Hello my friends. Due to my business trip to Salzburg, there may be a short delay with the connection on my blog. While waiting, enjoy Mozart's music...
sobota, 29. apríla 2006
The Grassalkovich 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...
nedeľa, 23. apríla 2006
There is a bank that credits your
account each morning
It carries over no balance from day to day.
Every evening deletes whatever part of the
balance you failed during the day. What
would you do? Draw out all OFIT of course!!!
Each of us has such a bank. Its name is TIME.
Every morning, it credits you 86.400 seconds
Every night it writes off as lost
whatever of this you have failed to invest to good
purpose it carries over no balance.
It allows no overdraft.
Each day it opens a new account for you.
Each night it burns the remains of the day.
If you fail to use the day's deposits,
the loss is yours.
There is no going back. There is no drawing
against the tomorrow.
You must live in the present on today's deposits.
Invest it so as to get from it the
utmost in health, happiness, and success!
The clock is running. Make the most of today.
To realise the value of ONE YEAR
ask a student who failed a grade.
To realise the value of ONE MONTH
ask a mother who gave bird to a premature baby.
To realise the value of ONE WEEK
ask the editor of a weekly newspaper.
To realise the value of ONE HOUR
ask the lovers who are waiting to meet.
To realise the value of ONE MINUTE
ask a person who missed the train.
To realise the value of ONE SECOND
ask a person who just avoided an accident.
To realise the value of ONE MILLISECOND
ask the person who won a silver medal
in the Olympics.
Treasure every moment that you have!
And treasure it more because you shared it
with someone special, special enough
to spend your time.
And remember that time waits for no one.
Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery.
Today is a gift. That's why it's
Friends are a very rare jewel, indeed.
They make you smile and encourage you to
succeed. They lend an ear, they share a word
of praise and they always want to open
their heart to us.
sobota, 22. apríla 2006
The Old Town Square is truly the centre of town. It used to be called Market Square because of the markets that would take place here and even today you'll see a number of vendors selling their wares mostly to the tourists passing through. The tower goes back to the 14th century, but was rebuilt in the 18th century in the Baroque style. The Maximilian Fountain is the point of interest in the centre of the square. Emperor Maximilian II had the Renaissance Roland fountain built, when a big fire broke out in the town after his coronation in 1563. Its author is a stonemason Ondrej Luttringer from Deutsch Altenburg, who completed it in 1572.
The statue of a knight in suit of armour, who represents the knight Roland, a legendary defender of city rights. Others consider it to be a portrait of
"This fountain also has some interesting stories behind it. "According to one of the local legends, the statue of Sir Roland rotates a top the fountain once a year - at midnight on New Year's Eve - when he turns and salutes to all four directions. But only female virgins can see him when he moves..."
utorok, 18. apríla 2006
ONE of the oldest castles in Slovakia, Devín, sits on a huge rock overlooking where the Morava river meets the Danube. The name Devín probably derives from Dowina, which in Old Slavic meant girl.
The rocky hill on which the castle stands was first settled around 5000BC. Celts lived in the area between the 2nd and 1st centuries BC. In the early centuries AD, Romans built a small settlement there, part of the Limes Romanus fortified system that created the border of the Roman Empire north of the Danube. The castle was enlarged significantly in the 9th century, during the Great Moravian Empire, when powerful Slav princes Mojmír, Rastislav and Svätopluk ruled from there. Slovak history marks that era as the birth of Slovak nationalism, which officially awoke ten centuries later. In the 10th century, the territory of the town of Devín became part of the Hungarian state. The Hungarian kings and strong feudal dynasties turned the castle into a stone fortification at the turn of the 12th and 13th centuries. Some two centuries later, extensive reconstruction gave it the appearance of a robust gothic castle.
One of the castle's legends, originating in the feudal period, has it that the lady of the castle had beautiful twin girls. On her deathbed, she gave each of them an apple, saying that the apples represented their lives. After their mother's death the sisters exchanged the apples, so that each was responsible for the life of the other. The sisters lived in harmony until the day when a handsome hunter came to the castle. He fell in love with the beautiful lady of the castle, not knowing that there were actually two of them - and that he was dating both twins.
The twins did not know that they had fallen for the same man either. Then one evening, the three of them met by accident and discovered the truth. One of the sisters, in a furious rage, smashed the apple protecting the life of the other sister on the ground. By doing that, she killed her twin. A beautiful apple tree grew on the spot where the apple fell. The jealous sister turned into a black goat, which, according to locals, can still be seen jumping on the castle rock today.
Devín Castle was destroyed by Napoleon's army in 1809 and left to deteriorate.
