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SVK: Bratislava - Old Town Hall Is Beautiful Again, As In Past

Published: 4.8.2011
Since beginning of July 2011, a gate of Bratislava Old Town Hall was open for public again. Within past couple of years, the building undergone complete reconstruction. The Town Hall and its spaces is available for visitors daily, except Mondays.

Where to Find it

This magnificent monument could be admired in historical nucleus of Slovak capital. The Town Hall which belongs to the oldest buildings in Bratislava, is situated between Main and Primacial Square. The complex is formed with more buildings, constructed in various artistic styles. As its indivisible part, it is also very nice tower with big tower clock. Many Bratislava inhabitants frequently meet, just at the corner, below Old Town Hall Tower, on the occasion of various festivities, such as: Christmas Markets, New Year Celebrations or different sorts of concerts, taken place in Main Square.

Something from History

The area of Old Town Hall begun to grow just in Middle Ages, sometimes in 13th century. In the second half of 14th century, the oldest object was substituted by so called New House, with a tower. So, subsequently, not only a face of Town Hall was changed, even the next buildings undergone necessary transformations. At present, the complex is formed with so called „Jakubov dom“ (James House), „Pawerov dom“ (Pawer House), „Ungerov dom“ (Unger House) and „Aponi Palace“. The councillors used the spaces of Old Town Hall till the end of 19th century. In modern time period, the spaces became a seat of Bratislava Museum.

Old Town Hall in New Form

Within 2005-2011, general reconstruction of the whole Old Town Hall area was effected. Not only a Gothic chapel, including medioeval decoration and stone pavement, but also different wall paintings or ancient furniture in representative halls or Baroque staircase were renewed. The visitors can admire many artefacts for the first time, when complex reconstruction of Old town Hall was terminated. The investigations, made at the same time with reconstruction works, brought many new discoveries  and notions in basement and rooms in ground-floor. However, the entry  to basement is not permitted, for the time being. It is to be assumend that the opening will be effected during September 2011. By the way, the ascent to the top of old Town Hall became very popular among visitors, as the outlook offers marvellous round view to Old Bratislava City and its environs.

Town History Museum

Now, renewed rooms of Old Town Hall offer much more accessible spaces, making comparison with a state before reconstruction works. Now, Bratislava City Museum is placed there (which was founded just in 1868). Its standard exposition „Town History Museum“ includes history of the town from primeval age till 1930. Even film document „People and the City“, presenting Bratislava as Slovak capital, is very interesting as well. The exhibition offers a possibility to create a picture (survey) of standard way of life of town´s inhabitants, how it was undegone changes under influence of political, economical or cultural events. Guided tour starts in ground floor. You can admire there a collection of religious subjects, many of them are presented for the first time. Even here, you can admire wall paintings of 17th century or some architectonical elements which were discovered during reconstruction works in Town Hall. In the first floor, you can make acquaintance with treasury and study room of Ovidius Faust. From this floor, you can mount up to the tower top. If you do not suffer from dizziness, you would enter upstairs to its gallery. From there, you can enjoy marvellous outlook to historical nucleus of the city. When your visit of the tower terminates, would you follow arrow-heads, showing your tour direction, and you come to the oldest section of Old Town Hall. These spaces offer really a complex view at a way of life of the town in past. As main subjects of this exhibition section, there are: coronation, town´s administration, handicrafts and guilds, trade and industry but also school education and culture. You can better know also private and social way of life of Bratislava people. And finally, last part of the exhibition, in basement, is also dedicated to the oldest era of town´s history.

When to Visit the Museum

You can visit the Museum at any  day of the week, except Mondays.

Visitors´ time table is as follows:

Working days: since 10 h a.m. till 5 h p.m.

On weekends: since 11 h a.m. till 6 h p.m.

Provided it rains, it does not matter, the internal spaces will fascinate you so much that you completely forget chilly weather outside. On the contrary, provided nice sunshine prevails outside, a marvellous round outlook from Town Hall tower encourages you fully. The families with children are recommended to visit Town Hall on Tuesday or in Thursday, when so called Kids´Atelier is available for children.

Text/photo: O.Kubáčková

Translation: ing. Jan Jonáš

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