounds it will take you about 15 minutes of walk. After we passed tourniquets we got to a vast and green complex crossed by lots of pathways and roads. Of course in the time we had visited it there was lot of white snow, since lady winter reigns now. By pathways there are lakes causing the air is humid during the summer time. Lakes are lined with well-kept greenery. On every crossroad you may find information boards about things you may see here.
We observed that during an ongoing exhibition the way from the pavilion A to the pavilion B was covered, so you wouldn’t be exposed to disgrace of the weather. Nevertheless, we were more interested in the exhibition grounds compound than in the pavilions (except those where were agricultural animals). For us as urbanized men it was fascinating to see stables and various devices inside. Then we moved off to the fields. They also make the exhibition grounds special, since there are demonstrative fields with various crops and their growing methods. We visited a small field, somewhat of a plant and tree nursery, or a “herbal encyclopedia”. Nitra is also a city with many students. There is The Agricultural University using the exhibition grounds compound for education. It is no wonder then if you see here well-kept live fences of various bushes, myriads of blossoms, fruits and mainly vegetables. Greenhouses overflowing with cultivated plants will give you an impression of a botanical garden and you will not feel as if you were in Agrokomplex at all. Whole place complete elegant garden architecture and benches used mostly by older people. Not far away from there you will be enchanted by strong nice smells of herbs from a plant-growing farm. Its products, such as an aromatic tea or a healing ointment, you will maybe find at home.
All of a sudden we heard whistling and hissing of steam. We look around and among the trees goes a small steam train. When we take a better look we see a small historic railroad station named Brána lying by the fields. After we read through a graphical timetable we decided to travel to the next stop Skanzen. With pompousness dispatchers dressed in historic clothes got us across the compound. We held in our hands a classic cardboard ticket bought at Brána station. We kept it as a souvenir.
Close to the station there was open-air museum of the Slovak Agriculture Museum. An agriculture past was exhibited in 33 objects. Among others you could see impressive buildings as bakery, dairy, school, bee house, homestead, a place for burning spirits, mill, oil pressing shop or a symbolic cemetery. We learned there are taking place events where are exhibited various crafts and where visitors can taste some food at a historic building of Konzum. Besides the open-air museum there is also a museum exhibiting agricultural motives in art, machinery and aviation, or fire protection of agricultural machinery. Unfortunately, we hadn’t time to visit this.
There happen lot of events during the whole year. In the winter it is for example Christmas Farm Fairs , International Dog Exhibition or a unique Homing Pigeon Olympics . Spring and summer exhibitions are usually focused on flowers, nature, farming and relaxation. The autumn is traditionally devoted to motor show and harvest.
It is impossible to see the whole Agrokomplex Nitra just in one day. It offers lots of various things to its visitors, however people can also rest here and learn about the history of our ancestors. The exhibition grounds will enjoy young and old, thus we definitely recommend you to see it.
Text and photo: Oskar Mažgút
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