sobota 29. apríla 2006

My hometown 11

The Grassalkovich Palace
                     (The Presidential Palace) 

Baron Anton Grassalkovich, one of the most prominent Austro-Hungarian politicians during the reign of the enlightened monarch Queen Maria Theresa, had the Palace built in the 1760s as his summer residence. The Queen, having a close relationship with the Baron's family, visited the residence personally in 1775. Since then its ownership has changed hands many times. In World War I, the palace was home to the military General Staff, and during World War II, the Palace became the seat of the Slovak President.

The palace - now fully restored to all its former late 18th-century Baroque glory - is entered through a courtyard, where visitors are welcomed by the Presidential Guard of Honour. The ceremonial staircase in the entrance hall, adorned with original sculptures, is something quite unique in Bratislava. The garden hall and the Chapel of St. Barbara are decorated with original Rococo and Classicist frescos, which only came to light during the palace's recent thorough renovation...


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