Devín Castle is located above the village of Devín, a 20-minute drive west from the centre of Bratislava
sobota, 15. apríla 2006
On the way down to the city centre you can stop off and have lunch at an entirely authentic restaurant. The inside looks like an 18th century tavern and the food is traditional local Slovak dishes - nothing sophisticated- but just downright authentic
štvrtok, 13. apríla 2006
The first class Radisson SAS Carlton Hotel is located in the heart of old city of Bratislava next to the Danube river.
For the last three centuries the Carlton hotel has played a central part in the history and social life of our city.
Originally constructed in 1760 as the Inn at the Three Green Trees, the Carlton Hotel has always been one of the most prestigious buildings in the Slovak capital. Today, under the management of Radisson SAS, this luxurious hotel once again commands the centre stage of the city.
The history reaches back to the 13-th century when on the site of today's hotel stood a much smaller one called "The Swan". In 1760 alongside of the hotel was an old inn called "At the Three Green Trees". It was the biggest establishment in Bratislava at that time and beside the best service, it offered its respectable guests an advantageous location by the Danube river
The second building of the Carlton-Savoy complex was a competitive hotel "National" (later known as "Savoy") situated on Mostova street. This was founded by family Speneder in 1860 when a one floor corner house was rebuilt by architect Ignatz Feigler to a pompous building with a 19-axes facade to Mostová street and 9-axes facade to Hviezdoslav Square, including "Café Savoy" on the ground floor.
The new owner Jan Lôwe rebuilt the in "At the Three Trees" within 1844 - 1846 and he renamed it to "At the Green Tree". Chosen constructor architect Ignatz Feigler extended the original one floor house to a three floor building with two yard wings and created facade with classic architecture.
Henrich Prüger bought hotel "National" in 1908 and had it rebuilt completely. In 1911 he purchased the Gervaysch house" and the pub "At the Green Tree" in 1912. The result of complete reconstruction of all three buildings together in 1912 - 1913 was a new hotel complex which was named "Carlton - Savoy" with a hall café and a big restaurant.
In the years 1925 - 1929 on the basis of the project of a great Slovak architect M.M. Harminc the hotel underwent through one of the most extensive reconstruction. All three buildings were unified, a four-floor extension was build, uniting the facade under a single roof.
The year 2001 became the year of the rebirth of one of Bratislava's sadly forgotten legends - Hotel Carlton. Once again it had become a living monument of capital city of Slovakia.
Carlton bulding is not special only for its architectonic features, historical construction and technical value, but it represents first great example of a modern hotel complex.
streda, 12. apríla 2006
Not far from the Slovak National Theatre built in 1884 - 86, where opera and ballet performances take place, there is a seat of Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra, where fans of serious music may come into their own.
Bratislava has many attributes, anyway, more than appropriate is the attribute of "town of music". In the course of centuries, it was visited by several giants of music, while music has been resounding from windows of palaces, whether in the streets and squares till the present day.
If you will find a tablet on the palace of Leopold de Pauli, from which you will learn that Franz Liszt gave a concert here as 9-year old in 1820. Just several metres further, a tablet on the Palffy palace, which is a seat of the Austrian Embassy today, lets us know that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart gave a concert here as 6-year old boy in 1762. Ludwig van Beethoven visited Bratislava in the fall 1796, at the time of session of assembly, to give concerts in several palaces, e.g. in Keglevich palace in Panska street. And maybe he also liked daughter of the Keglevichs - Babeta whom he was teaching to play the piano. In Kutschersfeld palace - there was living the pianist A. G. Rubinstein who played on 3 concerts and he also composed several compositions here.
utorok, 11. apríla 2006
Bratislava's opera house is located in a Habsburg-era building right in the centre of the city , opposite the hotel Carlton-Savoy. Lavishly bestowed with elaborate sculptured plasterwork and lashings of gold trimming, it is even prettier inside than out, and it's so small that no seat is far from the stage and it's certainly the cosiest opera house you'll ever find yourself in. The opera in Bratislava is a dressy affair - so pack something special for it- the audience includes the local Slovaks and a good dose of Austrians...
sobota, 1. apríla 2006
The castle dominates the city of Bratislava - to which the first written reference is related in the annals of Salzburg of 907, in association with a battle between Bavarians and Hungarians. The castle's hill was populated as early as the late Stone Age, while the first known inhabitants were the Celts who had founded a fortified settlement here - 'Oppidum'.
Not surprisingly the castle has been destroyed and rebuilt several times, and the outside is of no great interest. The view from it is even less appealing: dreary tower blocks which surround the beautiful city centre. The inside is far more attractive with huge windows which make a great space for exhibitions. The permanent exhibitions are well worth a visit.