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Tourism Information Centre reopens

Bratislava Tourist Centre received a modern facelift.
photo: TASR

THE BRATISLAVA Tourism Information Centre (TIC) reopened its reconstructed premises on Klobučnícka street in the Old Town on March 21. The revamped centre should provide more services to better satisfy the needs of the tourists visiting Bratislava.

Director of the Bratislava Culture and Information Centre (BKIS), Vladimír Grežo, who runs the centre, told SITA news wire that the almost five-month long reconstruction of the centre cost over Sk13.6 million (€360,000). During the facelift, the centre installed touch-screen internet terminals providing information on the city and services offered.

TIC provides the city's visitors with information on accommodation, transport and tourist attractions in Bratislava, as well as selling tickets for cultural and sporting events and sightseeing tours.

The centre has also come up with the so-called Bratislava city card, which enables tourists get 5 to 20 percent discounts on fares and tickets for the Bratislava City Gallery, the City Museum, the Slovak National Gallery, the Slovak National Museum or sports facilities administered by STARZ.

The centre is open during the summer season from 8:30 to 19:00 on workdays, 9:00 to 17:00 on Saturdays, and 10:00 to 16:00 on Sundays. Between October and May its services are available during workdays between 8:30 and 19:00 and on Saturdays between 9:00 and 15:00.

BKIS runs four information centres in Bratislava. The remaining three are at the MR Štefánik Airport, the main railway station and the passenger port on the Danube river.

Composer Cikker receives museum

THE FAMILY villa of the Cikkers in Fialkové údolie in Bratislava has been transformed into the museum of Ján Cikker, a Slovak composer and the main representative of modern Slovak classical music. Its doors ceremonially opened to the public on March 21.

"We wanted to return life to the house and let it represent Slovak culture," said the museum director, Irena Michalicová, at the opening.

When turning the villa, built in the functionalist style, into the museum, all paintings, busts and historical furniture were preserved on their original places. The ground floor, with living and dining rooms, was adjusted to host concerts and social events. The upstairs contains the maestro's workroom with his desk, a period glob, antique telephone and personal items that Cikker used when composing. The book-case shows the composer's deep interest in the Tatras and nature. Display cases contain his manuscripts, opera scores and other documents.

Ján Cikker lived in the villa with his spouse Katarína from 1967 until his death in 1989. Afterwards his wife launched a foundation bearing his name, which later became the sole beneficiary of the Cikker's heritage. It was the foundation that turned the villa into the museum.

Along with the greater public, the museum invites musicologists and researchers to study the composer's oeuvre dominated by opera works, such as Juro Jánošík, Beg Bajazid, Mister Scrooge and Vzkriesenie (Resurrection). Other works are cycles of symphonic poems, chamber and orchestral pieces, adaptation of folk songs and music for folk dance groups.

Learning English while making pottery

ENGLISH teachers who work in the Building Centre of the Križovatka civic association in Trnava will receive some unusual new teaching aids: a pottery workshop with two wheels and a kiln.

Križovatka executive director Roman Kraic told the SITA news wire that workshop attendees will learn new vocabulary while conversing about pottery.

Equipment for the workshop will cost around Sk78,000 (€2,050), which the association plans to raise from sponsors and income tax donations. If all goes as planned, the workshop will come into operation by the end of this year.

An American couple founded the Križovatka civic association in 1997 to teach English through attractive and entertaining methods. The Building Centre's main objective is not only to improve learners' communication skills, but also to expand their knowledge about other cultures and fields, such as cinematography, the fine arts and literature.

For more information, visit www.the-building.com.

Slovak Tourist Board debuts new website

AFTER considerable prepara-tion, the Slovak Tourist Board (SACR) has finally launched www.slovakiatourism.sk, a new internet page that promotes the country under the official tourism slogan "Little Big Country."

The site also offers information on Slovakia's nature, culture, and sporting events in a variety of major languages, and contains useful tools for planning a visit, such as a dictionary and a list of prices for basic food and services.

Emergency telephone numbers, the dates of state holidays, visa requirements, tax-free imports, and tips for Slovak souvenirs are also available.

The page's nature section introduces the country's mountains, rivers, caves and gardens. The culture segment is divided into subsections about architecture, art, religious monuments, and sites related to the UNESCO World Heritage List. The activities section offers information on the country's spas, water and winter sports, golf courses, hunting grounds, horseback riding and hiking trails, and cycling paths. The regional tips section recommends the Gothic Path, a 276-kilometre route joining the Gothic gems in the Spiš and Gemer regions, and the wine roads in western and eastern Slovakia.

Visitors can also browse a rich photo gallery. The Slovak Tourist Board promises to update the page regularly.

British Council spreads throughout

THE BRITISH Council, which has been operating in Slovakia since 1992, plans to open five new English Language Outreach Centres nationwide by summer 2007.

The centres will be housed in local libraries and universities and will provide English-language materials for up to 5,000 teachers and students, Alena Rebrová from the British Council informed The Slovak Spectator.

Two of the new centres will open in Košice and Banská Bystrica by autumn. British Council's operations in Bratislava will continue in their current form.

Compiled by Jana Liptáková
from press reports

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